Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trip to Europe in 1954 begins

[This post was originally published to the blog in March 2011.  During the next six weeks the postcards from that trip will be reposted, with a few additional items added to the mix.  Items previously posted will be (hopefully) published at 12:01am EDT and items found since then will be posted in the 5pm slot.]

Harold and Jean left New Vienna on the first leg of their 1954 Europe trip - vacation - second honeymoon on Monday, March 15, 1954.  Catherine, age 5, and Roberta, almost 3, were taken to enjoy farm life with Oscar and Elizabeth Johnson the day before.

During the next two months we will be retracing their steps through post cards and memory as they travel by plane to NYC, ocean liner to Portugal, Spain, and Italy and various means of transportation until they re-board an ocean liner in England for the trip back to the US in mid May.

On the first day they mailed [at least] two post cards with the same picture.  One to Catherine and Roberta from Pittsburgh and the second mailed from NYC to Jean's mother, Mrs. N.W. Ballantyne.  [They may have written more cards but can only report on the ones in my possession.]

Transcription follows.
To Catherine & Roberta from Daddy & Mommie, postmarked March 15, 1954 Bridgeville PA

We missed having our little girls with us this morning.  Right now we're flying toward Pittsburgh and hope to see Dear at the airport.  Be good girls for the Johnsons.  We think of you always.  Love, Daddy and Mommie

Bridgeville is a suburb of Pittsburgh, SE of the airport, SW of Pittsburgh, five miles from Mt. Lebanon.  They either gave this card to someone to mail for them, or the airport mail was picked up by the Bridgeville Postal Service.  The Pittsburgh Airport was expanded from a military airport beginning in 1946 and opened to passengers in May 1952 so would have been "new" in 1954.   This same location has been modified and expanded in the years since and is now the Pittsburgh International Airport.
"We aren't here yet but hope to be in Italy in about 3 weeks."
Postcard with same picture sent both to Catherine & Roberta as well as Mrs. N. W. Ballantyne
Captioned: The Parthenon is the most ornamental temple atop the Acropolis.  At the foot of the Acropolis is modern Athens, a stop on the route of Trans World Airlines.  Greece was not a place visited on this trip, however.  Assume these cards were provided free by TWA.
To Mrs. N.W. Ballantyne from Harold & Jean, postmarked March 15, 1954 NYC

Dearest Mother, Flying toward New York now.  Bob was at airport when we arrived in Pgh.  The weather was miserable there, glad you weren't out in it but sorry not to see you.  We have our winter coats and both have rain coats.  I got very pretty one with hat at Thornes.  Sort of faille* - navy & light blue.  All our very best.  Love, Harold & Jean

*faille is described in the dictionary as "a somewhat shiny closely woven silk, rayon, or cotton fabric characterized by slight ribs in the weft."

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Items from Uible photo album