Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Letter home April 1, 1954

Last night on the Saturnia, HH writes a letter to his parents.  Transcription follows:
April 1, 1954 letter from HH to M/M CJU from Italy
 Thursday, April 1

Dear Folks,
This is our last day out, so will get off this note before our sight-seeing really begins.

We were in Genoa from 3 P.M. until 12 noon and rode some of the buses around and saw the sights.  They have beautiful terrazzo walks in the business section, which are covered and supported by beautiful marble columns.  Saw some bomb damage in the city.

Wish we knew some Italian, bet we get around with the aid of a map and sign language.  At least this self exploratory system you don't forget so quick.  On money the Italians use mostly paper notes – the smallest ones are worth less than 1¢.  it takes 625 lire to equal $1.  Our first impulse is that things are high for we think of $6.25 rather in lire.  

We enjoy going up and down the old streets – 4' to 8' wide and crowded with all kinds of shops.  Of course no vehicles and crowded with people.  The stores close from 1 to 3.

I told Charles [Thompson] to send the bills for us – light, water – probably about $15 each, telephone – supposed to be on vacation rate and probably no oil bill since he didn't get around our last week home.  Keep track of them and hope we have enough left when we get home to pay you.  We do have our steamship ticket home – Ha.

We are in dock at Palermo, Sicily from 1 P.M. to 8 tonight, where we plan to look around.  All these big towns have famous cathedrals – which are quite impressive.  Enjoy most walking around among the people and the town.

To arrive in Naples tomorrow at 7 A.M. (be 1 A.M. back in Ohio) and hope to hear from or see Calvin by then so we may [know] what his plans are.  We plan to go to Capri – about an hour boat trip from the mainland, also to Pompeii and Vesuvius, then to Rome for next week.

We have gotten a letter from you at every stop, which we enjoy.  Like to read the news clippings and legal news.  Probably Charles has sent on the letter I wrote from N.Y.  Like to watch them load and unload cars from the ship.

[Above written by HH, following written by Jean, about mid-page of page 2]
We're enclosing a letter from Elizabeth and wish you'd sent it on to Mother [Mrs. N.W. Ballantyne] when you are through with it.  She sounds so conscientious about everything.  But would rather have her lean that way than be too lax about things.  I'm glad Dr. Fullerton was nice about her bringing in Roberta.

We have met so many interesting and congenial people on the ship – and on land too.  I'm interested to see how the Saturnia compares to the Queen Elizabeth [which they will take on the return ocean crossing] – most of the people that have traveled on both prefer the Saturnia for various reasons, food, service, informality, friendliness, etc.

Will write again after we land at Naples.  Love to all, Harold and Jean

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