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Letter, May 11, 1919

[Letter on plain ruled paper. Enclosed was a souvenir of Mother's Day 1919 at Brest, France.]

Brest France - May 11- 1919

My dear father and Mother

This morning rec. your letter of Apr 23. sure was glad for it as time is tedious, slow and very unimportant waiting around in this camp - wishing for our "ship to come in".

This is the great Mothers day - and high tribute was paid to the mothers in America in our mornings service, for which our band played. Am sending a little pamphlet given to us at the service and which I think is very good - only not enough of it. I am glad I sent you the little essay, if you appreciate so so much as you say and I think its luck that I should also hear from you about it on this day. Makes me think more of this day as mothers day than any thing else could have done. I hope I will be able to prove in actions in time to come what I tried so hard to express in words.

Ah - how I would like to have been with you when Berthas were up. Maybe before long I can. But Maybe then it will be too busy for them to get to come up very soon. But no matter - just to place my feet inside our front door is all I ask. What comes after may take care of itself. I feel equal to what ever it may be - but it seems I never will get there. Time goes fast but they seem to be sending us out in different order than when we came over - we were first to land - now we are almost last to leave. But we will start eventually, and we think "why not now," but there must be boats before we can sail and as there is none for us - We stay just that much longer on the sunny shores of beautiful France - where it rains every day & nite. Spent a day visiting the city of Brest.

Some very beautiful & Old places here I did not know of. One old church looks to be of Greecean architect. very beautiful inside altho the exterior is old & rough. This is the best fortified city in France, and was a treat to ramble over those old walls & in the old barracks & dungeons, draw bridges and so on. Saw some sub's coming into Arbor, and a french cruiser in dry dock. The great Imperator, sister to the Leviathon, is laying at anchor just out side the arbor walls. She is sure a monster. Many very fine looking women on the promenade along the bluff over looking the beautiful Arbor. Spent the evening at a show in the Company of a Y. lady.

We play most every evening until 12 oc. for dances given by red cross girls for Officers only. Let me take this opportunity to let you know that if you have any relative over here who is an officer - help the red cross for they are doing all they can for their comfort & entertainment. They so much as thank us.

Elmer & I are together all the time. Have been since first we met. We strolled over this great camp - parts at a time and maybe you dont think it an enormous one. Something new we see every time we take a walk. Here I see for the first and only time works of the Jewish Wellfare and Salvation Army. I find I have underestimated the Y's efforts, because they were not able to serve us while occupied in the months of fighting, when our own rations were very slow in getting to us because of the lack of system of the french railroads, and I must say if our country depended on the system the French employ, we would not long be a nation, but several small ones.

America is a wonderful place, all foreigners think it so at least and I know it as a positive fact. Will close, with love to all. Some day we will talk instead of write. Can you imagine it?

Paul B.

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May 1919