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Letter, January 14, 1919

[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A. Received February 4, 1919.]

Jan 4, 1919

Ettelbruck, Lux.

My dear Cecil-

I guess it is more than time for me to be writing to you, but I seem to be busy all the time doing absolutely nothing and I am not doing my part in the correspondence. I believe you are writing to me now under greater difficulties than I am. So it's with, rather a feeling of shame for my neglence that I endevor to answer your letters of Dec 3-11&18. I think since writing to you, I've played in the presence of the Grande Duchess of Luxemburg at her castle - Colmar-Berg. This is the first I've had anything to do in the presence of Royalties. And I wont feel at all bad if it is the last. We played in the great court of the castle. Gave them a nice concert and they showed us their appreciation by giving us good old champagne. Also paid us a high tribute in their words of thanks. In all it was a pleasant afternoon. But we felt highly insulted because the princesses would not flirt with us. I guess we rightfully deserve our reputation for nerve.

But must say this - in regards to the castle and grounds - that nothing has been left undone that may add to the attractiveness and beauty of the place. It is on a very picturesque hill side, with artificial lake, winding drive, leading up to the castle, lined with evergreens on each side, beautiful walks thru the grounds, and a great glass conservatory, everything it seems a person could wish for. But it seems such a formal life, being waited on by , gold braid medal bedicked, swallow tailed butlers, I would call it an artificial life. Especially when you think of what we have lived like and done, things we've realy done our selves. Makes them seem like leeches on society, living off of the works of the "many ignoble, who were ment to labor for the noble few" as some of the royalties are taught to believe. Well the "many ignoble" are awakening and coming to realize they have as much right to rule as the all highest, when it comes to being divinely appointed for that position, and I guess if reports are correct, Marie Adelaide is a private person now.

Just the same she is the owner of a personal fortune of some 37 millions of dollars and owns the old castle at Vianden, which was built in 711 by a Dutch Royal family of which, the present Duchess is a descendant.

That old castle is a monument to all mediaeval ideals. Guarding - as you might say - a mountain pass, and as impregnable against ancient war methods as a battle ship is against an air rifle. you become aware of its imposing strength as you go climbing up the drive that leads thru the heavy arch entrances - of which there are 3 or 4 - befor you get inside the battlements, and you note the steep, solid rock it is built on. It seems to be the crown of a mighty rock, you can hardly tell where the solid part stops & the masonry begins. You can hardly believe your eyes at the thickness of the walls. And some of the remains enables you to picture in your mind, some thing near what its one time grandeur must have been.

The Chapel, as picture shows is still very beautiful and majestic, the center is hallow, and for a reason. The great room below, with its mighty arches and pillars supporting the chapel, is connected with the dungeons & prison cells, by tunnels and prisoners were brought to this under chamber to attend services and could hear the priest by the lower room opening into the chapel by this center place.

The scenery from this castle is as beautiful as any person could ever wish to see - The river & town below and the beautiful valley stretching out and winding around those mamoth hills. To stand up there on one of those great parapets and look out across that wonderful scene, has a tendency to take your breath.

Seeing ang [sic] going all thru this old place has been a realization of one of my fondest dreams. Since the time I first heard the story of Jack the Giant killer, I've had a longing to see one of these places and as time went on - the longing has increased. I let my fancy run away with reason and for one afternoon I lived with the knights and ladies of old. And had an extremely pleasant afternoon.

Well I will come back to facts & answer your letters - as I started out to do and let myself be side tracked.

I am much better pleased with just the rank of musician, as I would be with either corp. or serg. in some other branch and as far as money goes, I get just as much as I did when a noncom.

I must say I am well pleased to see the way you handle the typewriter. I know how hard it is to write a letter on one. for until you become very much used to it, it will have a tendency to take your mind off of what you want to say. But stay right at work on your studies, they may be slow, but you are bound to benefit in the end, and that is what you want. But I am not becoming so great on my trumpet as you might expect, for my work is so different from solo work that I will probly be slow on it. And my dear little girl, you did have a wonderfull dream. I have similar ones about every nite. But they dont seem to get me there. I imagine if I ever get home I will keep pincing myself to see if it is a dream or if I realy & truly am there.

On May 2 our div. begins sending its bands to Monte Carlo for 2 week leaves. Bands to be judged and their turn comes in accordance to their rank in the contest. there are 8 in this Div.

The emblem you mentioned in one of your letters is put on the paper, from the emblem I engraved on my souvenir ring.

Well little girl I must close tonite and send this right along. Tell mother I am sending her a box (some trinkets) I wish to have kept together until I get home. Write soon - With love to all - I am your Pal

Paul B Hendrickson, Hdq. Co. 129. Inf. A.E.F.

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January 1919