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Letter, March 22, 1919

[Letter on stationery of the Atlantic Hotel, Nice.]

Ettelbruck Luxemburg - Mar. 22-19-

Dear Father and Mother -

I have just returned from one of the most wonderful trips I could imagine. It was so far beyond anything I ever dreamed of -that I wonder now if it was one wonderful dream instead of real. To say I've been in Cannes - Nice, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Menton and across into Italy in the Alps is saying rather a great deal for me, but to say what I have seen, is beyond anyones power of description for as they say - every since Caesars time they have been trying to describe this stretch of country and as yet no one has come near doing it justice, so considering it such a tremendous task, I'll not attempt it in any manner. Old and historical are some of the places, dating long B.C. and still in a very good state of preservation. I was thru the Royal palace at Monaco - stood upon the throne; was down under the great Cathedral in the tomb of the princes. Visited an old monument, 1750 ft above sealevel, built by Caesar when he conquered the alpine tribes in 13 B.C. This is where the city of La Turbie is now located. We were above the clouds here.

The Italian Alps are wonderful, so immense and rugged, with their caps of snow and ice. The trip from Nice to Monte Carlo I took in a racing motor boat was one long to be remembered. The Old Mediterranean was doing a bit of frolicing when we came back, & we rode those great waves like a cork, and going at a speed too, and when she would dart her nose in a great wave, we would have a shower bath, the white caps were rolling high; but her faithful 6 cylinder engine brot us thru those great waves at a speed you would think impossible under the circumstances. Then at Cannes - an old and very beautiful city, we went to the Islands of St Honorat and St Marguerite. Those places I'll do my best to describe when I get home, which I am in hopes will be very soon now. I'll quit on this line, but I can't tell it all & wont try. but dear father & mother, you can never know just what this trip has ment to me, the more I think of it the more I appreciate my good fortune of getting this place as a leave area. As a band we have been turning down our furlow quota so we could all go together, and we were all together at Nice. In the hotel shown in corner of paper - first class hotel all expenses paid while here & going and coming. We had 7 days there and 10 days traveling, 17 in all, and paid for,. Our trip took us thru Nancy - Dijon, Lyon, - down the Rhone river to Marseille, then along the Gulf to Nice. Oranges ripe - fruit cheap and best quality, great orchards of olives, cover whole mountain ranges,- its wonderful.

Nice - is also noted for its wonderful women - but Elmer and I decided that wine women and song could be found in any large city, but this would probly be our only chance to see those old & interesting places of history, so we felt we had no time whatever to waste on women - so we lived a decent & profitable life while there. Here the Y's are are doing a most wonderful work for the boys. In Nice they have the great casino out over the Mediterranean, The finest resort in the city. They have sceduled each day a trip with a guide who lectures, giving you the value of what you are seeing, and costing you nothing. Thru this way you can - by keeping on the go continually, see most every place of historical value. And Elmer was willing to go and each evening we would compare notes, look over our guide book, plan the next days trip and with out doubt, saw more of value than any others that went down from here. To have a companion like him on such a trip was almost providential, He is so well acquainted with the history, and so eager to see all that we could; and being just 2 of us, we were never hindered and seemed to meet with the best of fortune on every turn we made. The weather this time of the year is surely the best for it is beautiful and balmy spring. just a bit cold for bathing, but plenty warm for promenading, and hot for mountain climbing.

Upon return to Ettelbruck I find your letters of Feb. 17 & 25. I have many letters to answer - and I maybe will not have time to write Guys just now, for we will be on the move very soon, I guess. I am glad to get cousin Irenes address, for I have some cards I've been saving to send her.

So you have a talking machine now - well you sure have been giving me one pleasant surprise after the other. Am in hopes it will continue.

Yes, it will be like a resurrection to appear in Danville again, for once upon a time that was a place I never expected to see again. Im afraid when I get home all I'll want to do is talk. And an ordinary man can't afford such a luxury. Got a fine letter from Bertha. And I hear Fred Peterson is home and looking fine. I know how impatient you feel, and how slow time goes, but for me this leave has come just at the right time, and now there will be only a little while at a place & time won't seem so slow to me.

I am sending some leaves I found in Chateanneuf, in an old dungeon, up on that mountain peak. The geranium leaf came from the island of St- Marguerite, and within the prison walls of the old fort, where the "man of the Iron Mask" was kept for years.

I will get a list of some of our good band numbers and send them to you, and you can see if you can get them, you will find them to be the best you can get, for our chief is a good judge of music.

Well I am not looking forward to any great public demonstration when I get home, and all I want is to get there as quickly and quietly as possible. I think we have a weeks playing some where before we start home. Those bands that play at the Casino at Monte Carlo are sure fortunate. But I've seen quite enough now - home is far dearer to me than the most noted place in the world. With my love I will close - (had a shot in the arm - triple strength, & arm is getting sore) other wise I feel great - your loving son - Paul B Hendrickson.

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March 1919