July 1, 1945
No. 40 (continued)
Had an interesting talk with General Wilson for a short while before supper and then again after supper. I knew that he had known Lois’ father some years ago, but did not know that he had been at U.C. with him, that he had known Lois when she was a few years old and, in fact, had actually gone out with the present Mrs. McFarland before she became Mrs. McFarland.
He is quite a different person than I expected to find. His administration in Casablanca, and again in Algiers and Naples, did not come in for any favorable comments from the multitude — there were always things such as fines for buttons open, with officers spotted around town to pick up violators of small, stupid rules, etc.. It was largely because of some of that stuff that the Base-Sections were hated by the combat men, because they ran into such nonsense when on a couple of days leave from the front. Anyway, Wilson may never have seen a lot of those orders — they may have been perpetrated by his staff without his full knowledge. Anyway, that is the impression one gets talking to him, for he seems like a pretty straightforward and not a “spit & polish” sort of guy.
Regarding Lois, his story was interesting in that he didn’t know much of the story until shortly before taking her home. He had been given the impression by one of his staff that she had been transferred out of the 59th because she was in love with a Sgt. in the outfit, and it wasn’t until he reached Dijon that he learned she was married. And then it was partly he who encouraged her to come to see us when we were at Epinal in November. There are always a lot of “ifs.” He was angry with Lois for not having realized that he was her family’s friend when we were in Casablanca, for had she done so and had we met him, he says he would have really fixed us up there, as he actually did do for some others, apparently. He had several apartments, in fact, he bought two that he still owns in Casablanca, and had we only known him then, he would have given us one of these, given us a car, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Then things might have been different — but, there is the big “if,” as I said.
We were talking about home-towns, etc. and I discovered that General Frederick was born on Nob Hill. He said that his father was Chief of Medicine at Stanford from 1916-1930.
Had a scrumptious dinner consisting of fresh lettuce salad with excellent dressing, ham cooked perfectly, corn fritters with pineapple, and, to top it off, strawberry-shortcake made with strawberries from the garden in back of the house! Asked Frederick about his cook and found that said cook was a Chinese kid by the name of Quon – where from? San Francisco, of course! In fact Quon had been a cook in private places in S.F. before entering the Army.
Wilson is a bosom friend of our new President, and, since he is supposed to have left today for the U.S., you will undoubtedly find that name added to Truman’s White House Staff in some capacity.
Had, all in all, a most pleasant evening. Frederick had asked me to stay overnight at his house, and later in the evening was extremely embarrassed by a phone call that the Foreign Minister to Switzerland (anyway some sort of Minister to Switzerland) was on the way, so he had to make arrangements for me to stay over at headquarters rather than his residence.
Frederick’s Packard took me to the C.P. where I had a good sleep in a comfortable bed, and then the next morning Frederick sent me back here in a jeep.
Loads of love,
Watch for more of this letter
July 2, 1945