Sunday, December 22, 1918 to Mother.

“It’s a rainy Sunday night in Paris and have dropped by my office to write you before going on to a reception. Know you much prefer a typewritten letter because my chirography is so hard to read and they’re easier and quicker to write.

“These continue to be social days though I’ve lived a quieter life this past week. However, this afternoon went to two teas and then, as mentioned above, will be going on to a reception in a little while. The first place I went to this P.M. was a new one for me and Madame Borel, at whose home I was later, told me that they were about as old a French family as there is and that they received no foreigners before the war. However, their chateau was saved by our troops and she is now very grateful to Americans. ….

“Had a look at King Victor Emmanuel[1] the other day, his arrival making the fourth big reception Paris has had in the last month. All these Kings look like their pictures—that’s about all I’ve seen to remark about them. Wilson’s reception is to my mind the biggest ovation any one of the bunch has received, however. The Parisians have been particularly captivated by his smile. As one old French lady explained to me the other day—“We thought of him always as a man ‘tres severe, tres glacial’[2] and we knew he was a great man but we were surprised to find he was so human.” Was reading last night “Le Cri de Paris”[3] a weekly paper that always has a lot of interesting comment in its editorials and they had one whole paragraph devoted to ‘le sourire de Wilson’[4] as they call it.

“…. We are having a big Xmas dinner of our own at our apartment in the middle of the day and that night I am going on to a dinner and dance. Suppose all the family will be gathering in Marion about tomorrow and you’ll be having the usual round of family dinners. This is my second time away from them but hope to be with you next year. I enjoyed it but it made me a bit homesick yesterday when I attended the usual Saturday luncheon with my friend, M. Pellerin. This particular one was a kind of Xmas affair with lots of family connections and old friends and this other American officer and myself were the only outsiders although Mme. Pellerin tells me that she considers Lt. Richard and myself as quite in the family now.

“Suppose John must be all right by now and has regained his strength again, it being a month since Mabel’s letter telling me he was up. The ‘flu’ seems to be pretty well over here although there are still some cases of it.”

[1] King of Italy (reign, 1900-1946)

[2] ‘very stern, very icy’

[3] “The Voice of Paris” (1887-1940 with intermittent publication during WWI), was a satirical journal that also covered sports, finance, politics, art and theater. The covers featured notable theater personalities and political cartoons.

[4] ‘Wilson’s smile’ (literally: ‘the smile of Wilson’)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s