Sunday, April 14, 2013

July 21, 1954 Back in the U.S.A.

July 21, 1954

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Here we are back in the U.S.A. again.  We are in a hotel in San Francisco and leave here at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow (Thurs.).  It will get us to Chicago at 11:00 a.m. Saturday.  Part of our baggage has been checked thru and part will go by freight.  We will have to stay in Normal with Wattersons until our checked baggage arrives so we won't know for a while just when we'll be home.

Our trip across was very nice.  The ship was so clean and the food was good.  We were treated royally by the stewards and the kids had a good time.  It was 4:00 in the afternoon when we went under the Golden Gate bridge but by the time all the inspectors of various sorts got thru with everything it was after 7:00.  We got thru customs without a hitch.  They didn't open a single thing and we expected them to rummage thru a lot of it.  I didn't care for them seeing what I had but I didn't want to have to repack things.

I can still feel the sway of the ship so I want to go to bed and sleep it off.  We'll write from Normal the first of next week.  We are all fine and anxious to see all of you."

               Love to all,


Bonnie's silk PJs, made in the spring of '54 in Kyoto

NOTES: On July 21, 1954 the Geneva Conference issued its final declaration of terms of a cease fire in Indo-China. Representatives from Viet Nam (both the Democratic Republic and the State of VN), Cambodia, Laos, USSR, Peoples Republic of China, France, UK and USA participated. Still there was no lasting agreement on peace in Korea.

Note the return address on the letter above--Gartland Hotel.  There were 2 Gartlands  in San Francisco.  The history of one is quite notorious.  Having become a low-rent residential hotel, an arsonist who was reportedly the landlord, set fire to the building in 1975 which resulted in the loss of 14 lives. 

The Gartland Hotel at 16th & Valencia (center of photo, 1957)

Images courtesy of
The other Gartland, corner of Larkin & Geary, is still there, although renamed The Hartland and now providing housing for the homeless (1921 image courtesy of UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library)

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