Letter from Gertrude Sanford Legendre, August 29, 1944

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    R 9 12 44 Aug 29,1944 Dear Sidney, This has been such a hectic month in the office I have not had time to write any letters. So much has happened in the news-its been terribly exciting. Among otherthings there was a party at my house for "The Retreads" of 1918. The flyers,who flew with Bruce Hopper in the last war. This consisted of about a dozen Generals and a few Colonels to boot. 24 in all. As luck would have it the weather held out with no rain to mar the dinner in the garden. I had a U shape table with very fine flower decor -ation, lights in the fig tree, candles on the table and small lights alongh the side of the patio that looked like landing lights on an an field. It was terribly attractive. Spaatz, Anderson, Brereton, McDonald, Royce, Curtis -Donavan wereall there to say nothing of loads of others including our Ambassador. The speaches were really wonderful, and the army produced the best food you have ever tasted. We started with melon, followed by lobsters than filet mignon,salad, icecream and cake. Coffeein the pine living room- We had a movie called When next I se Paris which hit the nail right on the head as this was the day Paris was liberated,and we were celebrating it too. The picture was perfect- a short one of Old Paris as we all knew it , and then the tred of german solglers over the scene and all the way through a girl's voice singing "When [next] I see Paris", then the Allead armies landing on the coast of France for the liberation. After the short movie Julie 6 Galespy[my crooning Red Cross girl]sang April in Paris and "Lele Marlene," and it was really a perfect evening. I think everyone had a swell time. I made everyone sign in my BUZZ BOMB book, and we even had some photos taken by an army photograper which I shall show you some day. Those Big Shots are all really swell men, and it gives one quite a kick to know the war is being carried out by such able good fellows. I think Spaatz is tops. My Gen. D. made the best speach of all I thought,which ofcourse was entirely extemporanious,and he speaks so easily its delightful. Everyone made good speeches,and drank toasts to the Young Pilots of to-day, and the missing ones that had fallen out of formation. we were only three women at the party. Effie Hopper-Bruce's wife who really gave it, me, and Julie Galespie who was staying with me and sang. The next night was Bruce Hopper's birthday so I had four for dinner-Bruce , his wife, Julian Allen, Ted Curtis and Me. I called it the"Retread of the Retread"and we ate exactly the same dinnerall over again. There was so much left over. Added to that was a birthday cake and a bottle of wine. I wrote a limerick to him,and I think he loved it. Bruce is a history professor at Harvard. He is the Historian for the ninth Air- force over here and a charming man. I got to know them both because it is they that found the house I am in and told me about it. I am staying on in it through the month of September which is perfect as I hated the idea of having to pack and move out. I believe soon we may all bemoving , andits a bore to pack twice. [End Page 1] 2 I had my off weekendthis last week end and went down to Raymond Guest's in the country at Wentworth and played 18 holes of golf Sunday afternoon. Sat I went racing at Ascot believe it or not and won fifteen pounds on my bets. The weather was wonderful, really hot andsunny and I lay out in a bathing- suit all Sunday morning and got a terrific burn. Bing Crosby was here too and an english girl. We sat on the terrace after dinner and Bing sang to us for about two hpurs. It really was perfect. He playes a swell game of golf too.The caddies all had to have his autograph and we had alot of laughs over that. I am having him to dinner thursday and hope he will play the piano [for] us. King Douglas has a ranch next to Bings out at Rancho SantaFe so I have King and Adele Astair Cavendish and a few others , and it ought to be fun.Do you remember how we liked that country out there? Town is very deserted as everyone is on the other side now getting in on all the French jubilation and excitement. Being a mere civilian female I am outcast and much discriminated a last when it comes to going anywhere. It never was a help to be a woman iiat I could ever see, and ln a war least of all. I expect to hear big tales from David and Lester about all they have seen. I was offwred a ride to Paris in a jeep the other day but ofcourse was not allowed to swing it. Well so it goes. I hear the Jap war is going almost as well as the European one and should be over soon too. I hope this is true. The buzzbombs have fallen off considerably due to our accuracy withh ackack, and we have not had nearly as many over as we have had in the past. I amso used to them now- they really dont bother me at all, and although I sleep entirely alone in the house- I sleep very well. Every morning as I take my regular route across the corner of the Park, down Hillst. and so to Berkeley Sq. I pass the same big fat old colly lying in an open doorway of a little garden. He is so old he barely has the energy to look up at me when I stop to pat him. He is such a nice old freindly animal and I feel so sorry for him as I feel he barely can drag around and might be happier if dead. I wonder what he thinks of the buzzbombs, and glass all over the ground. Talking of glass- you have never seen anything like the speed of clearing away debris. It is truly amazing. The day afteran awful mess where glass is thick everywhere and rubble all over the street- the AFB people will clean it all up so traffic can pass an almost emmediately others are putting cotton cloth over the gaping windo[ows] The one that fell a b_lock away from my office about a week ago was a sensational job for speed. They have that work here down cold now,and everyone hops to and does their special job whether it is digging, clearing, fire-fighting, and first-aid. Its very impressive. Everyone is tired out - ofcourse,but the end of it all is in sight, and it is most encourraglng. Pistol Packing Patton has certainly redeemed himself with his li[g]htning advance on the Continent has he not? Its been a sensational show The Liberation of Paris must have been amazing and I certainly wish I could have wittnessed some of the scenes of jubilation. The flowers and wine b being showered upon the troops, and all the french dressed in their best to receive the advancing army. I expect to see Larry Lowman soon and it will be fun to hear all the home news. With loads of love to you my darling. Always- Gertrude Legendre [End Page 2]
  • Image 01
    R 9 12 44 Aug 29,1944 Dear Sidney, This has been such a hectic month in the office I have not had time to write any letters. So much has happened in the news-its been terribly exciting. Among otherthings there was a party at my house for "The Retreads" of 1918. The flyers,who flew with Bruce Hopper in the last war. This consisted of about a dozen Generals and a few Colonels to boot. 24 in all. As luck would have it the weather held out with no rain to mar the dinner in the garden. I had a U shape table with very fine flower decor -ation, lights in the fig tree, candles on the table and small lights alongh the side of the patio that looked like landing lights on an an field. It was terribly attractive. Spaatz, Anderson, Brereton, McDonald, Royce, Curtis -Donavan wereall there to say nothing of loads of others including our Ambassador. The speaches were really wonderful, and the army produced the best food you have ever tasted. We started with melon, followed by lobsters than filet mignon,salad, icecream and cake. Coffeein the pine living room- We had a movie called When next I se Paris which hit the nail right on the head as this was the day Paris was liberated,and we were celebrating it too. The picture was perfect- a short one of Old Paris as we all knew it , and then the tred of german solglers over the scene and all the way through a girl's voice singing "When [next] I see Paris", then the Allead armies landing on the coast of France for the liberation. After the short movie Julie 6 Galespy[my crooning Red Cross girl]sang April in Paris and "Lele Marlene," and it was really a perfect evening. I think everyone had a swell time. I made everyone sign in my BUZZ BOMB book, and we even had some photos taken by an army photograper which I shall show you some day. Those Big Shots are all really swell men, and it gives one quite a kick to know the war is being carried out by such able good fellows. I think Spaatz is tops. My Gen. D. made the best speach of all I thought,which ofcourse was entirely extemporanious,and he speaks so easily its delightful. Everyone made good speeches,and drank toasts to the Young Pilots of to-day, and the missing ones that had fallen out of formation. we were only three women at the party. Effie Hopper-Bruce's wife who really gave it, me, and Julie Galespie who was staying with me and sang. The next night was Bruce Hopper's birthday so I had four for dinner-Bruce , his wife, Julian Allen, Ted Curtis and Me. I called it the"Retread of the Retread"and we ate exactly the same dinnerall over again. There was so much left over. Added to that was a birthday cake and a bottle of wine. I wrote a limerick to him,and I think he loved it. Bruce is a history professor at Harvard. He is the Historian for the ninth Air- force over here and a charming man. I got to know them both because it is they that found the house I am in and told me about it. I am staying on in it through the month of September which is perfect as I hated the idea of having to pack and move out. I believe soon we may all bemoving , andits a bore to pack twice. [End Page 1] 2 I had my off weekendthis last week end and went down to Raymond Guest's in the country at Wentworth and played 18 holes of golf Sunday afternoon. Sat I went racing at Ascot believe it or not and won fifteen pounds on my bets. The weather was wonderful, really hot andsunny and I lay out in a bathing- suit all Sunday morning and got a terrific burn. Bing Crosby was here too and an english girl. We sat on the terrace after dinner and Bing sang to us for about two hpurs. It really was perfect. He playes a swell game of golf too.The caddies all had to have his autograph and we had alot of laughs over that. I am having him to dinner thursday and hope he will play the piano [for] us. King Douglas has a ranch next to Bings out at Rancho SantaFe so I have King and Adele Astair Cavendish and a few others , and it ought to be fun.Do you remember how we liked that country out there? Town is very deserted as everyone is on the other side now getting in on all the French jubilation and excitement. Being a mere civilian female I am outcast and much discriminated a last when it comes to going anywhere. It never was a help to be a woman iiat I could ever see, and ln a war least of all. I expect to hear big tales from David and Lester about all they have seen. I was offwred a ride to Paris in a jeep the other day but ofcourse was not allowed to swing it. Well so it goes. I hear the Jap war is going almost as well as the European one and should be over soon too. I hope this is true. The buzzbombs have fallen off considerably due to our accuracy withh ackack, and we have not had nearly as many over as we have had in the past. I amso used to them now- they really dont bother me at all, and although I sleep entirely alone in the house- I sleep very well. Every morning as I take my regular route across the corner of the Park, down Hillst. and so to Berkeley Sq. I pass the same big fat old colly lying in an open doorway of a little garden. He is so old he barely has the energy to look up at me when I stop to pat him. He is such a nice old freindly animal and I feel so sorry for him as I feel he barely can drag around and might be happier if dead. I wonder what he thinks of the buzzbombs, and glass all over the ground. Talking of glass- you have never seen anything like the speed of clearing away debris. It is truly amazing. The day afteran awful mess where glass is thick everywhere and rubble all over the street- the AFB people will clean it all up so traffic can pass an almost emmediately others are putting cotton cloth over the gaping windo[ows] The one that fell a b_lock away from my office about a week ago was a sensational job for speed. They have that work here down cold now,and everyone hops to and does their special job whether it is digging, clearing, fire-fighting, and first-aid. Its very impressive. Everyone is tired out - ofcourse,but the end of it all is in sight, and it is most encourraglng. Pistol Packing Patton has certainly redeemed himself with his li[g]htning advance on the Continent has he not? Its been a sensational show The Liberation of Paris must have been amazing and I certainly wish I could have wittnessed some of the scenes of jubilation. The flowers and wine b being showered upon the troops, and all the french dressed in their best to receive the advancing army. I expect to see Larry Lowman soon and it will be fun to hear all the home news. With loads of love to you my darling. Always- Gertrude Legendre [End Page 2]
Title:
Letter from Gertrude Sanford Legendre, August 29, 1944
Creator:
Legendre, Gertrude Sanford, 1902-2000
Date:
1944-08-29
Description:
Letter from Gertrude Legendre to her husband, Sidney Legendre, regarding a dinner party she helped throw for generals and colonels and other social events she has attended.
Collection:
Gertrude Sanford Legendre Papers, 1844-1996
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Manuscripts
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Legendre, Gertrude Sanford, 1902-2000, Legendre, Sidney Jennings, 1903-1948
Topical Subject:
World War, 1939-1945
Geographic Subject:
London (England), London (England) History Bombardment, 1940-1945
Language:
English
Series:
Gertrude Sanford Legendre Papers: Correspondence
Shelving Locator:
Mss 182
Internet Media Type:
image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications:
300 dpi, 24-bit depth color, Epson Expression 10000XL, Archival Masters are tiffs.
Copyright Status Statement:
Copyright © College of Charleston Libraries.
Access Information:
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