In an earlier letter, Cynthia told her mother of a plan to go to Detroit, Michigan and Windsor Ontario, over the border in Canada, with a more congenial companion, Pam, another English exchange teacher, than the older Tyneside couple, the Atkinsons. They would have taken a weekend, involving trains and buses, and late November is not the ideal time to be exploring like tourists, but the details emerge in a further letter. This is just a note to her mother to show her pretty writing paper and enclose a few oddments. It’s interesting showing trains in the pre-Amtrak days with a nod to a very successful advertising campaign!
26 November 1946
My dearest Mummy,
I got these darling bits of paper and envelopes in Canada, and I didn’t have to pay duty when I bought them back to America. They were so sweet though, that I thought I must write on one for you to see, and I’m enclosing some things that might amuse you.
- A letter from my faithful admirer, Ivy, in Cambridge. She has written quite a few times, and I write once in a while & send P.C.s and movie mags. but her letters tickle me to bits, & I know they’ll amuse you too. They remind me a bit of my “girlish” letters from York!
- A little map of a few of the states to show you where various places are. I feel quite superior now, as I know where these states are round about, but I’m always getting floored over ones like Nevada!
- A picture of a little kitten! There’s a story attached to that- coming home from Detroit Pam & I set out for the Station to catch the 5.40 train. We finally got a bus & the driver said “Which station – Union?” So we said yes, having no idea, & got dumped off at a dark dingy place we’d never seen before! However, we trotted in & found it was the wrong station, but that there was a 5.40 train we could catch on the C&O line (Chesapeake and Ohio) instead of the one we intended to take on the B&O (Baltimore & Ohio)! It was a nice comfortable train & not crowded & when we went for dinner, we had the place nearly to ourselves, & a very nice attentive middle-age coloured waiter looked after us. We had a lovely dinner, & he kept asking us if we enjoyed it, & at the end he brought us little finger bowls with water in paper cups with this kitten at the bottom. Of course we were intrigued & he gave us each one & apparently they’re a family of cats in the C&O advertising- this is the mother Chessie & the father is Peak & there are twin kittens. Father was away in the Army & is just back with all his medals & Mother is sleeping soundly in a berth again! He was such a nice waiter & seemed well educated & so interested in England that we had a nice time! I am sending you Chessie to keep for me as a souvenir! Bon souvenir as Ludwik says!
Lots of love from