Mary Metcalfe

Document Type

Personal Letter


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Written on Letterhead from Blackstone Hotel, 1016 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington D.C.

Sunday Nov. 28th

Dearest Mommie,

Well, I am glad to see this week come to an end. The work has given me some good experience in the kitchen, but the hours are not what I would choose. Two o’clock in the afternoon to ten o’clock at night doesn’t give you much time to rest.

First you will want to know that I saw Davie today. I wired him to come to Wash. as early as possible this morning. He didn’t get the wire because he was in Fredericksburg, so I didn’t hear from him + didn’t know what was up, and I had to be at work at 2 o’clock.

At about 5:30 this afternoon who should pop into the Service Club but Davie. He was going to meet Jim Hook + his wife + her sister at the Willard about 7 o’clock. I managed to get out of going back to the Service Club for the rest of the evening so I met them there + we went to the Occidental for dinner. After dinner we sat + chatted at the Willard for about an hour then I came home + they left to go back to Quantico. We saw Audrey Stifel at dinner + spoke to her.

It was interesting getting this piece about Charlotte Rantoul because she was out at the Univ. + told us all about her experiences on the ship + in Egypt. Also she was at Aunt Mamie Oliver’s our day to see them as she was with a niece of Mr. Oliver’s who is also in the R. C. + was also in Egypt at the same time. His niece is still there. As this article says Charlotte is on the high seas again now bound for some place. She speaks with quite a British accent. I think you many know that Vera August is married to her brother.

I started to work on Tues. + spent my time from 2 until 7 making sandwiches, coffee, washing dishes and serving over the counter. The next day I did the same thing. We were quite busy so there was plenty of dish washing to be done. A nice young soldier named David Pritchard pitched in + helped me dry dishes as I washed + helped pouring coffee until we stopped at 8:45. It is midnight + I must go to sleep as we are going out to the Univ. to get our next assign. tomorrow at 9 o’clock.

Tues. Nov. 30th

You have my wire by this time saying that my nest assignment is New York. There are about 30 of us leaving tomorrow at 1:00. We shall be in N.Y. until we are called back to Wash. to clear for overseas + we were told that most of us would be in N.Y. for Xmas. My address will now be Midston House-22 E. 38th St. N.Y. We shall probably not be living here but this is headquarters in N.Y. I really think you should come East + visit Aunt Catherine.

Now to get on with last week. I was going up to Thompson’s to get something to eat + come back but my nice young soldier boy came with me + the first thing I knew he had hailed a taxi + he took me to Child’s Restaurant for dinner then to see “Jeanie” an English light comedy film which was excellent, (This was Wed.)

Then came Thanksgiving + I arrived for work at 10 o’clock. My soldier was on hand again and helped all day long with K. P. We boiled + baked potatoes, made coffee, washed celery, peeled the boiled potatoes, + generally fixed the dinner which the Lions Club donated to the Service Club. At 3 o’clock we served the dinner to about 150 boys. I stayed that night until 10:30 working a picture puzzle + talking to the boys. There seems to be more sailors + marines who come to this Club than soldiers. Mother Strad is in charge of the canteen. She is 79 years but she seems more like 65. All the boys are crazy about her + she is so cute with them. She was overseas in the last war.

On Friday Maxine Bruce came to work. When we went out to dinner that night we had one of the best steaks I have eaten for a long time. On Sat. night a nice young sailor who been our K. P. all day came out to dinner with us, then walked us up to the street car when we left at 10 o’clock.

We went out to the Univ. yesterday morning + were told that we were to go to N.Y. Most of the girls who were at P. H. (1.) are going to N.Y. We have to take all of our luggage with us to N.Y. including our foot lockers. Went back to the hotel + did some washing + getting my clothes together. After that the pictures arrived + I took them down to H + E + chose the pictures. I couldn’t order very big sizes on account of price. I got one of each of us alone + three each of the 2 group. Please give a group one to Gran + Auntie for Xmas, one to Janis + Bud, and one to everyone in Unionville as presents from Davie + me. These mini pictures set me back $50 so I hope they turn out well. Merry Xmas to all. It’s too bad you wanted so many poses as each pose costs $5 extra.

At 4 o’clock yesterday we had to be back at the Univ. for a meeting for instructions for N.Y.

Went to dinner at the Statler coffee shop with Ellen Thorson, Janet Ramage + Bebe Cadwalader. The latter + Marian Mahn have a 3 week assign. at the Embassy Club.

I worked out at the Univ. this morning helping one of the teachers. Have just finished lunch + I must rush home + get packed as we must have all luggage at station tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock.

Lots + lots of love,


P.S. Got your letter this morning. Am having the pictures sent directly to you + they should arrive in about ten days.


  1. Camp Patrick Henry

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