Baker, James

Letter
Date:
February 11, 1941
To:
Mom
From:
Jim
Feb. 11th, 1941

Dear Mom,

I received you letter of Dec. 29th today and I am answering it right away. I am afraid this will only be a short note though because I have a terrible lot to do.

Tomorrow we are going on a three day trucking scheme. The whole Canadian Corps. is taking part in it and it will cost nearly $2,000,000. We are to move somewhere or other, take up a position, evacuate and withdraw. We leave here at 5.30 tomorrow morning so I have been busy packing and getting ready for it.

I went into town over the week end. I had a 48 hour pass. I enjoyed myself very much. First of all I called on my friend Mrs. Sayers at the American Eagle Club and she told me that her son was home for the week end and he would like to see me again. So I was to phone him at 10 o'clock Sunday morning. Then Saturday afternoon I went to a Tchaikovsky Concert in the Central Hall by the New Metropolitan Symphonic Orchestra. I also met a padre at the Salvation Army Hostel in Old Westminster Hospital. He took me up to his den and played the piano while I sang. I am to go up to see him again soon, as soon as possible. Then Saturday night I went dancing in the Paramount where I met Meg - the girl I told you about before. I had a wonderful time and after the dance she took me home and I slept there all night. Her mother and father are lovely people too. He is Welsh and very tempermental but he and I got along alright. The engagement is definitely off between Meg and Tubby and I - for one, am very glad of it for two more unevenly matched people I have never seen. I hope she has enough sense to marry John - the policeman, for he is just the right man for her. But she's got lots of time yet. She is only twenty and she likes her freedom too much. She has at least a dozen boys on tenderhooks now and is constantly adding new ones.

Then on Sunday I went to see "Tin Pan Alley" at the Marble Arch "Pavillion". It was a lovely show full of old songs and sparkling over with laughter and gaity; Betty Grable, Alice Faye, Jack Oakie were a team that is hard to beat. I also met two of my old cronies in the foyer of the theatre whom I hadn't seen for a long time as they are both in Borden. One of them told me that Sars Martin arrived safely in Victoria in time for Xmas, lucky fellow. He had something the matter with his eyes and was sent home months ago.

By the way I forgot to mention that I phoned Jean Louis on Sunday morning but he was sick in bed with flu. So our date was off. However his mother gave me a ticket to the "Hi Gang" programme with Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon. They were very funny and I laughed till I was sore. It is a very similar show to Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone. Then after that show was over another one came on right away, so we had our money's worth.

Then coming home I got on the wrong bus and ended up at Addiscombe instead of Caterham and consequently didn't get home til 12.30 AM. - had to sleep in the RAP all night because Mrs. Barnard locked me out. She didn't expect me home until Monday morning. There were ten letters waiting for me when I got home and a parcel from you dated Jan. 19th. But tell Dad that there were no gloves in it. He had a pair marked in the declaration but I couldn't find them. The cake was lovely and so was everything else. I have given the coffee and the peanut butter to Mrs. Barnard for she has given me so much; I feel I owe it to her.

I got a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Foote in which they enclosed a snapshot; the one you took on New Year's Day. They are looking much better than I expected. I must write her again. Say you certainly have had a round of parties. I only wish I was there to enjoy them all with you. And I also wish you wouldn't embarrass me so much with all your praises.

You know I seem to be the world's most unlucky fellow when it comes to weddings. I have never been to one in my life and have never had the opportunity of going. And then when I go away - almost immediately, everyone whose wedding I should normally have been able to attend starts getting married. I guess I won't go to a wedding till I go to my own.

Here's a joke Bebe Daniels pulled last night. "Why is it that whenever Mussolini goes to a picture show, he always sits in a front row seat?" I'll tell you the answer at the end of this letter.

I also got letters from Gladys Hoye, Annie Slessor and Aunt Bessie, but Blake never wrote this time. I hope he is alright. He said he was going to send a Xmas parcel but I am afraid it has been sunk as I never go it.

Well I guess that is all. This letter has turned out longer than I expected. Cheerio for now

Love to you all,

Jim

PS...........answer is:
"Because that is the only way he's sure to have the Italians behind him".




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