Baker, James

Letter
Date:
February 10, 1944
To:
Mom and Dad
From:
Jim
Three Rivers, Quebec

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have just got back from New York and am broke, flat as a pancake. I expect to be going Overseas very soon as you know and I think you know that I want to take a lot of things back there with me. So I wonder if you would please wire me $35.00 to the above address... I hate to have to ask you for this, but I am really desperately flat, about the worst I have ever been I think. I had a marvelous time in New York, but it was so very expensive! Honestly, it's no wonder you hear so much about the high wages paid to clerks and workers in NY., the poor devils need every cent they earn!

New York is a thrilling city but somehow, just a little disappointing. I guess it is because one has come to expect far more from it than it is possible for it to realize, or achieve. I know I was expecting something much more startling from the Empire State Building than what I got. I will admit it was a tremendous thrill to go to the top of the building and look down and see the clouds floating 300 ft. below me as I did one rainy day. The clouds were at 800 ft. and we were over a 1000 ft. in the air! Seems strange doesn't it, that man has defied the laws of nature to such an extent. But I was far more impressed by the set of buildings know as Rockefeller Centre or ‘Radio City'. This is a complete city in itself, two blocks square and rising 50 stories in the air! It is completely autonomous, has it's own taxi and bus service, own restaurants, hotels, stores, shoe shines, etc. etc. as well as its own street (Rockefeller Plaza - the shortest street in New York, only two blocks long), its own ice rink and its own theatre - the largest in the world. I can give you no idea of the tremendous size of the RKO. Theatre. Its dimensions give no idea of its overwhelming size! It is 250 ft. from the floor to the ceiling and 400 ft. from the stage to the rear, yet so perfect are the acoustics that a whisper on the stage can be heard all over the hall. And I saw the famous ‘Rockettes' - the world's best precision dancers, fifty girls dancing in absolute precision, not one leg as much as half an inch out of line. It was wonderful! The whole thing was like living in ‘a world of tomorrow' for an afternoon. I wonder how many Americans realize the marvels in which they live, for it is marvelous!

While I was there, I went to the Metropolitan Opera House. I'll send the program, saw Paul Robeson in Othello (marvelous), met Commander Jack Dempsey whom I resemble very much, saw Fred Waring and his ‘Pennsylvanians', met Dorothy Ross - a noted cabaret star, met Dorothy Parker in a night club and had a marvelous time at a place called the ‘Village Bam'. We danced square dances and played the funniest games. It was grand fun! I met a very lovely girl in a USO. Club there - she was a hostess, there but for 3 days she constituted herself my hostess and we had a marvelous time! I could spend about 3 weeks in New York and never see one quarter of it! I have to run now but I will write later and give a more detailed description of my visit. It was such a rush I'll have to get it all straightened out in my own mind first. Must close now. Please send money as quickly as you can. I need it! Thanks a lot.

Love,

Jim







































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