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Date: October 17th 1943

U. S. O. Center, Buffalo, U. S. A

October 17, 1943

Dear Mom,

I'm at a U. S. O. Center in Buffalo. It's really terrific here. I'll by to tell you about it in this letter.

We left St. Thomas yesterday afternoon and arrived here in the evening. We went right to this place, and they sent us to a hostel where we got free lodging for the night. Before we went to bed we walked around a little, along the main streets of the city, finally going to a movie since it was too dark to see very much.

In the morning we did something I may never get a chance to do again- to see Niagara Falls, and not only to see them but to actually feel them, and practically drink the water. After quite a lengthy bus trip to the Falls, we looked at them from special walkways built for that purpose. It was a good thing that we were wearing raincoats for the mist from the Falls was just like rain. When the sun shone through the mist between the Rainbow Bridge and the Horseshoe Falls, we could see a complete rainbow.

Then we went into the building from which we would visit "The Cave of the Winds". We thought it would be just a matter of walking into the Cave, but we had to take off every stitch of our clothing and put on a sort of grey woolen two-piece underwear, over which we wore oilskins, with hoods. On our feet we wore odd-looking cloth mocassins. As we entered the building we saw two fellows in that garb, and they reminded me of eskimos.

We went down an elevator to the board walks that went right out under the foaming Falls. You can imagine how cold the water was. The spray almost knocked us off the catwalks. We couldn't look up or we'd drink a gallon of water. Since it is almost winter, I was told that the walkways are being removed tomorrow, so we were lucky to come here today.

Before we went under the Falls, we met a lone U. S. soldier, and he was with us after our trip when we bought a few pennants and souvenir postcards. He went with us to a swell restaurant and had quite a meal.

Next morning, for variety, we went to a nearby restaurant for breakfast, which was paid for by a kind gentleman, whom we had never met. We had put in our order, and just before he left he asked the waiter what we had, and so he paid for the meal. Pretty nice, eh ?

We then took a trip to the Buffalo zoo, With it's polar bears, black bears, eag1es, beavers, birds of all types, monkies, snakes, 1ions, leopards, baboons, tigers, and an elephant, enough to fill a book. There was a sign in the zoo that said that the city was not named after the animal, but from a mispronunciation of the French words: Beau Fleuve (Beautiful River ).

As it was getting late we took a bus part way, and while we were waiting for our second bus, along comes a car with a man and his wife, and two American soldiers. They picked us up and took us right to the door of the hostel.

Last night, at about 11 :30 p.m., we looked in on a dance here at the hostel. While we were riding on the bus from the zoo, the driver told us that he played the drums in the band that was playing that evening, so that's how we knew about the dance. After supper we played a very odd game, something like hockey, using movable arms in a fairly large box.

There's a chance I'll get home for Christmas. I received the shaving brush and the skates. Thanks!

Love, Lewis.