Jolson, Al, d. 1950.; Cohan, George M. (George Michael), 1878-1942
Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, March 24, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.
Hotel McAlpin New York City [Mar. 24, 1918]
Would you believe it? I am here at this joint along with four other Missouri guys. We are having the time of our innocent young lives lookin' out the window up Broadway. We got here at Camp Merritt at eleven-thirty last night. They assigned us quarters and we put in a very pleasantly cold night. Got up this morning, had breakfast of ham and eggs at a cafeteria in the camp, and then got permission to come to the city. Got a taxi, five of us did, and drove thirteen miles to 130th Street, rode the ferry across, and then began hunting for the subway downtown. They told us it was only a block from the ferry. We walked around and hunted and finally decided to take the elevated, which was nearby about four stories up. Well the elevated turned out to be the subway! The devilish thing runs out of the ground about 120th Street and runs over a low place on stilts. We couldn't recognize it as the subway. We have all had shines, shaves, baths, and are now in here to go to church somewhere this afternoon. We haven't decided whether it will be Al Jolson or George Cohan. I have an idea we'll flip a coin and decide. Camp Merritt is a cantonment with steam heat, hot baths (when there's a fire) and private rooms for officers. We missed the boat and may have to stay a week. That will be awful, won't it. As it is we don't have to go back to camp until 4:00 P.M. tomorrow (Monday)
They are waiting on me and I've got to run. Will write tomorrow.
Yours always, Harry