22 April, 2012

22 April 1945 (2nd letter)

22 April, 1945      1400

My dearest Sweetheart –

I guess I turn out to be a punk fiancé from point of view of writing – every time I take a trip, darling, but honestly, I do the best I can. But I’m a bit more rested now and I feel like writing right now.

So far – we haven’t seen a heck of a lot of the city – although it is very pretty. It doesn’t hold a candle to Paris, however, although the people are a helluva lot nicer and more sincere. Last night being Saturday, we had nothing to do. But I had an address given to me by the Prince de Mèrode when we stayed at his place. At that time – he said that if we ever got to Brussels, we ought to look up a friend of his there. Well – it turned out to be 20 miles South of Brussels and the friend was a Countess de Moerkerke. So we called, got ourselves invited, and went out. It was a beautiful place and just as you see it on the card. The countess was a charming woman, very tall and knows how to entertain. There were several RAF and British Army officers there too, from a nearby base. But we were the only Americans. Well Bruce and I had had some Cognac and were feeling pretty good – so we proceeded to act like Americans – informal and free. The British – as usual – were stiff, but before long – the Countess and her husband were spending the evening with us – especially after they found we were from deep in Germany. So, darling, we went out to the jeep and brought in a bottle of the German cognac we had been drinking and when they saw the German label – they decided to drink, too. They hate the Germans fiercely. A detachment of them had stayed at the chateau and scrammed when the Americans came thru – but not before setting a fire to a wing of her place. Anyway – the evening wore on – and we were feeling pretty high – all of us. We got ready to go about midnight – and the Countess wouldn’t hear of it. We sat up, then, until 0130 and then were shown to a large room. You’d love to see the place, darling. It’s furnished beautifully. And if we ever come back here – you and I – we have another fine place to visit, because I told the Countess about us and that we would marry right after the war – and she invited us to visit her – if we come over.

This morning we got up at 0900, had breakfast, had a look around the estate and got back here in time for lunch. We’ll probably take a nap this afternoon, and then look around. I’d like to get some tickets to the opera – if anything good is playing. Being Sunday – everything is closed up tight.

I saw a newspaper for the 1st time in a couple of days – and the news is consistently good – but I hope the war doesn’t end until we get back – because I’d like to be with the troops when that time comes – and not back here.

I suppose, darling, you must wonder how much I think about you and us – when I’m traveling around the continent so. Believe me, dear, I don’t go anywhere – or see anything but what I picture you with me or wish you were along to see everything with me – and that goes for every minute of the day. All I can say, sweetheart, is that regardless of what I’m doing or where I am – I love you as strongly and as constantly as always – and some day – when I get back – I’ll tell you all about the places I’ve been to – and try to relive everything – but with you.

And now Bruce wants to get going – so I’ll stop dear. I hope all is well at home. My love to the folks – and remember –

My love is yours for always –
Greg

Here is the above letter, as written on hotel stationery

Here is a post card of Houtain-le-Val, the estate Greg visited,
with the owner's name and address on the back


Hountain-le-Val Castle Today
Still owned by descendents of Count Moerkerke

Below are two pictures Greg collected and two photos he took.

City Hall, Brussels, Belgium, April 1945

Photo Greg took of a museum, Brussels, Belgium, April 1945
Now the botanical Exposition

Photo collected of museum, Brussels, Belgium, April 1945
Now the Botanical Exposition

Botanical Exposition Today

American Officers Leave Club, Brussels, Belgium
April 1945

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