October 31, 1918 – Letter to Robert’s father:
The thought occurred to me that if you want a free trip to Europe where you could do your bit in the war and also have the opportunity of seeing Europe, the chance is yours. The Y.M.C.A. needs men like you who can afford to work here without salary. The work is not hard and is only for the period of the war.
They are advertising now in America for three thousand men. I saw an ad in The Outlook Sept. 4. I am serious about it. Think it over. The war will not last very long and when it is over you could go to Scotland and then back to Lake Rebecca. All your expenses would be paid by the Y.M.C.A. while the war lasts. Perhaps you could get with the 35th Division. You said in your letter that you would be willing to put in a hitch in the trenches for a chance to visit Scotland. You don’t even have to do that with the Y.M. Think it over.
Have done some sight seeing here and have taken a few pictures. They are not all finished yet but I will enclose a couple in this letter and some more later if they are good.
Writing as often as I do there is little news. The Y.M. address that will give you the information is: E.D. Pouch, 347 Madison Ave., N.Y., c/o Y.M.C.A. Foreign Service Bureau.
Love to all
I think this one is so funny. I thought Robert was just leading off the letter with a joke, almost teasing his father about coming over to Europe. But his sales pitch took up the whole front page, and eventually the entire letter – he was absolutely serious about this.
I can just see him sitting on his too-soft bed in the Hotel de l’Europe, poring over this issue of The Outlook and coming across the Y.M.C.A. ad.
And because technology is a wonderful thing, here’s the actual ad Robert was talking about from The Outlook, September 4 1918:
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.