March 26, 1944
Just a line tonite as I have a little rambling that might interest you. No mail from any of you very late but a letter from Sarah today of March 18. They were planning on going home last weekend.
Into town last night to do a bit of shopping, a show and of course some chips- Irish potatoes in the American language. Got my glasses and the pictures, which I will send shortly, as pictorial proof that I thrive quite well here.
The movie last night was a double feature. One rip-roaring western with Roy Rogers. I found myself enjoying it just about as well as my British buddies. I can see quite well however just how they get funny ideas about America. I myself don't share the zeal with which they cheer some of Hollywood's dream ups. Nevertheless, I felt very much at home to see another horse opera on Saturday night. The other picture was British and very good though they had both Yanks and jeeps in it. The curious thing about movies here is the higher priced seats are in the balcony.
Spring is somewhat with us here, I think, the temperature being tops about now. I went to church this morning and spent the afternoon doing a bit of hiking. You would have been truly thrilled to have been along. Hiking is a bit hazardous here because of speeding cyclist but I have made out OK. so far. I don't trust these 5 year olds at 40 miles per hour too well, but as long as one has gum he is reasonably safe.
I ran out the first mile today and so ducked the rest of the way. I had a good look at a 13th century Norman castle for the first time.
Note: From Brett Exton - The "Norman Castle" he is referring to is Ogmore Castle. See foot of this letter for explanation.
The name sounds like Scott and I believe he used it once. The castle had only one wall standing but the rooms were outlined perfectly. Grass grows profusely and sheep graze nonchalantly where once knights in shining armor did whatever they did. The moat is still perfect. The drawbridge has been replaced by a new one only a couple of hundred years old which doesn't draw. The main doorway, which is arched, still stands but the only thing that told any history was an upright stone in what must have been the main hall. The characters were in Saxon, French, or something that I couldn't read.
I went into my first thatched roof cottage.
Note: From Brett Exton - The thatched cottages he is referring to are those found at Merthyr Mawr, less than 1 mile from Island Farm camp.
Quite a few of them are around. By thatch they mean wheat straw. Very nice looking but used by the poor families, as they don't last too long and birds build in them. Speaking of birds, crows are the most common here and they aren't considered pests, as they have no corn. They have nests everywhere and light on roofs much like pigeons. Boy! Does my trigger finger itch when I see a flock of them, remembering the many futile steps I have taken in hot pursuit of that very wise bird. But back to the cottage, it had enough antiques inside to pay a large part of the war debt if one had them in the states. I never thought that such picturesque places existed, only on paper but they are quite common. I ended the tour down by the bay, watched a few waves tear themselves to pieces-very beautiful-but I like the hill, the thatched cottages and old castles best.
girls got home, as they haven't been for some time and I can always get a better
idea of everything from a letter from them after a trip home.
Hoping everything is O. K.. I am fine.
Love to all, Your Bud
Note from Mrs Williams: When he writes of the girls, they are his sisters (Sarah and Margie) who lived in Memphis, Tennessee and worked in defense plants. Memphis is about 3 hours west of his hometown Savannah, Tennessee
Brett Exton - Identification of Castle Odell refers to in his letter: