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Letter From Harry E McKibben, Hector Mirror, 11-28-1918

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Harry E. McKibben
October 24, 1880 – June 22, 1972

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Whitney:

Your letter received describing your trip to Pine City; how I would like to have been along. I am returning the picture of the fawn immediately, as it’s so easy to loose things here unless you have them on your back. I have been traveling some since I last saw you.

France is a beautiful country and I’ve traveled almost the entire length of it. We reached this place a couple of days ago. The climate is fine, almost the same latitude as where I was in the states, but we don’t have the excessive heat that we had there and the nights are nice and cool. The Gulf Stream may be all right but I’m not struck on it for we nearly suffocated until we hit the cool part. I’m still at the same work with the same train but now that we are settled I may be given some other work as we are permanently located here for a time at least.

I took a couple of my boys and went for a hike up into the mountains. The lower part of the Alps come down here and we climbed to the top and look around. On the way up we picked grapes, figs, apples and olives. This is a great grape country and the only way they have of saving them is to make them into wine and the people here drink very little of anything else. Some of our boys are trying to keep some of it from spoiling but the effect is such that they “go easy” on it as yet. After we first landed here we were given a week’s rest, we certainly needed it, then we traveled the length of France, crossing the Pyraneese Mountains. It was a pretty sight to look down from the heights and see the little plots all walled in and hedged in like gardens at home. There is a large cathedral here located on a high bluff over looking the sea. They say it is encircled with small ships made by and presented by sailors on their trips here, which at the time was used as a lighthouse.

I am not struck on either the French or Italian people, as we have and equal amount here; so I can safely say that when this affair is settled I’m going be to the States.

This has been a great trip and a beautiful country and a sight to see the way the people live here. Yet I see nothing that would ever induce me to live here. Every home has its wine cellar and you can buy all kinds of wine from the light grape juice to the strong whiskey. They say one is enough. I haven’t tasted it yet. The little boys (while yet in dresses) are begging cigarettes from the boys.

Guess I’ll pass up my deer hunt this fall, this is far more exciting. Have you done any duck hunting this fall? Got a letter from father today and he didn’t mention hunting.

Hope I get some home papers soon. Tell everyone to write and give them my address and see that the paper is sent to me.

Sincerely, Lieut. Harry E. McKibben, Motor Supply Train 420, A.P.O. 752, American Ex. Forces