29 March 1956
On the way to you now, perhaps getting there the same day & perhaps even before—I mailed them this morning—are two rolls of movie film. One of them is of Rhodes (I have another that hasn’t come back yet) & one of Lebanon & Baalbek. I decided I want you to see Europe while I see it. You’re seeing, on these films, Europe exactly as I saw it. But remember—I only saw it once, & you promised to show them only once until I get home. Otherwise, you’ll be so sick of seeing them that no explanation of mine will interest you in the least.
On the film boxes you will find what little explanation is necessary; I’ll go into detail when I get home. I’ve only seen them by picking them up & squinting, but they look excellent (except for a ten-foot-long blank space in the Baalbek one). There should be another roll on .Baalbek, too. I still can’t get over the magnificence of those six pillars, & a feeling of awe when I think of them falling.
Only two letters from home—why? Got the envelopes with the Morning Star front page & dad’s typewritten letter.
In answer to mom’s question about the location of Beirut & Lebanon—Lebanon is on the Mediterranean—a very small country, roughly the size of Connecticut, if that big. It is right next to Jordan, & Beirut is only a short distance from Jerusalem (100-150 miles?). If a straight line were drawn around the world, passing through the straight of Gibraltar, Lebanon would be the first land it touched, on the far side of the Med. It is now independent, ruled by a President, was once a French protectorate, & before that was part of ancient Persia; even before that, it figured prominently in the Bible on numerous occasions (as mentioned previously, King Solomon built his temple with Cedars of Lebanon).
I’ll call home from Madrid if I have enough money. Don’t know what date yet, but will let you know roughly later. Wonder what the telephone operators think—after all, not everyone in Rockford gets phone calls from Europe.
I’ve promised Lloyd (after many gin fizzes) that he can use the cottage for a week for his honeymoon. OK? He’s all excited about it, & has written his girl already.
So now I shall close. With only 136 days to go, I shall be seeing you very soon. Till then