06/08/2015 11:55 AM


William Toffey, Army

Camp Cooke, CA, 1941, Army,



Learning more.."WWII, Paris in the Spring!"

Meals are served

Meals are served (a novelty to any soldier who is used to being fed cafeteria style) and are pretty good. They cost 10 francs (20 cents) which is about 990 francs less than you can eat anywhere else in town.

There is also a doughnut bar, Coca-Cola bar, movies, and lots of kinds of services there, and no one could ask for a nicer spot.

Everyone was prepared to see a lot of prostitutes, but none of us, I think all of us, were amazed at the number and beauty of them.

They were soliciting us eyen before we get off the bus. From then on you ran into them everywhere.

Naturally we headed immediately for the Pigalle, where all the night clubs are. The soldiers, of course, call it "Pig Alley." Bars close at 10:30, but the night clubs are open all night. You have to pay 100 francs admission charge to most of the night clubs, which rather discourages pub-crawling, and the drinks of either cognac or champagne are usually about 100 francs ($2) or sometimes a little less. Spending curious looking brightly colored sheets of paper, you never think just hew much you are paying until you sit down and figure out the exchange -- then you are shocked. l spent a terrific amount of money, and have no regrets. I'll probably never again get to Paris, and it would cost me a lot more to come over and see it again.


I never did get to the Follies, but did see a wonderful floor show at one night club -- the Tabarin.

I went to Paris with a fellow from Jersey City, Rene Hazeldine, from Hopkins Avenue, the supply sergeant in the headquarters company. Born in France, he speaks the language as a native, and I don't think I could have enjoyed myself half as much on my own. He got us in a little neighborhood place that stays open all night (I have a couple of funny stories to tell you about that place, but that will have to wait until I get home) and we had a lot of fun there. We went there three times, and four times at night we walked past a large building, wondering what the he11 it was. On the last afternoon I was in Paris, I finally decided to take a sightseeing tour and find out what the city really looked like. For one thing, I found out I bad been strolling by the Louvre. I also found out that I should have taken the trip the first day, and then I would have seen the places I wanted to visit with more time on my hands.            

I tried to do some shopping, but walked the streets on and off the Boulevard without seeing anything worth the price. Most of the men were out buying souvenir knickknacks.

"Dad, William Vermilye Toffey III"

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