A Tourist’s Guide to Austin, TX

Saturday, April 14, 1945
Dear Folks,
Due to a number of reasons, mainly my moving to S. Camp, I couldn’t get into Dallas today, but struck off in the opposite direction to Austin and San Antonio. I got as far as Austin and decided to stop here.
I caught a ride, with 2 other soldiers, with a Mr. and Mrs. Smith (from Austin) to Austin. They were very nice people and as we came into the city went out of their way to show us the beautiful campus of the Univ. of Texas. We also stopped and went into the stadium. They were very cordial and dropped us off in town. We split up (they had previous plans) and I ate and got a room thru the USO.
It was still pretty early so I went out to look at and pay for the room. It’s in a very nice house in, what I thought was, the rich section of Austin. There were some swell looking “huts” around there.
Then, for the big surprise, as I waited for a bus to go back to town, a car turned the corner and stopped in front of me. Who should it be but Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Well, what do you know etc. and I hopped in. That started my extended Cooks Tour of Austin and its suburbs.
Austin, by the way, is the State Capital, so Mr. Smith took me all thru the capitol building, which is modeled after the National Capitol. I saw the Senate and House chambers, both very nice but not in session, many paintings and statues of Texas heroes.
My chauffeurs, then wanted to show me Barton Springs, so out we go to the suburbs to view these natural springs and combination man-made swimming pool, one of the largest I’ve ever seen. After that came a ride up in the adjoining hills to see a dam. It reminded me very much of Delaware Water Gap, very green and scenic. There were a few motor boats burning around below in the river.
We drove around and around just to show me the real ritzi section of town and boy some of those homes (mansions) are really the stuff. It’s very beautiful, all full of shrubs, trees and flowers.
Finally we came back to town and I left them with an invitation to call them whenever I came back to Austin. Swell people.
I might go to a dance at the university or just fool around. If possible, I want to really go over the campus tomorrow. Oh yes, in Austin are 29 enormous towers (150 ft.) that are used for street illumination each having six lights at the top. There are also regular street lights in the city.
That’s all
Love, Bru

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