Dr. Sawyer was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of California in 1945. Despite wartime restrictions
on travel, he was able to make the trip to Berkeley to accept it. As he told Mrs. Sawyer in this letter, the accommodations
on the train were fine, but food was in rather short supply.
Item is handwritten.
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1945-03-18 (March 18, 1945)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
So far so good! Our train reached Chicago about on time, and this 16-coach Overland Limited is on time so far. I had eleven
mortal hours to fritter away in Chicago. So I had a haircut, three movies and as much walking as seemed attractive in the
Windy City. For awhile it was necessary to hang onto ones hat with determination and to turn ones face leeward to avoid swallowing
dust and dirt or a flying newspaper. At dinner I had the company of Lt. Col. Long of the Surgeon General's office, and
[SIDE MARGIN NOTE:] PS. Please ask Gertrude Henderson to let us know the latest on the NY legislatures action on income
tax lump deduction when you write. W.
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letter by thanking him orally for his contribution to the Friendship Calendar. He just happened to walk into the R'y
station restaurant before I was through. When I first got in I phoned Dr. Taliaferro's office at the U. of Chicago, but
he was out of town. So I didn't visit the University.
I have just had a good breakfast and was told that there would be no luncheon. People are giving much thought to their maximum
breakfast, and I substituted oatmeal and cream for orange juice. The dining car conductor also hinted that it was possible
to eat a second breakfast before 12 o'clock. It certainly pays to get up by 7:30 or 8 a.m., for you have plenty of room
to shave (a small private dressing compartment on this
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car of mine), plenty of room in the diner, and even a seat in the observation car, where I am writing this letter. The first
evening we lined up for an hour to get into the diner, in uncomfortable heat, and were dusted full of cinders from the open
door on the platform through which the line extended.
Your berth, the lower in my section, is still vacant, malheureusement, and I suppose it is one of those late releases. I
wish you were along. It would have given us a glorious time to visit,--twice across the continent. Nonetheless there are
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signs everywhere asking us whether the trip is necessary for winning the war. It would be hard to explain mine, I am afraid.
Imagine telling the officials that I had been summoned to come for an LLD when arguing to keep my space if demanded by some
low-priority individual. Well, I think the empty berth below me is some insurance against being ousted now. About half the
people on the train are in uniform. Our marine engineer on the train to Chicago wore corduroy trousers and a blue shirt on
which he had a couple of lines of ribbons displayed just as though in uniform.
My hotel address will be St. Francis during my stay on the coast.
Much love to all the household. Tell Margaret that the windows in Chicago are full of toy rabbits.