Date: Friday, July 18, 1958
Place: Lucerne, Switzerland
Still laughing about last night! I met this fella named Paul, who was talking to his friends a mile a minute in German and to me in English. I thought he really did well with his English and asked him where he learned to speak it so well. He nearly died laughing and told me he was from Florida! At breakfast we heard “Big Rock’s” sob story – he had left his door unlocked and someone came in and took $41 out of his bill-fold! Too bad, that would have bought a lot of wine! We left for Lucerne at 9:00 – had lunch in some hotel along the way – there was a huge line waiting to get into the john (Damen) all through lunch. Big Rock was dressed in his Bermudas! Quite a sight.
We stopped along the way and consumed some pastries that John had. (Otter sat on them on the bus!) We finally arrived at our hotel, The Star, a Jewish one at that, at 7:00. Sue and I have been avoiding Dick (the Mr. Peepers Bobbsey Brother) all day, but he did manage to sit behind us on the bus, and nearly drove us wild by singing, China Night in a hideous voice. Rickety-tickety-tin, as we sang all day and drove Bill (other brother) nearly out of his idiotic head. At supper two Cyrano English boys were at the next table – lovely view! After, Sue and I left the group and went off by ourselves to look in the shops. I got two music boxes ($31.75) to send home, one a jewel box with a revolving dancing couple inside, and a bracelet. Met some Swiss fellas who couldn’t speak English and were calling us both Isabelle.
Music Boxes once rivaled watches as one of Switzerland’s greatest exports. However, competition from the phonograph strongly destabilized the music box industry in the early 20th century. American interest in music boxes was greatly bolstered after World War 2 when returning GIs brought them home for loved ones. Reuge, located in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, is the only remaining high-end maker of music boxes.
“Shina No Yoru”, in English: “China Night”, was a 1940 wartime propaganda movie filmed by the Japanese in occupied China. The title song was also known as “She Ain’t Got No Yo-Yo” to many American soldiers. There were many cover versions, including one recorded in English (“China Nights”) by country singer Dick Curless in 1957.