Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Travel Tuesday: Harold the Travel Agent

Dad (Harold Burk) was a travel agent who did the most traveling of his life during WWII.

Here you can see brochures and timetables for trains and other transportation methods, next to his desk at the luxe Savoy Plaza Hotel, located at the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, a ritzy address just across from the Plaza Hotel.

Dad started his WWII travels at Camp Upton on Long Island, where he was inducted in 1942 for what became 3 1/2 years in the US Army. He served from late 1944 to mid-1945 in "Central Europe" and in "Rhineland," according to his honorable discharge documents. His younger brother Sidney also served in Europe then.

We know Dad was stationed outside Paris for a time because he sent photos home to his mom, Henrietta Mahler Burk. For instance, the photo at left below shows him in uniform at a cafe outside Paris (and below right, Dad in Paris itself).

Harold Burk (right) and friend

After WWII ended, Dad came home, met Mom (possibly through a date arranged by two aunts, one on each side) and were married, followed by a Bermuda honeymoon.
Once Dad became a father, his travels usually consisted of getting onto the IRT subway to ride from the Bronx into Manhattan every day for work. His biggest post-war trip was in 1959, when he went to Hawaii for what turned out to be a very short stay, as I wrote last year here.

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