Thursday, April 30, 2020

Post #14 - May 28, 1941 An Amorous Pass, A Letter from Lil, and Looking Forward to a Weekend Pass

May 28, 1941
6:30 P.M. 

Dear Phil,

Was more than happy to receive your letter even though it was cut short. That compliment certainly helped to boost my spirits. I'm glad that you were rested and had it comparatively easy. You sounded more cheerful in this letter which was probably due to the fact that you had a light? schedule on Monday. As for the constant importuning for money—forget it. (lousy pen—I can hardly write) I'll get even someday. Anyway, as I told you this past weekend, it is really “our” money and you are entitled to it, if and when you need it. I hope that the enclosed $3.00 will be sufficient to tide you over until June 4th. If, by chance, you find it is not enough, you know where you can find me. It certainly will be a saving if you can arrange to come in with Sam's friend. Here's hopin’! Jack, the dope, sends a letter to Lenny, in which he balls out Jack N. for not writing, and then addresses the letter, “Phila., Pa.” and it was returned this evening. I'll send your bathing suit as soon as I find it, which means you can expect it sometime during the next day or so. Lil sent me the enclosed letter. (what a surprise) I thought I would send it along to give you an idea of what's been happening to her. She sounds like she has some definite plans in mind—for a change. She's still a swell girl for my money. Maybe I like her so swell because the admiration is mutual. Perhaps she will be able to get Eddie to drive us down to Ft. Meade in the event you cannot get leave. I'm going to give her a call and ask her about it. I got another compliment today from Mrs. Glick (lady next door). She was watching me from the pavement as I walked up the front steps to the apartment and then commented “What a mean pair of legs.”—To which I replied “He thinks so.” Did she laugh! In fact I almost got myself a date the other day at the office. Some fellow (he's not Jewish) has been watching me every time he walks into the office. On this particular occasion he said i've been wanting to ask you out. “You aren't married are you?” I said yes & he thought I was kidding—’til he saw my rings. Boy, was his face red. Now he doesn't pay any more attention to me. I felt lousy yesterday. Had a headache and was very tired due to the extremely hot weather that we have had all this week. It's positively unbearable. I listened to Bob Hope last night and heard a new song called “I've Been Drafted, Now I'm Drafting You.” It's “us” all through the song. The tune is catchy and the words hit home. I thought the President's speech was okie dokie. He always hits home. Do you realize that I haven't called you, “sweet” or told you how much I love you, so i'm taking time out to say—I love you, Phil

The soldier's wife 

P.S. Mom, Jakie & Harry send their love and best regards.

(Tell your bunk-mates that miniature chocolates are poisonous

Dear Phil:

Received your welcome letter and I am also grateful because you take the precious time to write. Please, and you know I'm serious, “can” that ace & gratitude business—because at least the money is spent on something useful—as it is not my usual custom. I only wish that I could send your dear wife down by parcel post, then would I believe the above. Things have taken a different turn since I last wrote. Eddie asked me not to go to camp—to wait through the summer with him and then things would probably begin to happen. As it happens (between you, Ev and I)—he told me if he's called in the draft (and he has had his physical but hasn't received his rating as yet), also he's still an alien although he's applied for his last papers, I'll get my ring before he goes and if he's not taken he'll see that he makes a decent living wage and then a marital status and so it took my almost going home and to camp for a final statement. Even tho’ he's terribly stubborn and as yet anything can happen, at the present I think my best bet is to stick.—(This love business is the bunk.) (I've lost 36 pounds in the last four months because I just happened to care about him and he is essentially an ace for all his faults & without my being prejudiced in his favor. Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm making a visit to your house to see Ev and I hope you're home—if you're not you'll receive this letter and it is my fervent (what's that mean) wish and hope that you receive this after i see you.

This letter reminds me of the crossword puzzle definition of “P.I.”—meaning jumbled type. Since it's not so warm I'm sending chocolates and I hope & pray that you eat at least one piece, also for more barrack orderly days. Your family as I comprehend is taking your being away as sporting as possible and I want to assure you that it's not only a front when you're home— 

I wish that your new home was ready so that it would also occupy the heavy time on Ev's hands. By the By, you have certainly got the top as wives are classified. 

As I said to Ed—if you (Ed) go to Army, get sent to Camp Meade where Phil will assert some good influence over you—Well nothing else to tell you only that to put in a good word to your patron God for Ed and I and I'll do the same for you. I've come off my case—so I have time on my hands & I'll have to unpack (I was set to move). Until i see you & even if not keep well & look forward to coming home (Lil

Regards from my family and Ed—

May 28, 1941—8:15

Dear Ev,

Forgive the post-card as it's roasting here in barracks and it takes too long to write a letter. Thank Jack for the nice letter—I got a kick out of it. Chances for getting home this weekend are improving and I'm waiting most impatiently for the money. Hope it gets here in time. I'm feeling swell and our training is progressing rapidly. As a result the work is getting a little easier. Keep your fingers crossed, sweet, and maybe I'll see you soon. Love to all. 


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Post #13 - May 27, 1941 A Dual Letter from Wife and Brother and a Scented Letter and Agreement of Sale

May 27, 1941

Dear Phil,

I hope this letter finds you well & getting more in stride with Army life. After I left you at the station, I went on my date and had a swell & inexpensive evening. Mom & Ev didn’t do anything after you left, just stayed home and talked. Mom went to the customs house yesterday and became a bit upset as she was there for five hours. She is to receive her citizen papers in about eight months. I’m expecting Lenny in this Thurs. night and expect to have a very rushed week-end. Harry is working at Al’s station at night and the bookies assure Harry that they don’t mind a bit. Oh well what can you do with a guy like that. Our frat is having a picnic this Sunday and as you have already guessed I’m taking Yvette. Mickey, when asked about Charley exclaimed in the usual manner “Well he’s all right—But—

So you see it’d just the case where boy likes girl but girl doesn’t like boy. I’m writing this letter after supper and it’s a very warm and stuffy day. Really dear brother I’m nuts. On a cool day I’d never write but in a day such as this I do. Everyone here is looking forward to hearing our President speak to-night. I guess you’ll hear him yourself. I only hope that he speaks of keeping us out of war instead of us getting into it. Did you write to Jackie yet? Please write as often as you can Phil for when Ev receives a letter from you in the morning she’s happy for the rest of the day, and I figure if you write everyday Ev will always be happy and if I may say so sir, that is one of your any duties making your wife happy.

Your loving brother

P.S. Love and regards from all to all.

7:30 P.M.
May 27, 1941

My dear Phil,

Not having enough patience to sit down and write a litter, I prevailed upon Jack to write “the daily letter.” He certainly is thoughtful about me, isn’t he? I took a walk with Mickey last night—for a change. Mom was tired and went to sleep, leaving me alone—that’s why. Things are very quiet here. I’ll write you tomorrow, sweet. In the meantime, I love you.


Tuesday May 27, 1941—6:30

My dear Ev,

Received your most welcome scented letter this morning, and where do you get that "slightly perfumed" stuff? I waved it under my bunk-mate's nose and the reaction was amazing. He was napping and when I fluttered it beneath his schnozzle he sat bolt upright and yelled "WHEW!"! Some stuff that "Toujour Mois." I’m beginning to suspect the source of your power over me. Seriously though, Ev, it is nice to be able to depend on you for a letter each day. The sun is still "on parade" here and causes us no little discomfort. The day's work was pretty much as usual, beginning at 5 A.M. and ending at 4.30 P.M.; Bayonet drill, Field glass and Prismatic compass instruction, Hand Grenade practice was the order of the morning, while this afternoon it was extended order drill, 60 mm. Mortar firing technic and Group games. Another Sergeant went to Hospital today with a skin rash. It's getting to be a habit. We don't know yet, of course, whether not we'll get passes this week-end. About seven or eight fellows don't even have a chance to get leave this week and because they foolishly dashed into the 115th Inf. barracks for a drink. An officer caught them and the penalty was suspension of their leaves this week. A pretty stiff price to pay for a drink of water, don't you think? I was thirsty as hell too, but this boy doesn't take any chances. So I still have a fighting chance to see you this week-end (if you can spare the cash). I wrote to Jack Nerenberg last night. Hope he answers soon. About the telephone plugs, sweet—I have an idea. It seems to me we should have two. One in the parlor and one in our bedroom, so that we could take the phone upstairs when we retire and have it handy through the night. Don't you think it's the logical thing? What's all this about Mom feeling shaky about moving into our new home? It all sounds very silly to me and I don't like it one little bit. You can tell her so for me. It's the only thing we have to look forward to. Our very lives are wrapped up in it since it marks a forward step in the lives of each of us. So I resent deeply the fact that anyone, let alone Mom, should throw cold water on our hopes and ambitions. Especially since I can conceive of no justification for thinking or talking in that vein. I'd like very much to know just what Mom's objections are.

It pleased me no end to hear that others took the trouble to compliment you on your appearance, and I am proud, sweet, very proud. Keep up the good work, baby. Give my love to Mom & the boys; Regards to everyone and a kiss for you, baby, from

Private Strongin

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Post #12 - May 26, 1941 Pondering the Move to a New Home and Returning to Camp

May 26, 1941
6:15 P.M.

Dearest Phil:

After all the talking we did we failed to discuss the mort important question of whether we should have a plug installed in our house and where it should be located. If you want one, the best place, (I think) for it, is the parlor. But where in the parlor would you like to have it? I promised Mr. DeKoven that I would call him sometime this week and let hime know. Since you don’t think you’ll be able to come in this weekend, I think the best thing for me to do is to drop the entire matter.

Mom has changed her mind and is not going to New York. She also keeps asking me if we intend moving out to the new house if there is war. She seems more worried than ever and dislikes the idea of moving out to the new house. She is afraid that we won’t be able to meet the expenses which accompany the moving and settling into a new house. Besides, she says she will be too lonely. Honest, sweet, I don’t know what to think. She is right in some respects and wrong in others and I can’t say that I blame her for any ideas she may have.

How gloomy this letter sounds. Things really aren’t that bad, so cheer up, baby.

After your departure Mom  and I cleaned up the kitchen, got fixed up and sat on the porch. We talked about everything–mostly babies. About 11:30 we had some tea and then hit the hay.

Talk about getting compliments, I got 12 of them today. Everyone at work (including the bosses) complimented me on my appearance. They all thought my hair style was lovely and that I looked very “sophisticated.” I wore my black and white dress. Aren’t you proud of your wife?

Mom had to go to the Customs House today for here citizenship papers. She said that she “went through plenty of red tape” before she could leave. They asked her those questions she was supposed to memorize and she didn’t know them. She says that it didn’t really matter.

I hope the journey back was comfortable and that you arrived on time. How are you feeling? Not too tired, I hope.

I love you, sweet, and I hope that you will write as soon as possible to

Your loving wife,

P.S. I sprayed this letter with Toujours Moi, but the odor is very faint. It’s responsible for the blurry marks.

Monday May 26, 1941-7 PM.

Dear Ev,

Arrived safely after a very fast trip by train + taxi, getting here 10.30 P.M. Got a good night's sleep and awoke this morning feeling swell and rarin’ to go. This morning was cool and sunny after the rain and it was nice to be in the field. Everything smelled fresh and clean. I didn't even begin to feel tired until the late afternoon when it got much warmer. But I didn't have to put up with the discomfort for long, as we were through by 4.30. After chow I showered, shaved, etc; and here I am writing to you, my sweet. Incidentally, I thought you looked swell this past week-end. This week-end is still in doubt, although I did ask for a pass. A friend of Sam's was inducted here last Tuesday and he has his car here. We're going over to try to make arrangements to come in with him whenever we have leave. If it works out, it'll cost us about $2.00 each time we come in, which is quite a saving—no? There isn't much more I can write 
now so you'll forgive me if I seem to cut this letter short—I also want to drop Jackie a letter tonight. More tomorrow. My love to all.

Your soldier,

P.S. Just remembered to tell you I don't have the fare if I do happen to get my pass. We won't get paid til June 4. I don't feel right about this constant importuning for money, but I will give it back to you, Ev, if you'll bear with me a little while.

P.P.S. I forgot my bathing-suit after all. I'd appreciate it, sweet, if you could get it to me some time this week.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Post #10 - May 4, 1941 The First Days of Separation

Sunday May 4
8.55 A.M.


My Dear Ev,

I hardly know how to start this letter, There is so much to write about. First I want you to know, sweet, that I miss you very much. All this would be a welcome change if only I knew I could still come home to you in the evening. However, we are kept very busy here and it helps immensely in keeping my mind from thoughts of home, and helps allay that empty feeling. Right now I feel like filling this whole sheet with just one phrase.—I adore you, my sweet Evelyn. Maybe that would also help, but I wouldn’t want to bore you. What you probably want to know is everything that happened since I left you That is just short of impossible, because so much has happened. What I will do is 
give you the high spots—the ones I remember. When I left you I went straight to the draft-board, where two fellows were already waiting. Within ten minutes seven more came in making us ten. We were then sent down to the armory by trolley. After hanging around waiting my turn to be examined, for about an hour, we were all taken out to breakfast at Linton's (right now I'm listening to “Intermezzo” over the barracks radio). After that we were all taken back to the armory. While there I got talking to a few of the fellows. We played some Pinochle to keep from getting bored - no stakes. About 3 o’clock my name was called to be examined. (I'll give you the details when I see you, sweet). Twenty minutes later I was adjudged healthy (disgustingly so) and fingerprinted. Then they marched us over  to the train. By 5:07 P. M we were on our way to Camp Lee, Va. As we filed onto the train, the Jewish Welfare handed each selectee a pack of cigarettes and a pack of “charms" candies. On the train we had a couple of fellows who kept us in stitches most of the way. As badly as we all felt we couldn't help laughing. I know quite a few of the fellows now and I don't feel quite so lonesome as I did at first. Anyhow, after riding what seemed an interminable time, but only actually was nine hours we arrived at Camps Lee; and a dustier, tireder, and more disgusted crew I never saw. We were marched straight into a building and lined up for short-arm inspection (which means that every fellow shows his penis to the medical officer). Then we were marched into the mess hall for chow. (At 2 o’clock in the morning). Finally, we were assigned to barracks and put to bed. The officers down at Camp Lee are Virginians and real soldiers, which means that they tolerate no foolishness, whatever. Consequently, when the Sergeant marched thru barracks at exactly 5:45 A.M. the same morning and yelled "hit the floor," you can bet your sweet life that's exactly what we did, as knocked out as we were. Then we were taught how to make up a bunk in one incomprehensible lesson, but we got onto it eventually. We had to, or catch some kind of hell. Then every man had to mop around and under his own bunk and clean up generally. Talk about being strict!! Even the coat-hangers had to face a certain way. I could write a book on any one of a dozen sundry subjects, like "The proper way to empty a can (spittoon),” or “Proper etiquette in an army latrine." The program that day (Wed.) was much too hectic for proper detailing. Suffice it to say that we got vaccinated, inoculated, equipped, classified and a hundred other things. Thursday was my unlucky day. I got hooked for K.P., which means I spent the day in the kitchen and mess hall. Mopping, scrubbing, dishing out food, unloading trucks and a few other things too miserable to mention. Just to make the job complete, I wasn't feeling so good, which is putting it mildly, but then, nobody else was either, so I had plenty of company. The Typhoid injection is not only a pain in the arm, if you know what I mean.—Ninety nine fellows out of a hundred felt the effects to some extent. K.P. ended at 6:30 P.M. and believe me, I was plenty happy then. After a nice hot shower and shave, however, I felt like a new man, and joined in the general pastime, which wondering where the hell we were headed for. The Sgt. told us that a group of us were to be divided between two stations—Fort Eustis in Va., and Aberdeen in Md. Immediately everyone began praying to be sent to Aberdeen. The fellows in our gang (300) were all from Pa.; and after a few days of Camps Lee, everyone was most anxious to be near home. So you can imagine, Ev, how t felt when my name wasn't on the list for Aberdeen, which I saw first. Then, on looking over the list for Ft. Eustis, I was gratified no end to see I wasn't on that, either, On checking with some of the other fellows, I found that a great number of us weren't on either list, which left us all in the dark as to where we were going; and we were supposed to leave the next day, (Fri). Then the Sgt. told us that a group of us were going to S. Carolina. I almost died. All day Friday I was miserably contemplating the prospect of spending the rest of the year in S. Carolina with hardly a chance to get home. Friday night however, we had the most delicious news I ever heard. Lt. Becker, a Philly boy and a swell guy, knowing how anxious we were to know our destination, came over and told us that all but four or five of the 300 in our group, was leaving for Ft. Meade it next day. (Sat.) When we got the lists and found this was the case, there was great rejoicing. We left Camp Lee Sat. 12.30 P.M. and arrived here at Ft. Meade, which appears to be a damn nice place as Army centers go, at about 4:30 P.M. This time enjoyed the train ride. I played rhummy with 2 other fellows and lost 2 bits, The money incidentally, is holding out nicely. I already have most of my uniforms—including the dress. I paid $5 for a garrison cap & belt (and that's a story in itself). Today, Sunday, I am straightening my stuff out (which is a ritual in the Army) and writing this letter, which I am interrupting only long enough and when I go to chow and latrine. Which, my dear, brings us up to the present. As things stand now, everything is just beautiful. I'am feeling like a million; almost, though not quite organized, and best of all only about 110 miles from home, which is just about a short walk when you consider that I might have wound up in Va. or S. Carolina or God knows where else. Altogether, I'm pretty happy and almost content. This is our base for the whole year, although we will leave from time to time for maneuvers, war games, etc. My division is the 29th, famous in the World War as the "Rainbow Division". The oldest and best regiment of any service in the U.S., the 175th infantry, dating back to 1774. Now about seeing each other, although we are not quarantined, we are segregated for two weeks. So, although I can't be home for at least 2 weeks, we can receive visitors as early as next week-end. If, Ev, you are contemplating the trip either alone or with the family please let me know a few days ahead of time so I can make reservations for chow. Please write immediately, Ev, and let me know how everything and everyone is and what you have done since I left. If you are planning to come in, please make it Sunday, as we have most of the day to ourselves. Ask for 175th Infantry Company E, Barracks #5. If not, I'll be in May 18, unless thing out of the ordinary prevents it. In any event, I'll certainly write again. Keep your chin up, sweet, and I'll always love you. Kiss Mom and Tante Shush for me. Also your Mom & Pop. My love to everyone. Tell them to please excuse me from writing as I scarcely have time to write to you. You can tell them everything is fine. You can tell the boys that if they get past the first week in the Army, nothing can hurt them. So long, baby, and don't worry about me. I'm taking damn good care of your hubby.

Yours lovingly

Hint—Next Sunday is Mother's Day—ketch?

Fin. 3:10 P.M.

Pvt. Phil Strongin 
175th inf. Comp. E 
A.P.O. #29 
Ft. Meade, Md.

Fain, 3.10 P.M.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Post #9 - May 22, 1941 A Bouquet of Pink Roses and a Scorcher


May 22, 1941
5:30 P.M.


Words couldn’t express what I felt when I opened the front door, upon returning from work, & saw your letter. I felt like crying—that’s how happy I was, sweet.

Today was a “scorcher.” I think the mercury hit about 105. To make it worse, I was “sicker in sick.” Finally came through. I slept in my lunch hour, as I usually do when I am not feeling well, but this time I felt even worse. I was going to ask for permission to go home, but stuck it out. If you can, so can I.

Mr. Jaffe brought in a bunch of beautiful pink roses (from his garden) for the office. I asked him if I could have a few to take home to Mom & he gave me the whole bunch.  He said he would bring more in—if he remembered. Mom thought they were lovely.

I am enclosing two dollars to tide you over until I see you. I hope it’s enough. I’ll give you the rest when you come in. (Inducement)

I put a little picture of you (one I had) in the pin & have been wearing it. Mr. Jaffe said that I should get a picture of you “in uniform” for it. We’ll see.

I’ll give Sam’s girl a call the first chance I get. I doubt if it will be before next week. I’m very glad that Lil wrote to you. She said she might join the Army & choose Ft. Meade as her station, but Eddie said there would be a “triangle.” At least you’re learning who will take a few moments to drop you a line. Then, again, most people are just too lazy to write.

Your Mom just commented on how I look. She contends that when I am unwell I look better than when I am well. Can you beat it! Oh well, it’s still a compliment. She is definitely going to New York as I send back a card saying she would be at Rose’s wedding.

Harry asked me if we could go to the race track Memorial Day, but I informed him that we were broke. However, I did say that we might consider it on July 4th.

Jake tells me that Evette is the same type as I. He also says that he cares for her more than any other girl he ever went with. That guy has me thinking. I’m afraid he’s got it—but bad. He doesn’t stop talking about her.

I stayed in last night—did some washing & ironing—for a change. I’m going to take it easy tonight. In the meantime, take it easy & take care of yourself—we all love you. So long, baby, til Saturday—when you’ll see

Your lovin’ wife,

P.S. How is your “crease” holdin’ out? I’ll press it again when you are in.
P.P.S. Here is one of Ben’s jokes. If an Irish woman married a negro, what would her children be? Answer—Irish jigs. Don’t blame me, I was only trying to cheer you up.
P.P.S. Tonight marks our ninth week of married life. Imagine! Nine weeks.
P.P.P.S. I always think of something after I end my letter.

Thursday May 22, 1941
7.00 P.M

Dear Chippie,

Just to prove to you that wonders never cease here I am writing again. It was a thrill to receive two letters from you today. The first one was sent to the wrong camp, and arrived simultaneously with the one you mailed yesterday. I was glad to hear of Sam and Ann Nerenberg's good fortune. I am disappointed because Jack hasn't written yet. I intended to write to him today but decided you were more deserving. It's much too hot to write two letters. The heat is simply terrific. We spent most of the after- noon looking for shady spots and the group games that were scheduled for the last hour were called off. The Lieutenant was afraid some of the fellows would get sunstroke (I heard him say so). Last night Sam & I took some pictures. The first two I took so were n.g. so I tried again, and it's just fair. You should have seen the company put away 35 gallons of lemonade at mess tonight. Everyone half-dead of thirst & I’ll bet that no soldier in the outfit had less than a quart. I'm feeling pretty good now and getting so that I can take the grind with not too much ill-effect. In the evening after I take my shower, I feel swell. Just one more day before Saturday, my sweet, and unless something unpredictable happens to hold up our passes, I'll be seeing you then. I'm anxious to see and hear about the pearls what Mark had to say. I would like to have him for Saturday dinner. You might try asking him. What puzzles me, is how you got in touch with him. My guess is that you called him at the place. It just occurred to me that you probably won't get this until Saturday afternoon, in which case you may have difficulty in contacting Mark. But, if by some chance you do get this in time to call him at work Friday, tell him to bring Adams along. The fact that everyone is fine and the house is coming along nicely gratifies me no end. I can hardly wait to talk to you, sweet, but one thing they do a good job of teaching you in the Army—is patience. So—I'll try very hard to hold my breath until then. We have a four hour march and (bivouac—(pitching tents), tomorrow so I think I'll turn in early (if I can stop perspiring) and get plenty of rest. Take care of yourself, sweet, and give my love to all—and never stop being so considerate of your loving husband


Friday, April 24, 2020

Post #8 - May 21, 1941 Dreams of a New Home and the Continuing Grind of Basic Training

May 21, 1941
6:45 P.M.

My dear Phil:

Well! Well! Well! Our good friends, the Nerenbergs, are the proud parents of a son. Looks very much as if we are going to have another Phil in our midst. Read the enclosed card for details. I guess we’ll have to forgive them for not writing to you.

I called Mr. DeKoven today and asked him whether “our home” will have concealed telephone wiring. It will not, unless we pay $3.00 per plug and let him know about it the early part of next week. I think it would be a good idea to have one plug put in the parlor. That’s all we need. I’ll discuss this more fully when I see you.

Mom bought me a string of pearls (ten strings, twisted) today. Remind me to tell you about it. (How I got them).

It’s been very hot & sticky these past few days and everyone seems all tuckered out. Sansom Street is simply “cluttered up” with people in the evening. Sort of reminds me of the Bronx. It’s as noisy as hell & twice as smelly. If things move along as they should at Walnut Hill Park, we should be moving within the next six or seven weeks.

How’s my hubby been feeling these past few days? If you aren’t too tired (some night this week) will you try to write? I certainly miss you, sweet.

Last night I stayed in the house alone until about 9 when Harriet came in & “dragged” me out. Jakie, Harriet, Rae Wyman, Mrs. Greitzer & I sat on the porch & “gabbed” while Mom & Tante Shush sat in the parlor & “gabbed.” Some evening!!

Incidentally, how is your money holding out? Have you had an evening to yourself?

Everyone here is fine. Jakie is working late this evening. Harry goes up to Al’s place every night & helps along. He says the extra money comes in handy.

I’m looking forward to seeing you, sweet. Mom sends her love. All I can say now is that I love you, Phil.


Wednesday, May 21, 1941

6.45 P.M.

Dear Ev,

When there was no mail from you today, I felt sorta let down, but just 
to show you I won't hold it against you, I'm dropping you these few lines tonight.

Next to receiving a letter from you, I enjoy writing one to you. It was very hot today, and the program was a rigorous one what with close order drill (with rifles), bayonet drill, hasty entrenchment, instruction in construction of barbed wire entanglements, mechanics of the light machine gun machine gun drill, etc. The day's work is so exhausting, that everyone holds his breath, as it were, until the evening, when one can take a shower and relax. There is a pronounced relaxation of tension immediately after retreat and everyone is so relieved that there is a good deal of horseplay and fun-making and we laugh at almost anything. Right I am waiting for Sam to finish dressing. We are going around to take some pictures.

I got a lucky break today. You know my jacket or blouse, as they call it here, was too large for me. One of the fellows had a 38 which was too small for him, while mine is a 40 which is too large - so we traded and we both have blouses that fit. So much for my side of the story.

What have you been doing these past few days? Why didn’t you write? Sam just received an enormous package and there's a great to-do here and everyone's trying to guess what's inside. They've finally got it open, and it's a big tin box of assorted fancy cookies. And I can't eat any - damn it! No Bicarbonate. I've been using those Bisodol tablets I bought in Phila. They help allay the burning. But not fast enough nor completely enough. It appears very much as though I'll be home this week-end, sweet, so don't fail to remind me to take some soda back with me. By the way, did you call Sam's girl friend yet? We're anxious that you get together. I hope to receive mail from you tomorrow, Until then, I am your loving husband 


P.S. My love to all

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Post #7 - May 19-20, 1941 A Token Gift and War Games

May 19, 1941
6:15 P.M.


Surprise! Surprise!—or did you expect it? I wanted to be sure that there was something for you in this delivery of mail.

I haven’t much to report, Sir. After your departure I help Mom “clean up.” I changed into my green sports suit & went to the club with Jakie & Eddie. A few boys were playing ping-pong & Jakie & Eddie joined in. Having nothing to do, I just sat myself down & read a few magazines. While there I took the words of “Everything Happens to Me” in shorthand. It’s a very nice song. I like it. We left early and I was in bed by 10:30.

Arose at 7:45. Off to work. I don’t know whether to call it work because, for the first time, I didn’t have a single, solitary thing to do, except to answer the phone.

Mr. Jaffe (the lucky so & so) bought a ticket to a charity dance & won a free trip to Atlantic City—a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton—all expenses paid. Imagine! Boy, is that guy lucky! He asked me how you were & whether you had been in & various other things. He must have been feeling good for shortly after he had returned from lunch he called me in & said “Evelyn, here’s something for you. I saw it while I was out to lunch & thought you might like it.”

It’s a pin—a replica of your garrison cap that opens up like a locket. A small circular picture fits inside. He said “Now you can have a reminder of your husband with you all the time.” I thought it was a nice gesture on his part. Mom thinks the pin is adorable & wants me to buy her one. She also thought it was very nice of him to give it to me.

I called my mom & had a long talk with her. She will send you a letter shortly. Everyone at home sends their best regards. My father saw an automobile accident take place last night and helped to get the injured woman to the hospital—all of which prompted my mother to have me send you this warning. Be careful—at all times.

I really don’t know what to write. Nothing much has happened. I hope these few incidents aren’t uninteresting. I write these things just for the sake of writing to you, sweet.

If you find you are getting low on funds near the end of the week, don’t borrow, just write, & I’ll send you what you need. I still can spare a few more dollars, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. I want you to have it. I want you to have everything you need.

How’s the heartburn? How was the trip back? If you’re not too busy, dear, try to write to

Your loving wife,

P.S. I tried to send you a kiss but it didn’t come out so good.
P.P.S. I love you.

I think this one is better.

May 20, 1941
6:30 P.M.

My dear hubby:

How are your tootsies? I hope that hike wasn’t too tiresome. Honest, sweet, I think I can feel it too, believe it or not.

I almost mailed my previous letter without a stamp. I asked Harriet to walk me over to the mail fox and she noticed it. I didn’t do very much last night. Harriet & I kept each other company. Mom called the Browns. They had unexpected company from Baltimore Sunday so they stayed home. They were sorry that they could not see you, but will do their best to be here next time you are in. Sidney was also home. I was told to forward best wishes from all.

I called Mark today. I told him to stop around. I’ll also ask him to stop over some week-end when you are home. I’ll explain your circumstances to him and have him drop you a line every once in awhile. He was glad to get some word of your whereabouts. I thought it was a good idea to call him and arrange something in this manner. I hope I have’t gone against your wishes by doing this.

How are the chances for getting leave this weekend?

I did the funniest thing last night. I woke up, patted your mother’s arm & said “Are you alright dear.” I didn’t realize what I had done until I arose in the morning. Were you alright last night?

I have my Aunt Gussie a break & called her. She was more than surprised to hear from me. In act, everything I told her was a surprise. Here, again, I was told to forward best wishes.

I found the enclosed penny coming home from work. I am sending it to you—for luck. Hold on to it.

Mom received a card from the Customs House telling her to be there on May 26th as they want to help her obtain her citizenship papers.

It’s wonderful—the way I skip from one thing to another. I sit down to write—but find it difficult to make my letters interesting. I just jot down whatever enters my mind. I hope these “tidbits” will help to “brighten” your day. If you can take it, I can dish it out.

All’s well that ends well, so I am going to end this so-called letter with all my love to the swellest guy in the world.


Tuesday May 20 -7.30

My Dear Evelyn,

Received your most welcome letter. Don't ever suggest that your letters are uninteresting. They are always that. Even if they weren't, they'd still be the brightest spot of the day, Remember that!

It was very nice of Mr. Jaffe to give you such an appropriate gift. Convey my gratitude for his thoughtfulness, will you, Ev? Maybe someday soon I'll provide that little picture. The trip back here was uneventful and comfortable. We arrived with ten minutes to spare. Yesterday went pretty much as usual after Retreat (5 o'clock). So I wrote a long letter to Mark, since I had promised to do so before I left, and never quite found the time. Lil contributed a letter to "the cause.” She sounded somewhat nervous and distracted, but it was good to hear from her just the same. She is the one person beside you, my sweet, who has taken the trouble to write. If you see her, tell her I appreciate her thoughtfulness in writing to me. Maybe I'll find time to drop her a line soon. Tell her for me that the best thing she could do is - go home. Today was different to say the least. We were called on to repulse an enemy attack on Laurel (Harry knows where it is) - At eight o'clock A.M. we joined the column which, believe it or not, stretched seven and a half miles. So - we marched five minutes and stopped five minutes from eight to three thirty in the P.M. It was pretty tough work as it was very hot and we suffered a little because we were allowed only the water in our canteens, which was insufficient in the high temperature. About half past one the whole company fell out along the sides of the road and grabbed an hour's shuteye before we were called on to continue the march. Anyhow, we were pretty lucky, because the advance columns broke up the attacking forces and occupied our objectives, so we weren’t needed in the battle at all - being the reserve force. Consequently, we were sent back. Altogether we marched about eight miles - and believe me, those bar-racks looked mighty sweet when we returned, hot and tired and dusty and very, very thirsty. There was a great rush for the showers. After Retreat I took my bath and felt immediately refreshed. Right now - I'm feeling pretty good. I've already applied for week-end leave and expect to come in this week on the train (at reduced rate). I have $ 3.50 left of the $5.00 and I don't think it will be quite enough. So - if you can spare it - you might send me a coupla bucks. Why don't you call Sam's girl friend, Ev, and get acquainted - her number is Gra. 4658. Her name is Edna Glaser. She's expecting a call. Please write tomorrow, sweet. My love to everyone - kiss Mom for me - you know, I'm rather proud of Mom. I think you understand why. So long, sweet.

Your lovin' husband

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Post #6 - May 13 & 14, 1941 A Mother’s Day Party and the Tribulations of Basic Training

May 13, 1941
6:30 P.M.

My dearest Phil:

Two weeks gone—50 more to go. Not too bad. How are you feeling & how was the trip back? Don’t bother to write me, if you are coming in this week-end.

I suppose you are wondering if you have time, what has happened these past 48 hours. When the bus left, Marcelle’s brother drove me home. I ate and got “fixed up.” Mom, Jakie & I went up to Jake’s club for the Mother’s Day affair. It was very nice. Upon entering we were given a fresh white carnation. (The boys asked me if they should consider me a mother). By the way, I looked exceptionally well and all the fellows asked Jake where he met me. He told them that I was “just his sister-in-law.” The boys gave an impromptu show (rehearsed a half hour) which wasn’t bad. It made us laugh and, believe me, it was what we all needed. After the show card tables were set up and Jake & I got a few ladies together at one of the tables with Mom & she had a lovely time. Ice-cream, cake, pretzels, soda & other refreshments were served. There was dancing, so I danced with Jakie. I felt like a child. All the girls up there must be at least 21 and over. Eddie’s date (Harriet) was crazy about my blue sheer dress and she thought it was very different & expensive. Was she surprised. I also wore my white fur jacket.

We left at 10:45, taking a block of ice-cream with us. We put the ice-cream into a glass & poured Pepsi Cola over it. It made a delicious ice-cream soda. Try it sometime.

Monday night Mom wanted to go to the movies, so Mom, Jakie, Harriet Greitzer, & I went to see “The Lady Eve.” It was a very light, entertaining comedy. I think you might like it. Everyone but Mom did.

My cold continues to “hang on.” This morning, when I arrived at the office, I blew my nose slightly. All of a sudden blood gushed forth. It was a very violent nose bleed—something I have never had before. I probably irritated the tissues or membranes by blowing my nose so often. It’s nothing to worry about.

Incidentally, on our way to the movies, we past a hat store. In the window there was a striking white felt hat perched at a daring angle on the mannequin’s (is that how it’s spelled) head. It is a military style with a dashing & very fluffy black feather arranged so that it practically resembles a drum majorette’s. It cost just $1.98, so I bought it. It’s a “killer.” Wait till you see it on me.

All day long I try to picture you—where you are & what you are doing at that particular moment. Monday night I sat alone in the parlor from 7:30 to 8:30 thinking about you. That’s probably why Mom suggested the movies.

I’m looking forward to seeing you this week-end. If you can’t make it, let me know as soon as possible & I will come to see you. I love you sweet. Always remember that. I still have that frightened feeling. I guess I always will—while there’s a week between us. Everyone sends their love.

Your Chippie—“Ev”

May 14, 1941 5:50 P.M.

Dearest Evelyn,

No doubt you'll be surprised to hear from me again so soon, but I find that my mind is more at ease when I know there is a letter on the way to you. Moreover, it may encourage you to write more often. The occasional letter I receive from you is the bright spot in an otherwise drudging day. We receive mail twice a day, and al- though I may receive a letter in the morning, when the afternoon mail is given out, I hope against hope that there may be one for me. I know it's silly, but still I feel let down when there's none for me. Your letter, which I received this morning was more welcome than you'll ever know. Was glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself at the B.A.J. party. Tell Jackie I appreciate the way he is taking care of you and Mom. That hat must be a "lulu". I can't wait to see it. By the way, how's Harry behaving? And how is the budget working out? Does Mom have hough money for the week? To all appearances, I won't be able to send much of anything in the way of money, unless I give up coming home week-ends. I hope I don't have to, as looking forward to the week-end at home is all that keeps me going. Besides, after the 13 week training period here, I don't think I'll be able to get home at all for the next for 5 months. So please bear with me, sweet, if I spend my money for train fares. I'm asking leave every week-end while I can still get home—there will come a day when I'll no longer be able to. Of course, there will be week-end now and then when I won't be able to get leave, but that can't be helped. On those occasions, you might visit me. Yesterday was a killer. We had our first bayonet drill and practiced throwing grenades in addition to our regular drill, exercise & instruction. When we got back to barracks, I was pretty well exhausted. But that wasn't all. Immediately after chow (when we were supposed to be off) an order came through. We had to rush like hell to pack (Blankets, raincoat, toilet articles, underwear, etc.) for a bivouac and hike. We were told we were to start at 6.30, but at 5.45 we were called out. Luckily, I had a premonition and was fully packed. Most of the fellows were about half through, but they had to turnout anyhow. They managed somehow to throw their stuff together and get out, but when they were called on to march "on the double," you should have seen the conglomeration of stuff strewn over the ground. The rest of us had our hands full picking it up and getting it back to the owner. Finally after marching about a mile, we parked on a large flat and fell to pitching our tents. We had to unpack all the materials we had so painstakingly packed just a half hour before. By the time we finished pitching texts (2 men in each) and laying out our under-wear, gas masks, toilet articles, etc, etc., it was dark. Then some officers inspected the layout and we got busy tearing down the tents and packing them and the rest of the stuff. By that time it was pitch dark. We assembled and stood waiting for perhaps 20 minutes. Then we began to march. Can you picture it? There we were in a darkness so deep you could only see the man in front of you; tired as hell, dusty, and generally miserable. The darkness was so complete that every few minutes I banged into the man in front of me whenever he stopped. The man to my rear bumped me and so on down the line. So - we marched what seemed an interminable time. Finally—about 10.30 P.M. we arrived at barracks completely knocked out. What a day!! I thought it would never end. By the time I pushed myself between the sheets, it was about 11, We were awakened at 5 A.M, and we were a bunch of dead ducks. All day today I had to push myself to do anything at all—I felt so weary. It was even an effort to sit and listen to the instructors. I would gladly have given a month's pay to have been able to lie down and sleep. But—all's well that ends well. Today we at least have the evening to ourselves. I'm feeling better now—except for a sore left arm, (the last shot was the given us today) thank God! After finishing this I’m going to take a shower and hit the hay. I expect to be home this week-end, baby, so keep your chin up and show everybody how pretty you smile. Please write at every opportunity, sweet, I love to hear from you and I love you. Spread it around to the rest of the family will you, sweet? There's certainly enough to go around. Just save some for your ever-lovin' spouse