Sunday, February 28, 2021

Post #300 - February 19, 20, 1944 I Feel Frustrated, Lonely, Helpless and Darn Close to Heartbreak and Please, Chippie, No More V-Mail!


February 19, 1944

Phil, darling, 

The check for $75, along with your v-mail of Feb. 11 reached me this morning. Need I say how delighted I was to receive them? I'm sorry to hear my mail is held up again and I'm sure you've hit the jackpot by now. 

My cold has disappeared completely. My period is late this time, as I was due yesterday. I feel a bit “under the weather” as I usually do at such times. 

Adele took a turn for the worse by running a temperature of 102°. Her hoarseness has cleared and is almost gone. Her nose still runs and runs. Her stomach was a bit upset and an enema took care of that. I've been giving her aspirin (crushed on a teaspoon of water) and alcohol rubdowns to bring down the temperature. She hasn't eaten all day (who could) and has been cranky, wimpery and annoyed. She lays her head in the crook of my neck and sort of moans like a grown up. Phil, dear, it's so hard to express my feelings at such times. Tension grips me. I don't have a desire in the world. I don't want to eat or walk or sit or talk. I want you—only you. I feel frustrated, lonely, helpless and darn close to heartbreak. If God only knew the extent of my yearning for you, he’d send you scurrying home. No one seems to satisfy me then, not even the Moms. I always feel that way when Adele is ill. Adele would just about break your heart (as if I had to tell you of a kid’s suffering after seeing it in England). She is reddish with fever, hot and clammy to the touch, her eyes great, pools of loneliness and helplessness, looking to me for relief of her misery, cranky,  irritated, making a low moaning sound. She's fast asleep at the moment. (Thank God) after an extremely restless afternoon. 

Adele is becoming so attached to me that she won't be left alone a minute. If I go out of the house with my coat on she haunts the windows, looking and calling for “Momma”! I should be flattered, but I'm not. I don't care for kids that are attached to a mother's apron strings and besides, it's not good for either daughter or mother. She adores the grandmas yet won't stay alone with them. That shows how clearly a father's love and devotion is needed for a normal child. Sometimes I'm dead sure she knows you and misses you as I do. Of course she does! 

My right shoulder has been troubling me for some time. I never really noticed it as the pain was slight and seldom. Lately, however, my shoulder feels wrenched, sprained and in certain positions I get sharp breath-holding pains. At first I thought it was a cold and it may be (if you remember your shoulder). To be sure, I made an appointment with Doctor Gayl for Tues. morning, at which time I also aim to have Adele examined. I over-exercise my right arm to an extreme by the following: lots of letter writing, knitting (I used to feel it when typing continually, especially at Miss Hahn’s) and most important of all, carrying Adele. I'm sure she weighs a good 30 lbs., if not more, and I do carry her a great deal with only my right arm. At times, I feel that one shoulder is higher than the other from the weight. I had hoped her walking would have improved by now, but she does not have balance and consequently, I do not trust her to do certain things. She likes to be held and cuddled, and I do my best, though I do feel it too much for me. She's so lovable and pretty! I'm sure it's nothing at all, just overly active as I've said, and I'll take care of it—never fear. I don't even know why I mentioned it, except, perhaps that it takes space and makes a “longie.” 

I have a feeling (Dr. Gayl knows so) that Adele is about to acquire more teeth. The molars are the hardest and most painful to cut. When I call him to express my fears, he reacts (or so I believe), as if it were perfectly natural and that he has many similar calls. In a way I'm glad of the fever, for a cold without fever isn’t normal, and naturally, anything not normal is not good. I feel that the fever is a crisis. Once passed you are on the road to recovery. After all, Adele hasn't been well all week.

What gets me is this: No matter how ill she is, she always remembers to say “sh” when she has to “go.” I can't get over it. I know that her “rear warmings” were not in vain and I don't feel badly about administering them. Quite the opposite—I can see where they have taught her—say what you will. You must be stern with a baby, no matter how it hurts you. Of course, this doesn't apply to all babies. 

I think I ought to change the subject about now. Harry is working (he’s on the night shift this month) and Mom and Goldie are at Ethel's. They had promised to go and didn't want to back out. That, sweet, leaves me all alone and I'll bet you don't know my thoughts at the moment—NOT MUCH! To hold you would be a blessing—or maybe just to hear your well-loved voice—

I must change the subject, baby, or I'll just go to pieces. 

We’ve had freezing cold weather all week. Goldie visited her doctor yesterday and has gained 5 lbs. all together so far. She is halfway through her sixth month. Considering her build and weight, this is “carrying well.” She isn't small, can only wear her maternity dresses, and eats as little as possible. Nevertheless, she is doing fine. The doctor have her permission to make a trip home. 

Ethel has anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. She’ll be taking the carriage any day. I'm going to buy Adele a regular stroller carriage. Most kids use them til they are 3 or 4 yrs. old. You know, a regular sitting carriage. Its use, primarily, is to transport a child a long distance, one that his little feet are not accustomed to traveling til he is old enough to “take it.” All metal carriages are back (Thank God again), and I hope to get one. Some of them have backs that tilt to permit the child to recline if he wishes to sleep. I can't put Adele to sleep in Ethel's carriage, as big as it is, for Adele has grown and does not fit properly when lying prone. 

Did I tell you I finished reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” It's the sort of book you would enjoy, I'm sure, so if you can get your hands on it, read it. It's downright funny in places and I read several of the side-splitting passages to Mom and we both laughed and laughed. By the way, here are some jokes Rae told us: What can Jello do that you can't do? “Come” in six delicious flavors. An Indian, divorcing his wife, said to the Judge: I come, she come, baby come, HOW come? Eleanor Roosevelt went to a beauty parlor for a going over and when she returned her husband, said, “Why Eleanor, you look downright beautiful, I must phone the beauty shop and thank them.” The owner of the shop answered the call and the reply to Mr. Roosevelt's query of “how did you do it?” was: I grafted a piece of skin from my a-- and put it on her face. Now kiss my a--. I'm tired of kissing yours. (Don't tell this one to a Republican.) 

This pen gets worse and worse and I can't get a new one anywhere around here. I'll get one one of these days, I swear. My letters look so sloppy when they could be so neat. 

I ordered a box of personalized stationary like mine for Ruth (she likes it very much) for a sort of graduation gift. 

Our Jack mentioned something about “a bracelet and how Mom liked it” in his latest letter. He must have sent it while in Australia, but we've never received it. Guess it takes a couple of months. 

I'm just about “writ” out as you say, honey. Always leave room to say a fond “I adore you, angel, give you a sound kiss. 

Your Eve 

February 20, 1944

My Darling, 

Back in camp—and back to the old routine. First, I want to complete the London letter. I'm trying to remember how far I got. That's right—I told you everything that happened up to the time I started to write. Well, when I finished, I stopped in the dining room at Hans Crescent and had a snack. Then I went next door to the annex and found my bunk and hit the hay. I slept ’til 9:30 the following morning, at which time I rose, dressed, and went off to the Eagle Club for breakfast. I was eating and reading a paper, when, on glancing through the movie ads, I happened to notice a new picture was showing at the Plaza. It was “Hostages,” with L. Rainer Wm. Bendix, Paul Lukas and a few others that sounded like a good cast. I decided to see it. By the time I got there, it was 11 o'clock. 

The main reason I wanted to see this one was because I always admired Louise Rainer, and it was a long time since I had seen her. I was terribly disappointed in her. She is just a shade of the radiant beauty she once was. She looks like she has been through hell. Her face is drawn and pinched, and there are ugly bags beneath her great black eyes. To make matters worse, the makeup man did in atrocious job on her lips, creating a “false” line that was almost nauseating in its transparency. Her acting, though a bit over-done, was serious and not too hard to take, but her insufficiency of charm was too noticeable and spoiled her performance completely. Outside of that, it is a fairly good picture, and entertaining in its way. Wm. Bendix, as usual, steals every scene in which he appears. When the show was over, I came back to the Eagle and had lunch. When I finished, it was about 2 o'clock, so I parked myself in a nice, comfortable chair in the lounge and preceded to catch up on the news until I must go to the station. I had only been reading about 15 minutes, when I looked up to see “Junior” Crossman smiling down at me. So we gabbed until I had to leave. The trip back was comfortable and uneventful. I still had my trusty pocket edition of detective stories with me and I amused myself by reading them. Arriving in camp, I found I was very hungry, so I stopped at the Snack Bar for a couple of sandwiches, cakes and a Coke. Feeling better, then, I started up the road towards the barracks. But the night was pitch black and I had forgotten to take my torch along, so I literally crept all the way, stepping into the ankle-deep mud at the side of the road at every tenth step. Finally, after many misadventures, I managed to gain the warmth and cheeriness of the hut. It was almost like coming home. This morning I was up bright and early 'cause I was anxious to get my mail. There were your two V-mails of the 7th and 9th Feb., A letter from Ed with his new address, a Valentine from Ruthie (and what do you say to that, Chippie?) and a V-mail from Dottie (also 7 Feb). Please, Chippie, no more V-mail! Even if you can't fill more than a page, write a letter. It's gotten so I have developed a positive antipathy for V-mail. You always seem to be in a hurry to dash off the inconsequentialities you invariably cram them with. Makes me feel I'm not considered worthy of a little more of your time and effort. I know this isn't true, Sweet, but that's the way they make me feel. I know I have been guilty in the past of the same “misdemeanor,” but believe me, I only did so when I had no alternative. I even dislike writing V-mail and make it a point not to whenever I have a glimmer of an idea as to what to write. 

I read through those 5 letters I have been promising to answer, and while I would love to return some of the tender sentiments that literally melted me with their fervent words of praise and endearment, time doesn't allow it tonight, and I thought I would answer a few of your queries and doubts. The passing of Maurice Topolsky was a great shock to me. My heart goes out to his family, but I hesitate to write my condolences to them for fear of making fresh again, a pain that time will have blunted a little. I can imagine, Sweet, why you broke down at the news. It was very good of Mrs. Benis to invite you and Adele to spend some time with them this coming summer. But don't think seriously about it just yet, Honey. If I'm home by that time, we certainly will consider it—but not until then. ‘Nuff said? Then you wanted to know if I could use some razor blades. I certainly can, Sweet, although I never thought to mention it. Be sure they are double-edged though, 'cause I'm using the G.I. Gillette razor now. You might inform Dottie, too, she asked the same question. 

And now, Baby, it's time for “lights out”—and I must say goodnight once more. (Wish I could “roll over” after that with the comforting thought that when I I wake up in the morning I could roll back to see you sleeping beside me—for me to kiss awake),—remember? Remember how I loved you then? That's how I feel about you now. I love you so much my Evvie! 

Love to all—a kiss for Adele from 


February 20, 1944 

Dearest Hubby, 

Adele's temperature dropped to 100° and she is somewhat better. I got unwell last night (one day late) and was thankful that I was able to rest most of the night. Adele had me on the “go” all day and I'm kinda tired this evening. 

Harry’s place gave his section a new shift. They will work (as usual) and get Mondays instead of Sundays off. Today the new business started. 

At supper time, Adele threw up all over the hi-chair and my blue wool dress. We have company for dinner this evening—Mr. and Mrs. Bader (Mrs. Snyder to you). Mrs Bader made Adele a cotton pleated skirt with suspenders of a heavy material with large blocks of various colors. The plaid consists of white, red, navy and green off-red, off-blue, off-green squares and is quite attractive. She gave Mom two guest towels. They talked about old times all the afternoon. Mrs. B. looked very well in a dark purple dress, a black Persian lamb coat, hat and muff. 

Time for my, “sweeter thoughts,” baby mine, as there is little to write of today. I understand my brother Ed is being transferred and the folks are quite worried. Sure, do hope everything will be alright. He's so young—19 on Feb. 26. I adore you, sweetheart mine. A kiss from Adele and 

Your Eve

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Post #299 - February 18, 1944 I’ve Finally Completed the Package and A Meeting (Finally) in London with Eddie


February 18, 1944

My Own, 

No mail today. However, I've received mail from you inclusive to Feb. 9. I finally completed the package and it contains the following: 12 boxes of chiclets, carton of cookies, box of chocolates, two milky ways, one hanky that I found among your things, and three pairs of GI shorts (also among your things) that I'm sending along in the hope that you will be able to use them. They are size 36—I think. 

Tonight I'm at a loss for words. I did a good day’s work, ate fairly good and feel fairly good. I've finished knitting the back of Mom’s sweater and I have about half of the front completed. 

Gosh, baby, can you imagine me at a loss for words? But I can say a few more oft repeated words, “I love you so very much, my darling”! Phil, (I wish I could say it to you, your name, I mean). I always liked that name and often say it to myself to help me get closer to you, sweet. I'll say goodnight now, Phil, dearest. 

Yours then, now, and evermore 

February 18, 1944 
Hans Crescent Club 

Dearest Evvie, 

Here I am in London again. I arrived last night about 4 P.M. I rushed like mad from Liverpool St. to the Hans Crescent—I was that impatient to get to Eddie and Izzy Gutkin. I was rather dubious about the latter being able to make it, but I was hoping nevertheless; as for Eddie. I was positive that he would be waiting for me. After all— he set the date. Imagine my chagrin, then, when on inquiring at the desk, I learned that neither of them had checked in. I was downright mortified. Seeing no point hanging about Hans Crescent, I left notes at the desk for both of them, telling them where to find me, and took off for the Eagle Club. There I checked my gas mask. I had intended to eat there—I was hungry, but when I saw how crowded the place was, and having no patience for waiting around to eat, I decided to look for another place. So I wandered about Leicester Square, eventually making my way to Piccadilly Circus. In the course of my gadding about, I stumbled onto the “Criterion Restaurant.” I remembered that someone had recommended it highly. Entering, I found it to be a very attractive place; cozy—in spite of its spaciousness. There are two floors, the “street floor” where “teas” are served between meals, and the basement, which, if anything, is even more luxuriously appointed and “homier” than the top floor. I found I was about fifteen minutes too early for supper, which is at six, so I settled down to wait a quarter of an hour, getting hungrier by the minute. Finally, it was time, and a waitress came over to see what I would have. The menu was printed in French and I was at a loss as to what to order, but she was very accommodating and made it all clear to me. 

Thus I was able to order to my taste, which was as follows: Hors D’Oeuvres, Cambridge Steak, Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls and Butter, and a glass of lager (beer to you). For dessert: Cocoa Blanc Mange (like chocolate pudding). Well, Chippie, everything was delicious, and I did the meal full justice, but the big surprise was were the hors d’oeuvres. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I ordered. The waitress pushed a three-tiered trolley over to the table. I took one look at the delicacies in the dozens of trays and had all I could do to keep from drooling—no kiddin’. When I started to point out what I wanted, the waitress very politely asked me if I would leave it to her judgement. I agreed, hastily and gratefully, ’cause while I hated to give up some of the things I relished, I hated even more to make a pig of myself. I needn't have worried on either score, though. ’cause when she finished piling it on, here is what the plate contained: pickled beets, pickled carrot strings, marinated herring, kippered herring, potato salad, baked beans, green peas, pickled greens, pickled sardines, and coleslaw—no less. Lady, when I finished all that, (and was it good!!) I began to have serious misgivings as to my ability to digest the rest of the meal. However, I had no trouble, for everything was so delicious that I hated to reflect that when I finished, there wouldn't be anymore. (Silly, ain’t I?) After I had eaten—out to the Square again, where I “queued up” to see the only picture I have failed to see up ’til now. “His Butler’s Sister” with Deanna Durbin, more grown up and lovelier than ever, is definitely worth anybody's time and money. It is a pleasing comedy, with the added thrill of Deanna's singing. I have only one comment as to that—SUPERB! You must have guessed what my next move was. Exactly: Imperial Turkish baths. I inquired hopefully at the desk for Eddie and Izzy. No luck. This rather put a damper on my spirits, and I felt blue all evening. For some unaccountable reason, I was very, very tired, mentally and physically, so that by the time I had finished “steaming” and sank into one of the steamer chairs to wait my turn at the masseur, I couldn't keep my eyes open and fell into a deep sleep. I was roused much later by the masseur’s repeated calling of my number. Groggily, I might made my way to the massage table and stretched out on it—still conscious of a heavy fatigue. The masseur took the “tiredness” out of my body with his expert fingers, but I was still very drowsy when I got to bed. I “dropped off” again into an uncommonly heavy sleep. You know, Chippie, how impossible it is for me to fall asleep on my back—yet that's exactly what I did! I awoke at 9 o'clock this morning, still on my back. Evidently, I hadn't moved a muscle all night. However, I felt much refreshed this morning and wasted no time getting dressed. I was paying my bill when something about the clatter of footsteps on the stairs behind me made me wheel instinctively. I felt like shouting my joy when I saw Eddie, grinning happily, advancing on me with his hand outstretched in greeting. Need I tell you, Sweet, what our feelings were at that moment? I had just about given up hope of seeing him this trip and his arrival was in the nature of a gift from the gods. We went straightway to the Eagle Club, where we talked and talked over breakfast. After breakfast—into the lounge, where we talked some more and I showed him all the pictures you have sent me since I arrived “over here.” Darling, it was so wonderful to see a familiar face and talk of home with someone who appreciated what I was talking about. We must have “chewed the rag” for about three hours when it struck me Ed might want to see a little more of London-town.—But I'm getting ahead of myself. I was very let down when he told me that his pass was only for 24 hours—and had to see the Colonel to get that! He very nearly couldn’t come at all. It seems his organization is on the verge of moving to another base in England. Too, he is transferring into another outfit. All this made it very difficult for him to procure a pass, and he only succeeded after he enlisted the aid of the Chaplain. At that, he was lucky to get even twenty-four hours. He arrived at Hans Crescent this morning, (3 A.M.) and darn near drove the clerks daffy in his efforts to locate me. The difficulty arose from the fact that the Information Desk closes at 10 P.M. Finally, in order to pacify his outlandish demand that they check every Red Cross Club in London on the chance that I might be there, (there must be a dozen clubs in London with some several thousands of G.I.’s in each), they opened the Info. Desk Room to him. Then your “brilliant” brother pulled a lollapalooza of a boner! Instead of looking for his name on the blackboard, the dummy looked for my name instead! Naturally, he failed to find it. His own name stood out like a sore thumb on the blackboard where I myself had printed it in bold and prominent letters—if you had only looked under the “P”s for it! However, he didn't—and giving it up as a bad job, went disgruntledly to bed. Awaking this morning, he tried the Info. Desk again, complaining that he couldn't find my name on the board, although he was almost sure I was around someplace, and that I must have left a message for him. The girl suggested he look for his own name. (I can imagine what she must have been thinking!) You can imagine for yourself, Sweet, what Eddie felt like when he looked again and found his name, as big as life, staring him in the face! Hastily procuring the note I had left, he scanned it. I had told him I would be at the Baths until 9:30 this morning. I neglected to tell him that at that time I was leaving for Hans Crescent. When he looked at the time, it was exactly 9:15. There was a line waiting to get at the Info. Desk, but he broke right in and demanded to know how to get to Russell Sq. and the Baths. The clerk must have read the desperation in his mind, ’cause she obliged him with the directions. At that, he got there just as I was leaving. The time was 9:35 A.M. Poor kid, he had a hectic time of it all the way through, but all is well that ends well—and he did see it through to the happy conclusion. Of course, the fact that we had to make the 5 o'clock train this very afternoon somewhat lessened our pleasure, and we both decried the fact that we would have so little time together, but on the whole, it was well worth all the trouble. About 1 P.M., I suggested we take a stroll around Leicester Sq. and Piccadilly so that Eddie might see something of London. He was impressed with the hustle and bustle and generally metropolitan aspect of everything, and regretted afresh that he didn't have more time to enjoy it all. Passing the “Empire” where “Thousands Cheer” is still showing, I suggested that we might “take it in.” I knew he would enjoy it and I had no reluctance whatever about seeing it again—it's that good! He agreed—and afterwards was glad that he had consented. He enjoyed it very much. I did, too. We had about an hour to kill after the show—before train time, so I took him to the Criterion for tea. We weren’t very hungry, haven't eaten a pretty big breakfast, and the few sandwiches, tea and pastries were just enough. Then, reluctantly, I saw him to Euston Station, where I saw him safely on his train. Eddie was very impressed with the Underground (Subway) in general and the escalators in particular. We made plans to meet again in the near future just before the train arrived. After I saw him comfortably settled in his seat, I bid him farewell and made my way back to Hans Crescent—half-hoping that Izzy might have come in in the meantime. No such luck! It certainly was swell of Eddie to go to all that trouble and inconvenience and travel so far (app. 260 miles round trip) to see me for a few hours. I'm no end flattered—and grateful—but I guess I wouldn't be doing either him or you justice if I expected anything less of your brother, my darling. 

After the comparatively mild disappointment of the failure of Izzy to get here (I never really believed he would), I settled down to getting this letter written. As you can readily see, Baby, I have been at it for some time now, and I'm beginning to get very hungry—so I know you will excuse me if I conclude this now. 

It just struck me that I had promised to answer your last five letters. Hope you'll understand that this one precludes my doing so. I'll look through them tomorrow, though, for the purpose of answering any questions you may have put—I think there were a few. 

I’ll bid you a fond au revoir for now, my lovely, with the admonition that you don't forget to kiss the punkin for me—and tender my love to all. As for you, Chippie, I can only reiterate what is constantly and undiminishingly in my heart and mind. I adore you! As “my British Buddy” would say—“you’ve had it!!”—from 

Your Phil, 
(how true—how true!) 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Post #298 - February 17, 1944 I Got a Big Kick Out of the Crack the Fellows Made “What the Hell You Writin’—a Book?”


February 17, 1944 

Dearest Phil, 

I found a few more sheets of green—so we’re back to green. I suspected that you hadn’t written on Feb. 4 and 5 when I failed to receive mail for a few days. Today, sweet, you more than made up for it. Your longie letters of Feb. 6 and 9 and v-mail of Feb. 8 were in this morning's mail and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. My cold isn't much better. Adele's is greatly improved. I had her in bed this morning and when your letters came, I went upstairs, lay down on the bed—and read and read and read. Uh huh. You and Ed have (I hope) met today and how I wish I could be with you! I've dreamt about it millions of times. I've even thought of joining a Red Cross show or sumpin’ to get “over there” —if it were only possible! Your comments on the “commy’s” theories did make me proud and I got a laugh out of it, too. I kinda thought any luxury items would run extremely high in England with reference to the zircons. Which reminds me, Uncle Nish told me not to buy any sort of jewelry for Adele, as it runs too high at present, so I banked the $5. I can understand, from your detailed explanation, why you didn't particularly care for “Phantom of the Opera.” You ask if I'm willing to be “educated” by you so that I may appreciate and like symphony as you do. I'd like to know when I wasn't willing. I doubt, though, if I'll ever be able to fully appreciate “flawlessness of performance” unless I learn to read and play music, which I should like to do someday. I do like and appreciate symphony, and have, since I became acquainted with you, sweet. I'm glad the package finally reached you. You asked, recently, that I could send you underwear. What type and what size? Shorts or jocks? What type of overseas cap do you want—OD or summer? I got a big kick out of the crack the fellows made, “What the hell you writin’—a book?” Don't ask me why, I just did. No comment on the v-mail, except the fact that, as I said before, you shouldn't have left yourself so low on funds. 

Rae surprised me by coming here directly from work with the candy. I'll be able to mail off the package shortly. I now have the chocolates, box of Chiclets (Ruth’s birthday gift to you) and a box of Bond’s butter (Mom paid for that) cookies, which are delicacies. I'll get some halvah and hankies and wait til you send me another request for underwear and the cap. 

Yale, Shirley, Lena and a friend visited us this afternoon. Both Yale and Shirley look well. They were telling us that they are 180 miles from nowhere and pay $40 a month for a room and bath that has a gas oven in the center of each room for heat. Regular pioneers. Shirley hates it. 

I didn't go to the doctor this morning as I did not feel up to it. I've been wanting to take Adele, but another few days or a week won't make any difference. 

I've been advised not to send halvah as it will spoil, especially if not properly packed. I'll get some other goodies to fill the package. I hope to mail off the package tomorrow. Guess that just about finishes me off for today, baby, not, however, til I've drawn you close, hugged you tightly, kissed you oh so tenderly, and whispered in your ear “I adore you, Phil”— sigh.

Your Eve

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Post #297 - February 16, 1944 Yale Stopped Over in the Afternoon and Sgt. Peppler Agreed With Me that I was Damned Lucky to Get Out of the Infantry When I Did


February 16, 1944 

My dearest Phil, 

Yours (3 Feb.) advising me that you already know Izzy G. is in England reached me this morning and you don't have to explain the asterisk either—I catch on. 

Adele is about the same, but I now have a beautiful running nose. I’ll bet I sneezed a hundred times today. 

Yale stopped over in the afternoon. He looks well, having put on 10 lbs. Shirley had’nt seen her father and visited for him instead of coming over with Yale. 

Harry bought a blue coat (I haven't seen it, as it has to be altered a bit) $34.50, and a pair of cocoa brown pants, $14.50. 

Adele says “boy” clearly. Sarah came in this afternoon to see Adele and when ready to depart, said, “I'll see you later.” Adele threw a kiss. Guess that shows how well she understands everything. One usually says goodbye or so long. By the way, Yale said he took his overseas physical and passed. He says men at his field are shipped suddenly, so he has no idea of whether or not he'll go. Room to say “I love you, Phil.” 

Your Eve 

February 16, 1944 

Evvie, dearest, 

Tonight I am CQ. I have just finished some unfinished business, put my bunk in readiness, and built a nice, warm, cheery fire in the stove to keep you warm. Now I am quite ready to talk to you. The fact that no mail arrived from you for the second consecutive day, however, doesn't promise much for the volume of this letter. However, let us hope for the best, eh, Chippie? Who can tell—if I sit and think and stare at the keys at the typewriter long enough, I may get an idea. It just occurred to me—the greatest story in the world is contained somewhere in these very keys. If I only knew the combination! Today was a very ordinary kind of day, except perhaps that it was the first one that carried a hint of Spring. This morning, it was my turn to be Room Orderly, so that by the time I finished sweeping, mopping, and cleaning the hut up generally (after which I shaved), it was 9:30. From then until 11:15, when I went to lunch (roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, b & b, coffee, sliced canned peaches—are you jealous, Sweet?), I was kept pretty busy about the Orderly Room. In the afternoon, I am usually busier, and today was no exception. Red stopped in at 5:15 and we went to chow. Supper is usually a pretty loose affair. They just slap anything they have at you. But we weren't so concerned with the meal as we were with dessert, which, today being Tuesday, was VANILLA ICE CREAM. After we had finagled ourselves three helpings apiece, we decided that we had had enough. After supper, I came back here to the Orderly Room to make myself comfortable for the night—and that's where you came in, Darling, at least figuratively. I guess it would be too much to hope for to wish you “came in”—actually. Believe it or not, I often tease myself with that very idea. I ask myself how I would react if I saw you walking through the door of the hut; or sometimes, in the midst of a London crowd, I'll look for your dear face, half-hopefully, knowing full well that you are some thousands of miles away. When I I take cognizance of what is in my mind that these times, I always wind up wondering what I would do or say if I had seen you. I guess I'll never know the answer to that particular question. Sgt. Peppler just dropped in to borrow an envelope and we “got to talking” about this and that. Somehow, we got wanted the subject of the infantry and I told him something of my experiences at Ft. Meade and A.P. Hill in ’41. I find that certain nights (the more difficult ones) stand out in my memory. I compared the grind of those days with our present, easy-going existence and he agreed with me that I was damn lucky to get out of the Infantry when I did. Which all brings me right up to this moment. And right at this moment I am wishing very hard that you were right here beside me for me to fondle and pet and kiss and, a little later, if you didn't mind the roughness of the blankets, I would take you to bed with me. You understand, of course, that we’d be rather crowded, ’cause the bunk is barely wide enough for one, lett alone two; but then, we never do take up very much room in bed, did we Sweet?In fancy, whether you know it or not, you are always by my side when I am in bed. If I close my eyes and concentrate real hard (as I invariably make it a point to do), I can almost “feel” the sweet velvety warmth of you next to me. Tonight in the quiet solitude, without extraneous distractions, I feel you very close indeed, my Darling, and feeling you close, I am reluctant to say goodnight. Instead, I'll say as I used to once upon-a-time “sleep tight, Baby/ I love you.” My dearest love to my other little girl. My love to all. 

Your adoring husband, 

February 16, 1944

Dearest Darling, 

Today was definitely a good day, for the afternoon mail brought loads of mail for everyone. I received five letters from you, namely 20th, 21st, 22-23rd, 24th, 26th January. The sixth letter was in the nature of the surprise (I still don't believe it!). Phil came through with a letter of six pages (no less). Can you blame me for disbelieving my eyes? It seems he took exception to my chiding him for not being a writing man. Some guys will go to any lengths to make liars of their critics. He seems to be having himself quite a time around Washington. This unprecedented cordiality was also great surprise to me. No kiddin’, Ev, he's almost demonstratively affectionate. Now, if I am to save face, I must send him at least a seven-pager. 

Your own letters, darling, are a joy to read. I only regret that time does not permit me to answer them individually. They are written on your new personalized stationary and are very neat. I'm hoping you get the typewriter repaired soon—then you will be able to write so much more on each sheet. It is now 9:30 and there are still some things I have to do in preparation for tomorrow when I'm leaving from London to meet Eddie (I hope). I know you will understand, Sweet, if I don't take the necessary time to answer your letters in the manner to which you are accustomed at this unfavorable time. I hope to get the opportunity within the next few days in London. I'll do better than that—I hereby promise to make the opportunity. 

Before I sign off, and in order to keep this letter from being a complete “washout,” I’ll give you the “news of the day.” 

As you know, last night I was CQ. One of my duties on this detail is to awaken everyone at 6:30; anyone who wants breakfast badly enough to climb out from under the warm blankets to get it, arises at that time. The others continue to sleep until about 7:30. I don't have to tell you in which category I belong—. Who ya callin’ lazy? I just don't like breakfast! All right, let's not argue the point or I'll never get on with the rest of the story. Anyhow, in order to insure that I get up in time to wake the others, I tell the operator to give me a ring at 6:15. I was on South St. trying to buy myself a suit of civilian clothes (with one buck in my pocket) when I was suddenly aware that the operator was making desperate efforts to rouse me. When I “came to” and heard – – – on the phone bell, I realized that it was the operator’s gesture to signify that he was giving it up as a bad job. I tumbled out hastily (br-r-r-r!) and answered the phone. Then, still shivering, I scrambled into my clothes and made the rounds of the huts and awoke all the men. That was the beginning of a day that was, to all intents and purposes, exactly the same as some other hundred days in the ETO. Even the weather was typical (if’n you know what I mean). The only dissimilarity from most other days occured about 4 P.M. when I received those six scrumptious letters (Which is where I came in). And now it's almost 10 o'clock—and I must run—but not before I say to you and the punkin and the family—I love you all. (But especially you, my Sweet). 

As ever, 
(and I do mean lovingly) 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Post #296 - February 15, 1944 Adele Must Be Teething and A V-Mail From Sister-in-Law Gloria


February 15, 1944. 

Dearest Sweetheart, 

Five days since I had mail and I'm getting mighty anxious to hear from you. I did have a letter from Ed and know that you were unable to meet. Just a bad break. Better luck next time, though. I do wish you could get together at least once. We also received the enclosed letter from Anne Furr and I'm sending it along as it is very informative. 

Adele’s cold has settled in her chest, making her hoarse. I called Dr. Gayl and he said she must be teething as there is no fever. I was up most of the night with her as she had difficulty breathing. He advised me to rub her chest down with Vicks. I have to take her to his office Thursday morning. 

Last night the telephone rang. When I picked up the receiver and said hello, a fellow said “Hello Evelyn.” I hadn't the slightest idea who it was, even though he said “your cousin.” It turned out to be Yale. He and Shirley came in on a furlough last night and called here almost immediately after arriving. I was flattered. He said, “How's my kid?” 

Goldie finished off her working days to the tune of the following: a gorgeous light blue Swedish tailored robe with rose braiding along the edges and her initials GSS sewed on the lapel, blue bedroom slippers, $10 in cash for the newcomer and a rattle. A close friend gave her a lovely corsage of gardenias. Harry, took the day off. 

Adele is getting more consonants. She says tie clearly. Today, she said cheese. (She loves to eat pieces of American cheese.) She makes a good attempt at many words, too many to mention. Hal Cohen’s valentine to Adele read as follows: “Your as nice as angel cake, And you're as sweet as candy, And if you'd be my Valentine, then that would be just dandy.” I think its wording is perfect for Adele. 

I finished writing Len and Anne and I'm kind of worn, hence the poor handwriting. Think I'll sign off now, baby, not however, before I send all my love 

Your Eve 

February 15, 1944

Hello Corporal, 

Surprised you, huh? Well, I'll be surprised if the above is your latest address—my address book being littered with your various troop movements. 

It's rather difficult writing you, Phil, as I'm sure Ev covers the news on the Strongin home front very adequately. The last time I was in Philly—the family was swell— with Goldie and Ethel Wyman swelling (sorry, that slipped). Anyway, your little daughter is quite the young lady and getting cuter n’ cute—looks more like you all the time (are those 2 last observations contradictory?) 

Anyway, to get to the crux of the matter and to the point—your birthday is coming up? (How can I forget it—the date being as near that unforgettable 15th of March?)—These are strange times—so it's not too strange that I am requesting you to request something for your birthday as, of course, I can't send anything without said request. And while requesting, please requisition for something you would like or need—or both. 

You hear from Jack, I presume—he’s quite busy in the Supply Division—but I won't go into that. 

Please write soon. Let me now how you’re doing and REQUEST! 


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Post #295 - February 14, 1944 My Dad is Accepting the New Position and “My Kingdom for a Cook”


February 14, 1944 


I liked the enclosed dress and fully intended to buy it. Sarah and Betty were in town today and promised to see if it was as nice as it looks. It's a black and white check, trimmed with red grosgrain ribbon and buttons. They said it was so raggedy looking they were shocked. By the way, Lit Brothers called me today saying they were sending me a coin to open a charge account. I said it was okay. It doesn't hurt to have a charge account, especially if I need something and don't have the cash on hand at the time. I'd like to know whether you like the print dress. It's rather different, and since I was unusually curious as your opinion, I hope you'll give out and not get the wrong impression. It sort of seems as though we're shopping together. 

Adele received an unusually sweet Valentine from none other than Hal Cohen. Mom received your letter, one from Zelda, Jack and Gloria. She hit the jackpot today. Zelda was shocked, as who wasn't, by the passing of Tante. My mother acted like a 16 yr. old today. Reason: My dad sent her the lovingest valentine—“to my sweetheart—my wife.” My dad is accepting the new position, hrs. 8 to 6 daily, 8 to 12 Saturday, somewhere in the forty bracket per. The owner is a resident of Logan (4800 or 4900 9th St.) and can take my dad to and from work in his car. That's not all—think of the advantage to us—we can get everything wholesale. Yeh man!! Both my mom and dad are elated. Need I say more? My dad couldn't have picked a better line to fall into as both my family and “us” need to completely furnish a house. Now I will change the subject. 

Adele seemed much better today, though her nose is a pain to both of us. It just doesn't seem to stop running. I've done nothing but rest most of the day to get on my feet. I'm also writing to Jack N. this evening. 

I had hoped to go to Clare Pruett this week, however, with Adele’s cold and my next “due” Feb. 18 I think it will have to wait a short while. Rae hasn't brought me the candy, so I can't send off the package yet. 

Yesterday the kids were really something. Snuff has taught Hal the art of balance and he (Hal) stands on Snuff’s hand, arms outspread, while Snuff raises him almost to the ceiling. He throws the kid around like a rag doll and Hal loves it. Adele called him Harold. Adele has been saying many new words, not distinct yet ,such as “ba-a” (butter), “tie,” “arah,” (Sara), and those are all I can remember at the moment. Dot, incidentally, paid me a compliment—“you're looking better than I ever remember seeing you.”

Today Mrs. Frommer came in to visit us and Adele (I only kept her in bed in the morning), walked over and sort of said hello. A few minutes later, Mr. Frommer walked in. Adele walked over, greeted him with a sort of hello sound and then pointed to Mrs. Frommer as if to say “here she is and bade him to sit down beside her. She knows them well, knows they belong together, and sees to it that they are. Gosh, she surprised me! 

Goldie stops working tomorrow. Harry (after much persuasion), is going to buy a much-needed coat. And now, my darling valentine, I love you, I adore you, I am 

Your Eve 

February 14, 1944

Darling Chippie, 

No mail today, so I'm back to V-mail. Last night I wrote a lot in answer to your mail, but I failed to get around to telling you what I've been doing these past few days. Not that there is anything out of the ordinary to write about, but I may as well keep the “record” straight. Let's see now—Yesterday was the regular routine day. In the evening, Red and I went to the Base Theatre to see Charles Coburn and Marguerite Chapman (very, very lovely) in a light comedy about an English novelist and his daughter who come to America. The title: “My Kingdom for a Cook.” Very entertaining and containing some rib-tickling situations. After the show we stopped at the Snack Bar for a coupla of sandwiches and “cokes.” Then back to Barracks, where I managed to get off the five pages of yesterday's letter. And so to bed. Today—the same old thing during the day. After work I got to feeling lazy (remember?) so I took a nap for about an hour and a half. I woke up feeling very chilly, so I got up and stood by the stove. There are only four of us in the hut tonight, and between us we managed to make a conversation. Then I decided it was high time I attended my “daily stint”—and this brings me right up to the minute. Good-night for now, my Sweet. I love you so much! A kiss for the lass. My love to all. 

Your Phil

February 14, 1944 

Dear Phil:

Not waiting to receive an answer to my letter in which I disclosed why I couldn't meet you I rush this new address to you which, starting today, is my new one. 

Everything is fine. Heard from Eve and all the folks. Last few letters I received came over in five days. Hope you are in good shape. 

As Ever, 
Your Brother-in-law, 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Post #294 - February 13, 1944 I Feel I’m Cheating You When I Send V-Mail instead of an Honest-to-God Letter and a Letter to Phil’s Mom from Cousin Anne Furr


February 13, 1944 


Today, I’m as happy as a lark—(well, almost). The afternoon mail brought me four eagerly awaited letters: yours of 27, 28 and 30 Jan., and Ruthie’s of 29 Jan. Your personalized stationary is very smart, Honey, but don't be too sparing of it on that account. By the way, how many sheets and envelopes did you get? Is that all? And how long do you expect that to last? Or are you going to “ration” me to a single sheet per day? (At that, I prefer it to V-mail). Y’know—the more V-mail I get, the less I like it. I feel cheated—just as I feel I'm cheating you when I send V-mail instead of an honest-to-God letter. Your solicitude for my “jealousy” is very sweet and touching, Baby, but I think you misunderstand the reason. You evidently think that I am not sufficiently convinced of your love and devotion, and probably attribute my jealousy to that. It isn't that at all, Sweet, God knows you have tendered me every evidence of wifely affection and devotion a man could possibly wish for. No—it’s something deeper than that—something that defies elucidation to an “un-jealous” person such as yourself. However, the important thing is that you reckon with my jealousy—and I know you will. I know, Sweet, that you had no idea what your innocent remarks were doing to me—and I hold no brief with you for it. To close this subject, which is as distasteful to me as it must be to you, I want you to know that I'm humbly grateful for your understanding and unhesitating desire to cooperate. Thanks a million, Chippie. 

I note you're still teasing me about the “next one.” Don't stop it, Baby, I love it! Coming from you, that particular brand of “music” is the most wonderfully exciting it has ever been my privilege to hear. Nevertheless, to get back to earth, in this case, “actions speak louder than words”—and I refuse to be convinced by mere talk and protestations of willingness. (Now, who's teasing?) But we shall see—we shall see. 

Your paragraph about Harry and Goldie is very confusing and contradictory—as I shall someday point out to you. 

I don't exactly know how I can get that discount for you on those Combevita Tablets. I would suggest that you call Mr. Kerr at Sharp & Dohme (sales dept.), identify yourself, and ask him if it would be possible for you to procure a few bottles at the old price. If he can't oblige you, forget the price angle—and get some anyhow. Sounds to me like you need them, Sweet, and I think they did you a world of good when you used them. After all, what's a few paltry dollars where your health is concerned? I won't tolerate skimping on your part in this instance—I'm warning you! 

If Harry and Goldie show a reluctance to discuss a name for the newcomer—just forget it. After all, it's their baby; but I don't know why they should feel that way about it—and deprive me of my fun. I think it's very narrow of them. But if they aren't interested—then I'm not either—so there now. 

Yes, Chippy I have visited the “nearby towns and villages,” but I am not at liberty to tell you about them, and that's that. 

The picture you draw of the lassie—rubbing the sore spot when she faws down—kissing you voluntarily in the morning—is almost too sweet to be borne. I get an overwhelming urge to hold her in my arms and sample some of that sweetness. She is precious beyond words; therefore, just reading about her is just so much whetting of my hunger for her. It leaves me maddeningly unstated. God, what I wouldn't give to hold her close just for an instant. I'm still congratulating myself for realizing in time that I would be doing myself a favor if I didn't let myself become “attached” to my daughter—my very own child—Phil’s baby—Philip Strongin's daughter—it's no use—no matter how I look at it, it still doesn't seem real. I hate to imagine what my feelings would be at this time had I “let myself go” when I was seeing the punkin every so often. Bless her little heart—I'm afraid you're going to have some real competition for my time and attention when I come home to you, my beloved girls. 

That letter of mine that reached you within five days must have broken all records. Too bad that kind of speed is the exception, rather than the rule. 

I'm going to hold you to that promise to have Clare Pruett make your picture. Don't wait so long that I have to pester you for it. 

Sorry, Sweet, but it's “lights out” for now, so I'll close with a great big hug and kiss (where did I hear that before?) for you, your daughter and mine, and my love to all the folks.

(as of yore)

Sunday, February 13, 1944

Dear Baila,

Received your letter and it was good hearing from you. I’m glad to hear that you are going to be a Grandma again—wish you lots of luck and happiness. How does she feel, Goldie, and I bet Harry must be very happy. How’s Evelyn and her baby—her baby must be adorable. When does Ethel expect her baby and how are they all. I know it’s a long time since you heard from us. Mickey was supposed to come and visit us and then she was ill and I haven’t heard from you all since. Well things are not so pleasant with us here. Jack is in England and I’ll write his address at the end of this letter and you send it to Philip. My brother-in-law is in England also. My husband is in ?[hole in paper] since October but expects to leave from there—for all I know he may be on his way somewhere. I guess you know the feeling. All we could do is pray for their safety and quick return. I got a V-Mail from Harry N. Yuman, but I can’t make out the return address—so will you please send it to me. I’d appreciatae it. Also Phil’s and Jackie and Ben Wyman’s address. And I’ll write them.

Ma is not feeling so well about coming to Philadelphia. It’s very hard for her being that I’m working and Papa. She can’t leave the house because because Pop comes home very late at night and leaves very early in the morning and he must have a hot meal anyway. Betty is coming in this week from Springfield to stay for a week or so and Sol will come down for the weekend. Did you know that Emma and May were in Florida and are due back this Saturday. Why not come down here. It would be swell have you. Rose Emma’s met Gloria’s sister. She’s going to have a baby also. Not Rose, follow me.

Well, I guess you’d be glad to hear that Sheldon is going to school now. He in the first grade and does he enjoy going to school. George expects to enlist in the Navy in April. Seems so impossible but it is so. That’s about all the news and I hope this letter reaches you all in the best of health.

Regards to the Wymans and Evelyn and Harry and Goldie.

Your loving cousin,


Jack’s address
Pvt. Isadore J. Gutkin 3125 0260
97 Station Complement Sqd.
A.P.O. 638, C/O Postmaster, N.Y.