Sunday, May 16, 2021

Post #338 - April 8, 1944 What Surprised Me Most was the Completely Renovated Logan Theatre and Almost Two Thousand Showed Up to Attend the Festivities


April 8, 1944


Dearest Phil, 

As I expected, no mail from you today. I'm looking forward to that London letter and hope it’s the usual longie. 

Adele's sty has disappeared and she is looking well once more. I plan to take the C. P. picture about Tuesday. Don't count on it though for I've been sidetracked too many times and don't want to build up your hopes. I'll let you know about it the day we take a picture. 

The weather has been changeable all day. First it's cloudy, then it's sunny, then it rains. In the morning it was cloudy so I placed Adele in the playpen and proceeded to press. After her nap it cleared up and got unusually warm. I stayed out most of the afternoon with her. After dinner I let her play on the porch. Harry is working and Goldie went to the movies. Mom joined me on the porch. Betty, Lou and Natalie were also on the porch. A relative of Sarah's came over with her little girl of 2. Well, sweet, you should have seen Kathy and Adele in action! We all laughed until tears came, I don’t remember laughing that hard in all my life. We asked K. to sing and dance. She wouldn't, but Adele took the cue. She sang, dubbing in all sorts of baby words and expressions and shook and pranced and swayed and danced. I asked her to take the baby's hands and make "ring around a rosie". K. was a bit shy with the new people and Adele had to pull her into it. Adele was pleased with herself and clapped and patted herself. She also has a habit of throwing her head backwards til she almost falls when she's pleased with herself. Then we asked them to sit down on the step (leading from porch to living room). K. had no trouble obeying this particular order. Adele, on the other hand, had to go through the process both Jack N. and I have described on various occasions. She was a sketch. Later she kissed K. and she then she pulled her hair. K. hugged and kissed her too. Adele noted the nail polish on K's fingernails and her little identification bracelet. She said, "Uh", as if to say why don't I have those? Adele hated to see her leave and looked after her long after her departure. What fun! 

April 9, 1944

Adele stayed up later than usual, falling asleep at 8:30. I had intended finishing this once I was dressed. However the gang next store asked me to tag along with them to see *Madame Curie" with G. Garson and W. Pidgeon, which I did. I enjoyed the picture immensely. Did you see it? What surprised me most was the completely renovated Logan Theatre. Phil, you ought to see it! It reminds me of the theatres in town. They took out the box seats near the stage and covered the walls with lovely drapes. They have new modern fixtures with indirect lighting. They have the glass framework built across the last row as the theatres downtown and drapes to cover this. What a difference! Their prices have raised due to the 20% tax recently passed for all luxuries. Upstairs 44¢. Downstairs 55¢. 

I stopped over to Helen's yesterday afternoon while out with Adele. Helen is working at the Jewish Hospital, doing clerical work. Spends two nights a week taking dramatics at Hedgerow. Jean is back in town, planning to join the Army. The Breslows can't get over our lovely daughter. I haven't seen Jean yet. 

Friday night at about 11 P. M. my cousin Bella and her beau dropped in. I had been sleeping since 10 and didn't know about it til the next morning. She gave Mom the dress she promised me for Adele's birthday. Phil, it’s a beauty. It's light blue silkish material with six pleats in the front and six pleats in the back. It has a pink collar trimmed with blue and two bands of pink across the bosom widely separated, so that the second band forms a portion of the belt, which ties in back (in the blue material.) There is a pink bird embroidered on the left side above the pink band and another pink bird below the band on the right side. It's a size 3 and a bit large at the moment. Adele is beginning to grow out of some of her present dresses and many have to have the hems lowered. About three weeks ago I told you that Adele measured 31 inches. I measured her recently and she measured almost 33 inches. That ought to give you a good idea of how fast she is springing up. She was almost the same size as two year old Kathy. She's a tall, well-built girl for her age, our Adele, and has loads of personality. She looks mighty purdy in her blue skirt, white blouse and white and blue socks today. The skirt is getting small too. 

Goldie has been doing quite a bit around the house and is taking a great interest in cooking. She’d better be a good cook if she wishes to please Harry. She starts her eighth month tomorrow and is carrying nicely. It won't be long now! 

Fay isn't going to join her husband after all. He is expecting a furlough in two weeks and they have decided to let things go and wait til he can come home. Fay doesn't think Adele has ever taken a picture that flatters her or even looks like her. She keeps saying, "Phil ought to see what a pretty daughter he has !" 

April 13 is Harry and Goldie's first anniversary and I'm going to give them $5 as a gift. By the way I wish you would time yourself correctly and try to get a baby greeting here for them about the last week of May or first week of June. She is expecting about June 9th. 


The weather was so warm that people went coatless most of the day. I didn't know how to dress Adele. I have no "in-between" clothes. I think I shall try to get her a sort of gabardine overall and bonnet set to see me through, if such an outfit is obtainable. 

Jean and Helen stopped over this evening and we gabbed for a while. Jean prefers the Navy to the Army and is waiting to hear from the Navy, not the Army, as I said previously. She cut her hair short and is bleaching it a bit. She looks well. 

Phil and Emma stopped over shortly after they left. I'm beginning to acquire a liking for Phil, slowly, but surely. When he walked in Goldie called hello to him. Betty happened to be in the kitchen and didn't see who is was. She turned red and all the colors of the rainbow, thinking, for a fleeting moment, that it was, of all people, you. How I wish it was! I don't know where you got the mistaken impression that Phil doesn't like to write. He has emphasized, on many occasions, this shortcoming of yours. He is patiently awaiting a reply from you. He writes to Emma daily even though he sees her every weekend. He is very devoted to her. 

There isn't much else to say, baby, excepting my traditional "I love you, Phil, dear". I might add that Mr. Frommer is coming along nicely. I try, whenever possible, to end my letters differently, as you do, but usually I feel myself overflowing with such a keen desire to kiss you, or hold you, or caress you, or even touch you that I fail, mentally, to express my true meaning. Darling husband, words cannot express the extent of my longing and desire for your presence. Do we have eight more months to go??? I wonder! Be it eight months or longer I shall be waiting, as always - 

Your Eve 

8 April 1944


I just knocked off emails to Ruth and Gloria and I'm all set to give you the low-down on my trip to Norwich last night. To begin with, I knocked off work a little earlier in order to wash, shave, and dress in time to get on board one of the two trucks that left from the base. There were about two dozen of us, including two officers, and we had to install three extra chairs to accommodate us all. The trip, thanks to the antics of Klein and the general air of camaraderie, was pleasant rather than otherwise. Our hosts in Norwich had hired the largest dance-hall in the town for the occasion and had filled the place, including the balcony which ran across all four sides of the hall with tables and chairs. They had expected and made preparations for a thousand. As usual, they underestimated, sadly—almost two thousand showing up to attend the festivities. This number isn't surprising when you consider the fact that the proportion of Jews in the Services is (as I learned recently), eight percent. This ratio is just double that of the percentage of Jews in the United States in proportion to Gentiles—(4%). The Protestant chaplain at this base (Capt. Wheeler) is wholly responsible for these Holiday excursions. He has made every effort to see that the Jewish fellows want for nothing as far as he is able to provide it. This warm cooperation and friendliness strike a responsive chord in each soldier’s heart, and he is well-loved by all who are fortunate enough to know him. He attends many of our services and once talked to us on the “Christian Religion and how it Resembles and Differs from the Jewish.” Never before had I listened to a speaker with more interest. Never have I learned so much in so little time. I know it surprises you, Sweet, that I am taking an increasing interest in religion, but it is true that such is the case. Someday when I have a lot of time and little else to write about, I will enlarge on my new attitude. Right now I'm way off the subject. To get back—when we arrived at the Hall, every available seat was filled and soldiers milled about in the cloak room, in the foyers and entrances, and in the aisles. Most of us hadn't eaten since lunch. I was one of that number, and I was famished. My first reaction to the situation was to get out of there and find a restaurant, but the crowd was so immense, and the reason and nature of it so unprecedented, that I couldn't tear myself away. I was greatly intrigued at the spectacle, and would probably still be gaping at the wonder of it, had not Rosenzweig come along to ask me where we were going to eat. Klein, to be sure, managed to snare a seat at table and was already eating. Rosy and I hopped a bus to the center of town where we managed to find a restaurant. We feasted on fish n’ chips. An M.P. Sergeant took a seat at our table and we were soon engrossed in the three-way conversation. So preoccupied were we, that we failed to take account of passing time. When we finally thought to look, it was just past nine o'clock. The trucks were scheduled to start back at 9:30, and we were at the other end of town. We jumped up out of our chairs as if we were sitting on hot coals—paid the bill hastily, and made a wild dash for the last bus. It was gone—and we thought we were “goners.” Looking about for a cab, we learned from a Bobby that a woman cabbie was in a nearby pub waiting for two more fares before she would consent to take a British civilian and his small son where they wanted to go. While she waited, she was “tanking up.” When we arrived on the scene, she said she would take us. When Rosy tried to explain to her that we were in a great hurry, she said, “O.K., O.K.,” and proceeded to take her own sweet time. I was so disgusted with the whole situation that I didn't even bother to get mad about it. Rosy, however, was literally hopping in his impatience to get started. Finally, at 9:20, she decided to be magnanimous about the whole thing and told us to get into the cab. She came out shortly afterward, fetching a fellow from the pub to get the cab started. This consumed another precious three minutes. In spite of everything, we arrived at the Hall on the dot of 9:30! Had we known the distance was so short, we could have saved time by walking. We hustled frantically through the dozens of parked G.I. trucks for our vehicle. No soap. After checking each and every one, we failed to find them. We were plenty apprehensive by this time 'cause we had no business in town over-night and would certainly have been picked up by the M.P.’s on that account. Visions of the guard-house stared us in the face as we groped about disconsolately and hopelessly in the deepening dusk. We're truly at our wits’ end when two big trucks came rolling past. Just as the second one was opposite where we were standing, I heard Klein yelling lustily “Phil,—Phil.” He got no further ’cause just about then, Rosy and I let go with our best yells (made even better, I fancy by the added note of desperation). The fellows in the back of the truck immediately set up and unholy din of yelling and whistling and stamping their feet to attract the attention of the driver. After going a block further, (Rosy and I running like mad to catch up), the driver was suddenly aware of the turmoil behind him, and stopped the truck to find out what was causing all the commotion. While he was finding out, Rosy and I clambered aboard. Klein had found time to get a few drinks in him, as had some of the other fellows, and a true Holiday spirit prevailed all the way home. Klein sat on the tailgate, precariously supported by the safety strap and made like Hitler. His version is comically exaggerated and, although I've seen him do this particular routine a hundred times, I couldn't help but laugh. Then the rest of the gang got into the spirit of the thing, and every time Klein would raise his hand as a prelude to his spouting, they all shouted “heil!” in unison. Klein made a dozen false starts this way, his suppressed zeal mounting with each interruption, until he seemed to be filled to bursting with all the things he wanted to say but couldn't because of the constant “heiling.” Finally, the guys let him “work off steam,” whereupon he immediately became convulsed into a fit of coughing—pounding his chest and gasping for air. We all got a great kick out of this impromptu comedy client. Klein attempted to lead the singing that followed, but soon found he was so hoarse from his previous rantings, but he had to give it up. Klein’s singing, incidentally, is in a class by itself. He purposely starts on a high key and goes along “rippingly” (as the English say) until he reaches a note just out of range, or I should say—tries to reach it. His voice cracks wide open, and he strives mightily to attain that note. His antics, at this time, are wondrous to behold. He raises himself on his toes, lifts his face, beats his chest, coughs, groans, tears his hair, and does everything but tears his throat wrote in his frenzied efforts to get that note. (Any day now, he'll work himself up to that point.) You can readily imagine, Chippie, that when Klein is around, there is never a dull moment. When we arrived back in camp, we all headed for the Mess Hall. Most of the fellows still hadn’t eaten. I wasn't hungry though, having filled up on the fish n’ chips. Just keep Klein and Rosy company, I fooled around with the bowl of corn-flakes. We walked from the Mess Hall to the hut in bright moonlight—And so to bed. What a night!

I had intended to answer your “anniversary letter” of 20 March, but I haven't had any mail for two days now, so I think I’d better save that for tomorrow.

Good-night for now, Sweet. I haven't missed keeping our date yet—have you? Kiss the punkin for me Give my love to all. I adore you.

Your Phil

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