23 April 1944
That salutation is by way of being an answer to yours of 12 April (V-mail). Before I go any further, I want to say it was most considerate of you, Baby, to “hasten to inform me” that you finally got around to Claire Pruett for those long-awaited pictures. Sure enough, your letter of the 11th is “late in arriving.” I await the products of your visit to the photographer with the most eager expectancy. I'm also looking for that 11th April letter to tell me whether or not you remembered to order that “miniature” for me. I fear it slipped your memory.
Didn't have space enough in yesterday's V-mail to include a coupla of items I had meant to. First I dropped a V-mail to Lil a few days ago to ask her the reason for her recent coolness. It has been bothering me and I want to know the answer. Second in Eddie's letter of the 18th, received yesterday, he included the newspaper clippings of Mayer Taylor's heroism. No wonder the whole neighborhood is talking! They must be plenty proud of him.
Just finished letters to Harry W. and Gloria. As I pointed out to Harry, there was very little likelihood of our being able to arrange a meeting. Seems the censor won’t allow us to specify where we intend to be at a certain date. Don't ask me why. You can see how this would put a crimp in any such plans I might have. Anyhow, I wrote to tell him that I was aware that he is now in England and to congratulate him on his acquisition of a new nephew and to wish him luck in the coming eventful days which promised to be hectic ones for him.
What's this about the punkins apparent indifference to ice-cream? Can this be my own daughter—my own flesh and blood? I can't understand it!
That letter of Eddies that got home in only three days must have set you to wondering. It did me. That's the fastest mail service I've heard about to date.
I took the trouble (t’ink nuttin’ of it!) to count the number of typewritten lines that would fit into a V-mail form. I think 45. This should save you the trouble of twisting the roller to determine how much space is left. Of course, the fact that this will curb you of the tendency to gyp me out the last few lines has nothing whatever to do with all of this. (Oh—no!)
About that pinafore. Improvement is always “worth the trouble.” All right! So you are not having a fur hat made; but you have not told me so “repeatedly” as I shall someday prove to you—and you don't have to get so huffy about it! Who is SHOUTING? I merely suggested—Gee, Baby, I even miss that.
I especially like your closing paragraph, Sweet. That “always, (all ways)” business is darn cute—and most intriguing (as you no doubt intended it to be). Wish I could think of something equally cute, but I can't, so since I have nothing further to report—I’ll bid you a very fond adieu, and meet you on the bench out front—shortly. My fondest thoughts are for the punkin. My love is for all. I—am for you. I am (this’ll surprise you—)
April 24, 1944
Your "Iongish" letter of April 18-19 arrived in record time this morning, along with two sparkling letters from Jack N. One was for me, the other for “us". The letter for us contained a five dollar bill which, evidently, was intended for you and since I do not know whether it is safe to send it along in a letter I am holding on to it. If you want it it’s yours for the asking. I'm mailing off Jack's letter, which will explain the five dollars and many other things. I shall try to write to Jack when I finish this.
So you got 14 letters at one time! Not bad, not bad at all. You did have my curiosity aroused when you said you couldn't write for two days and I realized you would say when you could. Are you nearer or further from London? Will you be able to go to London on pass as previously? Naturally, I would like to know the name of the nearest town to your present base, but, undoubtedly, you would have mentioned it were you able to. Is this a Fighter Base? Is the food better or the same? Apparently the mail comes through more speedily at this new base, for, according to the dates of my letters, the last one was only ten days old. Isn't that pretty good time for my mail?
Do you like my knack for writing as I speak? I don't particularly care for it myself. daddy dea r I love y ou
(typed by none other than Adele Bara with my aid.
I was trying to write while she played in the pen! She had other ideas. I thought the typewriter might occupy her for a while and decided to have her send you a message all by her little self.
This letter may not hang together, sweet, as I am going to answer all the questions you posed in your letter. I'm not angry cause you neglected to write the previous night. I doubt if I would with 14 letters from you to keep me occupied. As long as you are happy!
I am a bit surprised to know that you have been thinking about the "Jack, Lenny, Phil" proposition. I think you and Jack are "naturals" for any business, regardless of your individual knowledge of any subject, including photography. Yes, sweet, I think your could offer plenty to the photography line to make such a deal plausible and as you say, "Let's hope it will all happen some day".
Phil, it has been pouring for four days now and I'm infernally sick of rain, rain, rain. I went to Broad St. and 11th St. in the pouring rain, as we had an empty cupboard that had to be filled. I'm telling you this simply because I have no intention of going out into this rain again to mail off Red's things. I have them wrapped and will mail them just as soon as it stops raining. Klein sounds like a regular screw-ball. I don't like his type, though I don't know him well enough to judge fairly. I was amazed to learn that he is but 19 years of age! He doesn't look it.
The "shoe buying spree" occurs every three months. I'm sorry if I don't make myself sufficiently clear at times, dear, but, invariably, I am interrupted and loose my train of thought. You, on the other hand, didn't make yourself clear about the fur hat. How in hell am I supposed to know that you want me to own two hats and what's the sense (when I need so many other things besides hats?
Thought I’d continue writing—I'm tired of typing. Phil, I know we think differently about “furnishing a house,” and I disagree with you on one point. You say that if we “ought to have them someday, then we need them.” I don't think we'll need them someday—we need those things now. I wouldn't call them all-time needs either, except when replacements were needed. How can I think your way when all we have to our credit is a bedroom and living room suite? (New pen point). You may be satisfied with someone else's belongings, but I'm not and never will be. I'd prefer to have you think my way, and then, maybe, we'll get some place. It will have to be “everything new and modern for the next one”—I won't have it any other way. (What in tarnation is wrong with this pen now!)
Here is that “snap” I told you about. I knew it was called an “ouija” board, but have seen it “weegie” and thought it to be the American way. I guess I am getting absent-minded, sweet—forgetting to sign my letters. I did that very thing last night remembering it as I lay down to sleep. That, however, is the first time I recall doing it. Your next sentence, “if God forbid, she's ever hurt badly, I would find it very hard to forgive you,” rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like that sentence nor the thought behind it. What do you think I am—“superwoman”? You know I've always done my best!
There isn’t much else to answer or comment on—so I'll talk about Adele. This evening, just before Adele’s bedtime, Betty, Lou, Natalie, Sarah Petey, Adele, and I gathered on Betty's porch. “Nana” began to sing, “It's Love, Love, Love”— whereupon Adele chimed in “la, la, la.” She watches Natalie's, every motion and copies each and every one. She clapped her hands, stamped her feet, hugged herself, repeated whatever words she could to copy, as closely as possible, the actions of Natalie. She begs “Nanna” to dance with her and they did “ring around a rosie.” Adele wants to sit down after the first line, not caring to wait for the “one, two, three.”
April 25, 1944
Literally fell asleep writing and thought I’d continue today. Adele cried last night and I didn't get much rest. I arose early this morning and did all my housework by 10:45 A. M. at which time I dressed and went out with Adele. Anne had called earlier and asked me to go to Broad St. with her. Thank God - it has finally stopped raining, but the weatherman predicts more (darn it!); it remains cloudy in the meantime, with the sun stealing through every so often. As we passed the children's store on Broad
St. I saw a lovely pique bonnet and decided to get Adele one. Her's is made of a white pique eyelet material with a white lining and a large, deep powder blue ruffle trimming a stiff portion of the white material to make the polk. It cost $2. She looks lovely in it and I’ll try to have a snap made in the near future. I'm going to use that white wool Dot bought for me for a plain white sweater for Adele with smocking of blue. The sweater I have in mind will have a yoke and a waist band something like my red sweater. Both yoke and band will have the blue smocking. I can't seem to get a pair of overalls (gabardine) in Adele's size. Dot, on the other hand, can't get that underwear with the snap-on panties. So I'm looking for underwear for her and she is looking for overalls for Adele. I thought I'd get a pair of blue overalls to finish off the outfit. I expect to get Adele, a pair of jodphurs, for they seem to be the "rage" with young children. They take the place of overalls and give good wear.
I had a letter from Eddie today, short and nothing new.
Our garage man hasn't paid for three months and no longer desires to rent the garage. I hope we can rent it to someone else, but garages are plentiful and we may not be so lucky.
Harry has made up his mind to quit working for the Signal Corps. He says there isn't enough money to be made there, and he can't get along on $33 per. His salary is really $41, but deductions make it so low. He is seriously considering taking a gas station something like Al’s. Al, by the way, also bought Ethel an "engagement" ring for $600, besides the wedding band he bought her recently.
Lil called while I was out. Said she had a letter from you in which you gave her hell and promised to see us in the near future. You didn't tell me you had written to her.
Guess I’ll have to call this a letter as I'm just about, "writ" out. I still got plenty of love in me and I'd like to give out with it. Look out! Here comes your
24 April 1944
Came back from the Finance Office just now to find your sweet, but rebellious, letter of 11 April on my desk. There were allso a letter from Dottie, and a V-mail from Gloria (the first section of the two of 10 April). In yesterday's letter, I intimated that I was looking forward to yours of the 11th. Little did I know that it would be important for a reason other than the details of the visit to Claire Pruett. That was a pretty stiff price he asked for four pictures, but it remains to be seen whether or not the money was well-spent. I think I pointed out in a previous letter that a good picture is priceless. Let us hope that these will be in that category.
I know you too well, Chippie, to think for a moment that any mere words of mine could deter you from going ahead with any project you are convinced is worthwhile. So all the while I was planning my arguments against your announced intention of going back to work, I had a premonition that I might just as well spare myself the effort. I was even tempted to dismiss your query with the curt “do as you please about it,” knowing as I did that you would anyhow, but I also know what you expected of me; namely, a lengthy exposition of my views and feelings in the matter. It is my privilege and joy to anticipate that which you wish, and do my utmost to gratify your every desire, however subtly evidenced—thus my ardent pleas for a cause which, all the time, I well knew, was a lost one. To further demonstrate the completeness of my understanding of you, my darling, permit me at this time to say what I know you expect me to say, or rather, what I know you would want me to say: I have fully acquainted you with my opinions in the matter. Further, nothing you have said has changed them in any way. But, since you feel as you do, and I would be the veriest fool not to concede your right to your viewpoint, I can only say—good luck, darling, and may it all turn out as you expect and hope, rather than the way I fear. I pray my arguments were all without basis in fact. Go to it, Sweet and my best wishes for your success and welfare go with you.
Incidentally, Chippie, I couldn't help but remark the general excellence of your letter. I refer to the composition of it, your forms of expression, and most especially, a few phrases that far surpassed any former conception I ever had of your literary competency. Where, for instance, did you pick up “teeter,” as applied to “morale.” More remarkable—“a young girl can stale from frequent sacrifice”—if I didn't know you were above it, I would say you copied it from something out of a book. My guess is that you read it someplace and your mind retained it 'cause you thought it applied to you. How close am I?
You needn’t fear, Baby, that I'll be “mad” at you for “disagreeing” with me. I'm not that narrow. I won't deny that I regret we can't see eye to eye on this thing, but I am fully aware that you may just as easily be in the right as I. Under the circumstances, it would be silly of me to feel any rancor because we are at odds. Only time will tell whether or not I had any justification for my qualms. As I have already stated, I pray I haven't.
Thanks sweetheart for telling me where you place me at 5 o'clock. Now that I know where you have me, I'll make it a point to be there, and I promise to give as good as I receive—if’n you know what I mean. By the way, would it embarrass you to know that I seldom am content with just the kissing? If it does, just slap me down—I might (just possibly)—desist the next time. Reminds me of one of your erstwhile pet expressions—“I can dream—can't I?”
Things are still pretty dull in this sector of the ETO, so you’ll forgive me if I don't enlarge on what transpires at this end of our correspondence. I decided to write (when I noticed it this afternoon) about the sign on the road leading to our area. It reads:
Entering Powder River
Please Drive Carefully
We love our children!
I'm missing you very much tonight my lovely and before I break down and tell you exactly how much, thereby inducing that unwelcome sense of frustration in us both—I'll sign off—with my dearest love to a grand girl, my wife and her adorable daughter—from me
Your adoring Phil
P.S. Love to all.