May 22, 1944
Sorry I must resort to v-mail again, but I find myself with little to say and hence find it wiser to use this form. I feel much better today and I'm inclined to believe it was my period that caused the ill-feelings. Believe it or not, I'm finished and it isn't quite three days. That is unusual for me, as you well know and can well be the cause of my feeling so ill. It is and has been terribly hot all day long. I hate this kind of weather and I hate the washed out feeling that usually accompanies it. Oh well - such is life!
Adele is becoming fresher day by day. She picks up her hand to slap at the slightest provocation or remark or action by anyone, including myself. I had to interrupt this after the first paragraph to go upstairs and rock and sing her to sleep. The heat has her too and she started to cry, being unable to fall asleep. I give her a lot of cool tea with lemon and she has learned to call it “tee-tee”. Every so often she comes out with a word, doesn't know what she is saying, or does know and forgets. Today, for instance, she came out with the word “hichair” as clear as a bell. She couldn't repeat it when asked. That's how they learn to talk. She’ll soon be able to use two or more words and perhaps small sentences. I gave her two baths today, one in the afternoon before her nap and one this evening. I'm going to give myself a good rubdown and a cool shower before I hit the hay. I'm very perspired and uncomfortable.
I didn't get the opportunity, sweet, to mail off the package and promise to do so tomorrow without fail. Do you want me to get more chewing gum or chiclets? I don't know if I can get chewing gum, but I think I can get chiclets.
I had a nice v-mail from Milt and he has been very thoughtful. He writes to me whenever he gets the opportunity, even if he doesn't get mail from me. I must try to write to him more often.
My mother washed for me again today, thereby saving me a big job. She also washed our summer quilt (the one Lil gave us) and it washed beautifully. I thought I'd get to see “Song of Russia” with R. Taylor at the Lindley this evening - but no go. Mom went to see it with Mrs. Feldman. I'll try to catch it when it comes to the Broad. It's almost three weeks since I've been to a movie, and I'd rather like to see a good one when I do go. There hasn't been much of any account playing around lately.
You have it chum - to use the English way - sorry, though, that you can't have me personally. But I hope that day isn't far off - the day of reunion when we’ll have each other to have and to hold and to love! I adore you, my darling Phil, and want very much to whisper it in your ear. Now, if you'll just come a little closer, - closer - closer - ah, that's better. I love you, and if you don't mind a bit of demonstration this hot night, here's a big hug and a couple of million kisses from
23 May 1944
Ev, my darling,
Just returned from London this afternoon. The train I was supposed to come back on was cancelled and I had to wait ’til the next one. Result: I reported two-and-a-half hours late. But since it wasn't something that could have been foreseen, nothing was done about it.
The train to London yesterday was so crowded that I had to stand all the way. However, I had a great view of the country we were passing through and I hardly minded the tedium of standing. It (the country) was really lovely, Sweet, and I wished a thousand times you might be there to see it. Spring, in all its heartening evidences of new life, made itself felt in the very air. Each flower and shrub was dressed in its “Sunday best.”
Once arrived in London, and more specifically, Leicester Square, I strolled about to see what pictures were showing. The first one that caught my eye was ”See Here, Private Hargrove!” with Robert Walker (yeah, I know he's Jennifer Jones’ husband, and she has two kids, and she's suing for divorce etc., etc.), Donna Reed, Keenan Wynn, and others. Well, Chippie, I enjoyed this one—very much. Robert Walker, whatever else he may be, is a most gifted and personable young actor. He is Private Hargrove—to a “T”! Donna Reed is lovelier than I have ever seen her. (At times, she is downright eatable.) Keenan Wynn, though, does everything but walk away with the show. He is Pvt. Hargrove's finagling buddy, and his characterization is both convincing and amusing. The plot is a very unimportant factor in this, and no one is apt to complain for the lack of it. The dialogue is “real” and sparkling, the direction flawless—and the cast makes it all entirely worth-while.
“Fanny by Gaslight” (don’t ask me wherefore of the title) was the piéce-de-résistance of the evening. It was recommended by one of the guys in the company, so I thought I'd give it a try. It is a Gaumont-British production (the first worth-while effort I have seen to date) and surprised the pants off me by its excellence. A very “meaty” story of England in the ’70’s. It runs a full two-and-a-half hours. Phyllis Calvert is appealing as Fanny; James Mason, a very tall Englishman, is good as the romantic lead, and the cast generally is competent (if not too photogenic). In this one, “the plot’s the thing”—and quite a thing! I couldn't help but wish that the players were American—that the picture came out of Hollywood. What a job they could have done on it! British-acted and produced as it was, though, it was entirely creditable and I enjoyed it immensely. (Note: The book should be wonderful—come to think of it—didn't you mention it a while back Chippie?)
After a late snack at the Eagle Club, I repaired to the ever-lovin’ Turkish Baths—of course! For the second time in so many visits, I played guide “ex-officio” to three Yanks who were new to the place and didn't know their way around. In the process, I managed to steam myself like a lobster. If you were aware of an outside influence at “date time,” pay it no mind—it was only the masseur, who was intimately occupied with my body at the time.
This morning, waking at eight o’clock, I rose immediately—meaning to get to the station early to get a seat on the train. After a hasty breakfast at the Eagle, I wasted no time getting there—only to find the ten o'clock train had been canceled (as were many others). The next train to where I wanted to go was the 11:10. It was now only 9:30, and already the queue for the 11:10 was forming! There was nothing for it, but to “sweat it out.” I got mighty tired standing—I can tell you! Finally, when the mob was let through the gates, I made a dash for the train and managed, by sheer luck, to spot a last seat in a compartment that was already all but full. The trip back was delightful. First, because the bright May sun over the landscape enhanced the beauty of the prospect. Second, because in the seat opposite, a woman was holding a most adorable baby—a little girl of about two-and-a-half years—blonde and blue eye, and cute.
I could hardly pull my eyes away from her. The mother looked at me oddly from time to time and—no wonder—you remember my distressing habit of “staring holes” in anything that attracts me. She must have thought I was nuts! Of course, I couldn't help conjecturing what my own punkin will look like at that age—and if I will have the rare privilege of holding her and fondling her about that time. You can bet I was missing her very much all the way of the journey, and envied the mother of that little girl the feeling of the baby in her arms. How I longed for my own sweet punkin—and how empty where my arms for the need of her! So big grew the “lump,” and so high did it climb in my throat, that I was forced to tear my eyes and my thoughts from the baby across the aisle—to find solace in the peace of calm green vistas.
There was no real mail yesterday, but today I received your letters of 11th and 12th May and Jack N’s letters, which you forwarded.
Your concern with Harry’s criticism of your action in allowing that most kind sailor to give you and the punkin a lift is, in a word, unwarranted. Harry would do well to consider his own inconsistent ethics before presuming to criticize anyone else’s! If he really wants to know what I think of the whole business—here it is: In the first place, no man is so depraved that he will seek to take advantage of a woman with a baby and tow. Anyone who would think for a moment that the sailor offered you a lift under the circumstances with an ulterior motive in mind Is an out and out fool. As a matter-of-fact, under the circumstances, it would have been most unkind and unfeeling of you to refuse his offer because of any inherent distrust of strangers, or an instinctive impugning of unworthy intentions. Truth to tell, Chippie, I wish I knew where to get touch with that considerate sailor—I'd like to thank him.
I'm proud to know that Ethel “loved” the sweater you made for Stuart, and it was nice of her to gift Adele with that pinafore. But I don't get your point in drawing the pinafore in invisible ink. You wrote “it looks something like this,”—and then there's a blank space! Really, Baby, sometimes I just can't fathom you!
It certainly was swell of Fay and Morris to take Mom to Ethel’s and to bring you all home again. You may tender them my most heartfelt thanks for the kindness they have shown my dear ones.
The fact that you put on a few pounds, Chippie, certainly comes under the heading of good news. I most certainly would like to see you gain some more weight.
Don't jump at conclusions, Baby,—just because I don't tell you that I won at cards doesn't necessarily mean that I lost. It just means that I see no point in mentioning winnings that might very easily disappear at the very next “session.” It just so happens that I won about $20.00 on that particular night you mention—so there now!
Since nothing in your letter of the 12th calls for comment, and because it is just about “date time,”—and, therefore, bedtime, I’ll sign off now with all my love to my adorable Chippies, and to Mom, and to Harry and Goldie, and to all the Pallers. Tell Harry that I hold no brief with him—every man has a right to his own convictions— and I’d be the last one in the world to let our differences in this respect influence the brotherly affection I feel for him. The days of dislike and distrust and, yes, I'll admit it—disgust I felt for him are far, far in the past. He has proved himself to be a conscientious husband and son and brother, and I admire him for it, because I know, better than anyone, what he had to go through to attain that stature. God bless you all.
May 23, 1944
Dearest Phil, h
Here I am again via v-mail. The weather made a decided change today from hot to cool. Since it was Gimbel Day and Sarah was spending the day in town, I decided to meet her when Adele napped and try to get myself a dress and sports shoes. Adele, by the way, was a model child today. She ate well, asked to “go” every time, didn't get into too much trouble and added many new words to her fast growing vocabulary. She now calls Betty “Betty” and says the word “hot” distinctly. She enunciates perfectly and even the “t” in hot is very clear. When I placed her in her bath last night, she said “Hot!” (The water was just a bit too warm). She pronounces “light” minus the “l”. She's inclined to be neat. I took her into Mrs. Frommer's this morning and a carpet was slightly messed. She bent to straighten it and even straightened the fringe properly. She was pulling the chairs in the dining room about and when I asked her what she did to the chairs she promptly replaced each one. All of which means less work for mother and which pleases me no end.
As I was saying, I put Adele to sleep at one and skipped into town. I met Sarah at exactly one-thirty at the shopped about. I almost bought a dress that had been reduced from $17 to $8. It was a pea green and brown paisley, very plain but very nice. The print was hard on the eyes and it made me hesitate, so much so that I decided against buying. We tried almost every shoe store on Chestnut St. and I couldn't get a nice pair of sport shoes. I wound up buying a pair of stockings, just so I wouldn't have to go home without a package. I did see one thing I would have loved to buy—a pair of earrings—$8. They were oblongs of aqua with small gold leaves and very, very pretty. If they still have them after I get my next check, I might splurge and buy them. I need so many other things that I can't see the sense to buying earrings right now.
I was back at 3:45. Adele awoke at three, Mom dressed her, Harry put her in the playpen and that's where she was when I walked in. She was so glad to see me! And especially with “Ar-ah”! She didn't know what to say! I finished my work early this morning, and honey, I'm ashamed to say that I did not mail off the packages as I promised. Tomorrow, come what may, I must go to Broad St. and the package will be on its way to you.
I had a letter from Eddie today with a picture enclosed. It's the same size as yours. He looks positively handsome and I could hardly believe it was he. I owe him a letter, which I hope to get off this evening. Last night, after mailing your letter, I managed to squeeze in a letter to Milt Brown.
Adele awoke many times during the night due to the heat. It's a good thing I napped with her yesterday or I would be “duped” this evening. Did you hear her call you?— she yelled “Daddy” all morning long! I keep telling her that Mommy loves Daddy and I kiss your picture to sort of make it clearer. Oh baby, how I would like to kiss you! Mommy loves Daddy so much!