Thursday, September 30, 2021

Post #411 - July 9, 1944 They have Removed 15,000 Children from London and Your Description of Diana Jean Could Just as Well Be That of Harry When He was That Age


When this post was first entered, it appeared that there were missing pages from Philip’s letter. These missing pages (9–17) were discovered subsequently, attached to another letter of eight pages posted on August 1, 2021. The missing text and a second recording has been added here.

July 9, 1944


As I told you yesterday, I had planned to go downtown with Gloria to meet Thelma and take in a movie. We left the house at about 8:45 and were down town by 9:25. There was a slight mixup and we had to wait a few minutes for Thel. When she arrived we headed for the Mastbaum (finally got to see the place) to see "Going My Way" with Bing Crosby. Both gals told me this picture had gotten large raves, but I knew nothing at all about the picture. I enjoyed it immensely and at the very end of the picture I cried like a baby. The whole story is built about a church, there is a good plot, Rise Stevens sings Carman, there is a love angle and all in all I couldn't have enjoyed it more. The Mastbaum is a lovely place and I hope to go there with you soon. On our way out I met Shirley Strongin’s sister and brother-in-law. They asked about you, and asked me to stop over with Adele. Yale and Shirley are still in the same place and are very happy.

After the movie we headed for Loft's, but the place was closed. We settled for a drug-store right near the H&H at 15th & Market. Thel and I had a deelicious chocolate nut sundae and Glo had a malted. While there I priced the Combevita tablets and found that they are $3.33 per hundred, which isn't bad at all. However, I did not have sufficient funds with me to buy them, but will certainly get them now. I may try to get several bottles at one time from S&D if they will sell it to me.

Phil, I'm sure, by now, that you've heard the report concerning the German robots and you realize just how serious the entire matter is. Just the fact that they have removed 15,000 children from London and thereabouts is proof enough of how serious the matter is and I'm hoping you have made up your mind not to go to London again until this is over. If you care at all for my peace of mind you'll not leave camp for any reason whatever, if it even means giving up an evening of fun. Under the circumstances I can't help feeling uneasy and the lack of mail for three days doesn't help either. I'd do the same for you would you request it and I'm hoping you'll do as I say.

Still no word from the Benis’ concerning their visit to us. I tried to reach them at the Ben Franklin and the Levinsons without success. If they can't get in to see us, perhaps I can arrange to meet them somewhere. I guess that will have to wait til tomorrow's letter.

Today makes twelve days the mercury has soared over 90 and there is no relief in sight. Whew!! By the way, there was a terrible fire at the Barnum & Bailey Circus while it was at Hartford, Conn. that transformed a mass of 10,000 gay people into a terrific-panic-stricken mess. 100 to 200 people were killed and it is believed to be the worse circus castrophe in history.

I'll close now with my every wish for your safety and my usual, I love you, dearly, my own sweet Phil.

See you tomorrow, honey.

Your Eve

9 July 1944 


Received three letters today, and I’m just about swamped with correspondence. This happened at a particularly bad time, as I expect to be very busy all this coming week, and may not find the time to catch up, Those that arrived today were yours of 21-22 June, Phil's of the 23rd, and Dot's and Snuff’s of the 23rd and 22nd, respectively. The latter two arrived in the same envelope. Altogether, that’s nine letters from five different correspondents I have to answer. Is it any wonder I’m somewhat dismayed at the prospect?

It's really wonderful to know that so many people are thinking of me at the same time, and I really would enjoy writing each and every one of you a long letter in reply, but I really have very little time to devote to writing, and I'll just have to bide my time and write to each of you as I get the opportunity. It's a sad fact that I have my hands full just to keep up with you, Sweet. Please call Dot & Snuff, thank them for me for their very nice letters, and ask them to forgive me if I'm days late in answering. You might tell Dot that my purpose in writing that particular paragraph in my last to her that has her so curious and puzzled, was written with just that end in view, and I'm tickled I succeeded so well. Just between you and me, Chippie, I love to tease Dot, and although the incident that so intrigues her curiosity has its basis in fact, I wouldn't tell her just what the fact was for the world—not yet, anyway. I'll admit I half-expected her to know what I meant by my innuendo, and I'm disappointed that she doesn’t. At any rate, I'm still a little leary of her reaction, should I tell her what it's all about—in spite of her assurance that she'll understand. That is why I must be very sure before I commit myself. Perhaps you know what it was all about, Sweet—or are you puzzled too? I think if you read the text in question, and use your imagination, and put two and two together, and consider the sentimental and emotional nature of your Phil, that you should arrive at a pretty definite conclusion, But I better shut my big mouth before I give the whole show away. (Or have I already?)

Really, Baby, I hardly know where to start answering your letters, there's so much there! Suppose I just arrange them consecutively and talk about the things that inspire comment or curiosity O.K.? O.K.! Here goes, and I hope I don't get “wound up” again.

The first thing that catches my eye is your defense of your posture in that snap. Hell, Baby I knew you “when,” remember?—and your posture was always bad, remember?—and I used to pull your shoulders back and tell you to keep them there, remember? The snap just happened to remind me to remind you to keep it in mind. "Beg to differ”—indeed! You got a nerve “begging to differ"!

Thanks for finally getting the package in the mail—my mouth is watering already!

Oh! So that's what "one piece shorts and skirt” are, is, are! (oh, the hell with it—take your pick.)

Your welcome—to the money, I mean.

The censor must have mislaid that last page to Dot's letter, 'cause I'd have found it on my desk if I had left it out.

About that gift for Diana Jean—I didn't suggest anything ’cause I didn't know what she had already received, but I would have left it to your judgment anyway, darling. Anything you decide on is bound to be O.K. by me! Your description of Diana Jean could just as well be that of Harry when he was that age. If you don’t believe me, (and looking at Harry now, I wouldn't blame you if you didn’t)—ask Mom. He, too, was long, skinny and dark.

I'm positively through being surprised at Snuff’s deferments. I just hope it's all over before they get around to him again, and at this writing it appears it very well might be!

Glad to hear Mom's taking better care of herself these days. Hope that Fischbach guy (I call him that because you said he was good-looking) is as good a Doc as you all seem to think.

Didn't I tell you that it would be a good idea to take the punkin to hospital for a check on her legs? Seems to me I explained that servicemen's families were entitled to hospital care whenever necessary, Didn’t I? However, I don't have to tell you that money is no object here, and if you think Dr. Lefkoe would be better, then go to him.

No, Sweet, I haven't seen “Cover Girl" yet—but I will. Glad you enjoyed it. That more than makes up for cutting your letter "short" (after 5-1/2 typewritten pages).

I'm beginning to be convinced the punkin will know her “da-dee" when he comes home,—I don't see how she can miss—you make so much fuss about him. Who's mad? Not me!

10 July 1944 

Sorry I couldn't finish this last night, Baby, but when the fellows want the lights out, there isn’t much I can do about it, is there?

Nothing much happened today. I started on the pay-roll, and it kept me occupied all day. The time seems to fly almost as fast as our Thunderbolts. A month around here is hardly any time at all. The guys talk about Thanksgiving and Xmas, as if they were day after tomorrow.

Well, since that is about all I have to offer for my side of the story, I'll continue to answer your letters. I was just starting to look over yours of 26 June.—I continue—

I was happy to hear that Hilda and Dave were married. They're a couple of swell kids, and deserve 
all the breaks that may come their way from here on in. If you see them, give them my best, and wish them luck for me.

Y'know, Sweet, the first person that came to my mind when Bert mentioned his relatives in Philly and told me their name, was this same Max Reese you say married Shirley Anapolsky. I don't remember if I mentioned it to Bert, but if I did, it meant nothing to him. However, next time I visit them, which will probably be this week-end, I'll ask him about it.

You say, in your letter of the 27th, that the one thing you want to do when I come home, is to simply go somewhere for a rest of a few weeks. I can think of quite a few things I would like to do, but this one takes top spot with me, too. Got any ideas about where you want to go, Baby? Any old place will be good enough for me, just so long as you'll be there with me. Would you want to go to New York, take in all the shows, and have a high old time, or would you prefer some nice, quiet retreat out in the country somewhere? How about two or three weeks of the latter followed by a week of "doing New York", and other week or two to rest up again? To my mind, that would be the ideal arrangement, but I am wide open to suggestions. Let's talk about it, shall we, honey?

Yes, darling, in a few weeks, it'll be a year we've been separated. Quite a stretch for a couple of love bugs that could hardly bear to be separated for a day. Remember that night in New York, when I left you at the Nerenbergs tto go off with Jack on some business or other? Jack and I spent that night in Phil Forman's apartment, remember? Well, Lady, I missed you so much that night I almost went crazy—no foolin’! I almost drove Jack crazy, too, in my insistence that he either go fetch you, or take me back to you. If some one had assured me at that time that I would have to part with you for more than a year I would have told him with utter conviction that I just couldn't do it and live. Yet here we are after something like 340 days apart, still wanting each other pretty badly, but somehow managing to exist without weeping bitter tears all over the place, and even managing to laugh occasionally. Love and hope and faith are beautiful and useful things, Sweetheart, and they often make the impossible possible. Never, never part with any of them.

You say you've changed a bit in that year, Sweet. I don't know just how you mean that, but this much I do know—that intrinsically a person never changes. You may have changed in outward demeanor, characteristics, habits, etc, but that doesn't worry me in the least. I know my Chippie and all her potentialities inside out (although I'll admit she is most unpredictable sometimes—but then she wouldn't be a woman if she weren’t) but superficial features of behavior are puny things really. They are easily eliminated or changed to one's taste. Those changes you mention must necessarily be superficial to one who knows and loves you as I do, and if I find them not to my liking, well, you know how I deal with those things. I’ve molded you to my taste before, and I’m confident you would want me to again. Right, Chippie?

Getting on—I note that Jack met up with "Hesh" Greenberg in New Guinea. Yes, I know him, and his brother, well. Back in '31-’32 we served paper routes together. Later, we went to High School together, Jack and Hesh were teammates on the neighborhood baseball-team. 

Can't understand why I haven't heard from the kid in so long, though. It must be three months since I last wrote to him. I know I don’t owe him a letter, 'cause I had written only a few days before receiving his letter, and then wrote again. I guess his days are pretty full, too, though, and he probably just has time enough to keep up his correspondence with Gloria.

In your V-mail of 30 June, you acknowlege receipt of my little “bit of literacy,” as you so quaintly put it.

You say you thought it unusual (for me), but you didn't say how you liked it. (Or was that just your way of not committing yourself?) To tell the truth, baby, I didn't think it was the type of thing you'd think good. In order to really appreciate it, you should be an "ETOUSIAN."** I let some ten or fifteen of the fellows read it, and they all got a real kick out of it. I know they did, because it is a phenomenon characteristic of the members of most Army units (especially those who have been a long time together) that they don't take the trouble to dissemble. That's because everybody knows everybody else inside out, and it would be the height of folly to attempt to deceive one of your buddies in the slightest particular. So when Cpl. Hubbard laughed heartily after reading it, I knew that he wasn’t “putting on" just to gratify me. And when Klein keeps pestering me for my only copy to send home, I know he likes it; and when Simmons and Overman, who are pretty bright-boys, and go out of their way to "tear me down" at every opportunity (I still don't know whether it's because they like me or despise me), say that it's well-written, true-to-type, etc. etc., well, I know they honestly think so, too. So you see, Sweet, I consider the whole thing worth-while, and, just between you and me and the censor, (who has long ago lost patience with the length of my letters, and seldom reads them anymore), i'm pretty proud of my first real effort at writing. It gives me a confidence that I haven't hitherto felt. As for your “visions of (my) being a great writer some day,” all I can say is—that is the one real ambition I have in the way of a career, and consequently my success or failure will be measured by that yardstick—by me, anyhow. 

Now that June is “caput,” I'm waiting to hear what you are doing with your "free" Saturdays, Wish I could go shopping with you, Ev. Remember how we used to knock ourselves out on so many Saturdays shopping for something we more often than not come home without?

Right now, Baby, I am alone in the hut. The others are all at the movies or the Snack Bar. I am sitting on my bunk, my tablet on a green felt-covered bridge table, my left elbow on the table and my head in my left palm. I could go on and on writing, but, alas, there isn't much else I can think of to write about. Besides, there comes a point in every letter when I start to look back to happier. days: This brings on such a flood of nostalgic longing, that writing sensibly becomes an impossibility. I have just about reached that point where all I can think of is that I want to be with you, and all I can feel is that if I don't possess you soon,—no, not soon but now, I'll just perish for the want of you, my adorable and adored Evvie.

Therefore, I must now take my leave once again—but not before I taunt myself with the thought of how sweet you would feel in my arms, and how thrilling your warm and loving lips on mine. I love you so much, my sweet. My thoughts of the punkin are most loving ones, too. Kiss her for me, darling. My love to all from

Your Phil

July 9th, 1944

Dear Phil, 

How are you? I am fine and hope you are the same. I went to Steel Pier July 4th and I saw Harry James in person. He played about 25 songs and he really was good. His leading vocalist was Kitty Kallen. And if you remember, she is the daughter of that barber on the corner of 8th and Louden. She's very pretty and her voice is pretty good. Besides Harry James, they showed 2 movies, “Knickerbocker Holiday,” which wasn't so hot and “Ladies in Washington,” which was fair. They also had a water circus, a vaudeville show, and a couple of fun houses. It has been very hot here for the past few days and even the water was warm for a change. Mr. Cohen is definitely bringing down his camera next week, so I'm going to take pictures. If they come out any good, I'll send them to you. I would also like to send you some saltwater taffies, so will you send me a request? I got a letter from my brother Sy, and he is still at Camp Peary, Virginia. He is almost through with his boot training and then he will be able to come home. After that he doesn't know what will happen. “Shorty” was down here from July 1st to the 4th. He was staying with the man for whom he served papers. He was with me for the first day and we went uptown to the Breaker’s Hotel to see the Malamut’s. We found out that their brother was managing the Breaker’s this summer and that they were managing the Astor. We went up to the Astor Hotel the next day and sure enough, we found them. Mrs Malamut was talking to us for a while and then a man came up and talked to her. When he went away, Mrs. Malamut told us that he was Mr. Nathan Fleischer, the Jewish war news commentator. That's about all the news there is for now, so I'll say so long until my next letter. 

All my love, 

P.S. One of my girlfriends got my report card for me. I passed everything and I am now in 10 B.

**I found this reference to ETOusian, which appears to be a made-up word from those assigned to the ETO (European Theatre of Operations) during WWII. 306th Bomb Group › yank
To the rank-and-file Etousian, messing around with shillings and pence, the President's figures sounded a little out of this world. . .

No comments:

Post a Comment