Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Post #446 - August 28, 1944 Adele Even Managed to Bite Norma’s Hand and I Believe That the One Thing That Kept Ed From Giving Way Completely Over There in France Was His Great Sense of Humor.


Aug. 28, 1944 

Darling Phil,

I feel unusually good this evening and it's due entirely to the fact that I received two rather lengthy letters from you, sweet. They were those of 19 and 20 Aug. You go into detail about the party to celebrate your year overseas and then thank me for responding to your call for bonds. I wouldn't be too critical or disappointed in your side of the family, dear, for both Harry and Goldie said they wanted to buy a bond, to make the desired impression. I told Goldie that the money would have to be ready immediately, but she never did get it ready and I didn't want to go out of my way to bother them for it. After all, if they were that anxious to get a bond I'm sure they could have given me the money immediately. Don't you? A few days before Mom went to Browns Mills she, too, said to me that she was sorry she hadn't given me money for a bond too. That's the trouble - it's always too late. However I wouldn't feel badly about it, honey. As long as it is on their minds it shows that they are conscious of someone else's feelings.

And another reason for my feeling so good. As you know I have lots of housework and each morning, night or weekend finds me trying to get something done. I hadn't had the opportunity to wash the kitchen floor, which was really filthy, so imagine my surprise when I came home this evening to find it sparkling. Yep - Goldie washed it. Well, honey, that really made me feel good. You know, dear, I think they are really awake at last. I didn't want to tell you this, but since she did go out of her way to do it and I feel very good about it I'll tell you. When I went back to work Harry made a terrible stink, exactly like the one when we went to Columbus and I don't have to tell you how I felt. However, he has changed immensely since Diana's birth when it comes to realizing someone else's position (with a child) and he is more understanding. If you live long enough, honey, you live to see and feel everything I guess. At any rate, I know this much - I want to live in my own house some day - alone with you and our family (Mom).

Your letter of the 20th was very sweet, and I wished very much that you [were] close at hand that I might give vent to some of the loving feelings that surged forth. You asked me to give you more details as concerns my thoughts of "us". No, Phil, I never have a vague picture in my mind (did you mean me - who is so meticulous about minute details). I won't go into detail at the moment, dear, for I have many things to tell you and want to get them all said. Remind me to tell you more about them sometime. I've always been frank with you, Phil, where anything, even sex, has been concerned. I could never find fault with our sex life and when I did you did remedy it. Truthfully there is very little about you, sweet, that I can find fault with and I say that more as a friend than as your wife. Of course, being your wife does influence me to some degree in that I like the way you think and so to me it is right. I'll tell you something about you that I heartily dislike - your constant drinking of bicarb. Do you think you'll ever really break that habit? Some day I intend to help you break it by watching your diet carefully, I honestly feel it is inclined to be mental with you a good part of the time, but we'll save it for when you come home and I can do something about it.

When I bawled you out for not writing cause you weren't in the mood I meant it. I can't rightfully think of a time I'm not in the mood to write to you. I'm sure, sweet, that you do not become half as tired as I do during the course of a day and when I say it is actually an effort for me to write, I mean, that, too. It isn't that I'm not in the mood - it's just that I'm too tired physically to exert myself further. But I've been doing it all along - if I wouldn't you wouldn't be getting mail from me so regularly. Most people have marveled at my ability to do so. When I said I wasn't in the mood it was due mostly to the fact that I was exceptionally tired and meant to relax at the cost of  a letter. You can count on my being frank to you, even though it may hurt you,

You must know by now that I told Jack of my true reactions. You surprised me by feeling the way you do. I told you that I, too, can see mixed marriages, but not for Jack. I don't know whether I told you or not, but her family is dead set against Jack and he is well aware of the difficulties such a marriage would bring about. However, I'd rather leave all details up to him and I'm sure he will tell you everything, as he usually does,

Betty's brother is going to be discharged. He's the only one that isn't happy about it.

As I told you in my last letter I finally visited Mike and Frances. Both Adele and I had a long nap Sunday afternoon and it was rather late when we finally left the house. I wore the red and white print (the one you remembered so well in today's letter) and Adele wore that little blue dress she is wearing in her C. P. picture. Adele also wore her blue and white bonnet. We took the 47 and the 43 and both cars literally crept along. We got out to Mike’s at 5 P.M. and he met us. Immediately after I had said hello to Frances (she was feeding Norma when we arrived) Mike hustled me and Adele outside, along with a little boy (a blond fellow with blue eyes and an adorable face) who was adopted by one the neighbors and was visiting baby Norma, to make our moving pictures (the ones he had promised). He said that these were in natural color so I certainly hope you will be able to get hold of an 8 m.m. projector and that we can send the film along. I made Adele hug and kiss the little boy in one scene. In another I'm on my knees in the grass with Adele and Tommy. In still another Adele is picking a morning glory (the grounds about the apartment house are lovely). The apartment house itself must easily be a hundred years old. The doors themselves reach from floor to celling. It's a small place, but very cozy. It's nicely furnished and nicely kept. Mike must have lost lots of weight for I remember him being heavier. He is very good looking and it shocked me when I noticed that his hair is turning gray. He looks so much like Harry Anapolsky it's uncanny. I can’t really tell them apart. I don't think Frances is more than attractive. There's something (I don't know exactly what it is) that I dislike about her. She's a good kid though and made me feel right at home. Norma is a small child and is the image of Mike - but she's not good looking. Funny, isn't it! They had a delicious meal of roast chicken (Mike did the carving) (Frances set up a table in the middle of the living room for the occasion, one of those tables that open out and accommodate quite a few people) succotash, cole slaw and some thing that consisted of wide noodles, fried onions, peppers and tomatoes. We started off with halves of cantaloupes and finished off with an open face apple pie and milk.

Later in the evening Mike ran off a few of his other movies and when he shut the projector off Adele yelled "more". Adele was a regular demon and she did everything but wreck the place. She even managed to bite Norma's hand! I can assure you I didn't relax for a moment, though it is relaxing just to be away from home for a time, I'm going to continue this tomorrow, honey, as it very late and I'm dreadfully tired. I sort of caught a cold (slight runny nose and sore throat) and I'm anxious to sleep it off. More tomorrow, loved one, and in the meantime I adore you, my darling Phil. Night, honey -

Aug. 29, 1944

This is a continuation of yesterday's letter, sweet, My cold isn't much better and it is most annoying. To go on where I left off - Mike took Adele and I to the trolley car. He said to me, "You know, Ev, when I first looked at Adele I thought she was nice enough, but as I keep looking at her she is really pretty". Mike thinks she is the image of you and it surprised me how he recalled your every feature. Adele and I didn't get home til 11:15 and she went right to sleep when I put her in her crib. That is the first time I ever kept her up that late. Adele, by the way, now calls you "Daddy, dear". I wish, honey, that you could hear Adele's rendition of "trolley car and belly button". The first runs something like this: tral tee tar and the latter: bel tee ba tin. I can carry on a regular conversation with her. Those two teeth of hers that I thought had come through are still not out. She points to her guns and says, "Mommy, hurts".

I wore my blue and grey tweed suit to work today, and as usual I wear the insignia you sent me above my heart. No one fails to notice that lovely pin and I'm very fond of it. By the way, more people have stopped me and complimented me on my suit than any other outfit I've ever worn. Most of the men and women in the drive have stopped me to tell me how much they like my suit. I mention it only because it struck me as being a little unusual. On my way to work Monday I stopped off to shop at Gimbels for a few minutes before I caught the el. I almost bought Adele a camel hair coat, legging and bonnet outfit, but I've decided against it in favor of having her set made to order. Most of the outfits I have seen do not have the lines I like. This particular outfit was $20 and was about the nicest I had seen. The reason I didn't take it was due to the fact that the leggings were not the type I desire and would be clumsy as anything on her. I didn’t get an opportunity to go to the ration board for the ration stamp, though I did call. They informed me that the party who okays the stamps does not come in every day (only Wed) and they would have had to mail it to me anyway. As it stands now I expect to go up tomorrow morning and get it once and for all.

Mr. Bellet got some nice chair and table sets for kids in and I think I'm going to get one for Adele, The sets cost $7.75 and consists of two chairs and a table. It isn't a fancy set at all, just plain polished wood, very solid and it could take a good beating. The chairs are very nicely made, the arms being made of strips of wood that form a semi-circle (such as the wood which surrounds the mirrors of our bedroom set). I wanted to get her a nicer set (one day when we could go shopping) but I think the chair and table would come in very handy when Ethel takes the high chair. What do you think of all this, honey?

Last night I knitted for about an hour and consequently have part of the sleeves of Adele's white sweater-to-be completed. This morning I sewed the buttons on and when I finish this letter I am going to Fay’s house for she promised to show me how to smock a sweater. (Smock it means to gather certain parts of it together by sewing and I shall smock the sweater with blue wool so that it will match her blue and white bonnet).

Dot called to tell me that she had a telegram from Snuff this evening from St. Louis and he is still traveling. Guess he's headed for the west coast - er sumpin'.

Still no mail from Eddie. The Wymans had another telegram from the War Dept. telling them that Harry is convalescing and is okay. Sorry, honey, but this must end off here as I haven't time to start another page this evening. I've left enough space to tell something I never tire of telling you - that I love you dearly and always will. I am

Your Eve

28 August 1944 

Dearest Darling,

Sorry I couldn't tell the whole story in my last and the censor returned the post cards to me to cut out the place names on them. I'm enclosing them here. To get on with the story - I've already told you that I spent all day Friday with Ed, and that I slept in the other bunk in his room that night. In the morning, we had breakfast together, and then he walked me up the road to where I was to catch the 8:20 bus to town. I really hated to leave him so soon because I felt that my presence had done him a world of good. He confessed to me that it was the first time he had laughed aloud, or even smiled, since he came back. As a matter of fact, we both laughed quite frequently during the course of the day. I believe that the one thing that kept Ed from giving way completely over there in France, was his great sense of humor. It is almost impossible. to overestimate the value of this quality when one is immersed in the grim business of war. As long as a man can laugh, or derive some amusement, or appreciate the irony to be found in hardship and danger and the sight of death, there is very little danger of "cracking up” seriously. Ed can talk about it all quite rationally now, and even points out the amusing and ironical side of the story. That is what we were laughing about. He wasn't very happy about my having to leave so soon, bit realized that I had no choice. On parting, he promised to keep in close touch with me. He also gave me some pictures to send home. I haven’t, had time to do so as yet, but I'll try to get them off some time tomorrow. They are the studio pictures, some of which he has already sent home. Well, Chippie, it was a pretty tough trip back to camp. I got into town too late to catch the first train and had to wail 2-1/2 hours for the next one. I bought the morning papers, found an Allied canteen, and killed the time reading up on the news. The liberation of Paris made interesting reading, and all the news was most encouraging. It was a lovely morning, and I decided to get some air, so I browsed about the town which is perched on the side of the mountains we had been admiring from the hospital in the valley. Evidently, the people who live there are very well-to-do, because I passed one beautiful old estate after another. The houses are old and ivy-covered and very large, and the grounds, hedges etc., are very well kept. Waiting on the station platform, I got into conversation with two young English civilians. Yes, they have 4-Fs over here, too. We talked about the early days of the war, the "blitz,” and the current good news. The train finally arrived, jammed to the doors, but the crowd waiting at the station crammed themselves in anyway, I among them. The crush was so bad that I couldn't help wondering what the inducement was that drove everybody to jam themselves into the train for the long ride to London. The sight of mothers standing all the way with infants in arms, made me slightly sick. So, for five hours, I stood shifting my weight from one leg to the other. The English landscape was very attractive in the bright sun, but I’m afraid I was too tired to really enjoy it. I arrived in London feeling like the last rose of summer. I was weary and starved. Not bothering to inquire after the next train back, I headed for the Eagle Club to freshen up and eat. Having disposed of these necessities, I went to the desk to inquire about my train. The clerk told me the next one was scheduled to leave Liverpool Street Station at 6:22. It was just 6:05 when I looked at my watch, so I made a wild dash for the U.G., got stuck in a queue at the ticket window, and reached the station at exactly 6:23. Ordinarily, the trains are a little late arriving and pulling out. Never yet have I known one to be on time, so you can imagine how I felt when I learned that my train had just pulled out - 6:22 sharp. If there had been any point in it, I would have thrown a fit right then and there. Under the circumstances, I could do nothing but swallow my aggravation and wait for the next train - 8:45. Being at a loss for the means to kill the next 2-1/2 hours, I bought an evening paper, strolled out on the street, sat down on a low wall near a decrepit-looking character, and proceeded alternately to read and to watch the bustling traffic of the busy thoroughfare. Thank God, the weather was nice, 'cause it wasn't too bad sitting there and watching London go by. The rest of the trip back to camp was uneventful. I got a seat on the train this time, a truck from this station was waiting to take us back to camp, and I arrived in my hut at exactly 12:00 midnight, tired, but happy to be back.

I found quite a bit of work waiting for me in the morning (Sunday), and I was busy all day. In the evening, I wrote that letter. It took ’til 11 o’clock, when thad to cut it short.

Today (Monday) has been another busy one for me, but in the afternoon, your letter of the 14th that you dictated to Dottie, arrived, together with one from brother Jack. No mail from you, or anyone, had arrived all the while I was away, but there were two packages of candy waiting for me. They were the box of Oh Henry's, Peanut Chews and Suchard Chocolates, and the box of Fifth Avenue bars. Surprisingly, they got here in very good condition, in spite of the heat. Thanks a million, Sweet, for taking the trouble to send them along. You may rest assured that I will enjoy eating them.

There really isn't anything that calls for comment in your letter, although you might tell Dot that it wasn't difficult at all to pick out her comments, so I'll sign off for now with all my love. Eddie's love and mine to all the family. A long, lingering kiss for you, darling, and a big hug and kiss for Madamoiselle Cheesecake - yes, I mean our very own punkin, God bless her fat little legs. See you tomorrow, honey. I am

Your adoring

28 August 1944

Dear Phil,

Just a few words to let you know I’m alright and didn’t forget about you. I hope this letter finds you in the best of health. I’m now somewhere in France and now it makes our meeting impossible until this war is over and then we can all get together for a good time. We are living in pup tents and had K and C rations for the past 10 days and yesterday we started to have regular meals. It was good to get a hot meal and since it was Sunday we had chicken. No more news and write soon.

Your cousin,

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