Thursday, January 28, 2021

Post #273 - January 20, 1944 Can You Imagine? $16 for a Dress for Her and I Can Understand Why the English Import American Movies, Music, Jive, Etc.


January 20, 1944. 

Dearest Phil, 

Well, how do you like it? I'll be disappointed if you don't, as I've already ordered a double portion. It cost me $0.60 (wholesale) ($1 retail) for 100 of these single sheets and 50 envelopes. On the next batch, I'm having PA. spelled Penna. 

Yesterday I was the “deadest” Chippie you ever saw. I arrived home at six to find your V-mail of 10 Jan. 44. I'm glad you told me that there won't be any mail from the time you were on furlough. I'm sure the jackpot will be worth waiting a week. 

Adele was so happy to see me that she darn near jumped out of Ruth's arms to get into mine. She hugs me and kisses me and won't let me put her down. Yes sir, it is a grand feeling! 

Al had to report to his draft board on Tuesday for a hearing and got a six months furlough, as they now call it. I told him to stick to the board in New York as they are definitely more lenient. It's mostly due to Ethel's pregnancy. She expects the baby around my birthday. 

After eating and getting Adele to bed, Ruth and I went downtown. We didn't get into town until 8 and had only an hour to shop. Ruth is unusually hard to fit and we had a picnic. We finally got a lovely lovely dress—cost $15.95. Can you imagine? $16 for a dress for her! It is worth it, though. It's a pale purple with a dark purple suede belt. It's made beautifully and I won't attempt to describe the intricate details of the dress. It does have one trimming I'll mention—silver hob-nail buttons. It had a round neck with a bow-tie effect, well-padded shoulders, three quarter length sleeves and a full skirt. I almost bought myself a lovely grey sports dress, but I'm going to wait til I have more time to shop—and more money. 

Remember those coupons I had and I was supposed to get a sheet and pillowcases. They were unable to fill my order and I got two large Turkish towels and a thermos bottle. That is, I ordered them. I'm still waiting for them. 

Received a V-mail from brother Eddie saying he had arranged to meet you in London. I'm wondering if you saw him while on furlough. 

Adele set a record yesterday. She didn't wet a single diaper. Ruth caught her every time. And, Sweet, you ought to hear your daughter saying “momma” with her clear bell-like voice. I have a feeling she'll really begin to talk soon. Some babies do things gradually. Not Adele—she tries to startle everyone. She calls Mom “ba-ba.” Adele doesn't actually know enough to call me “momma,” and I doubt if she will for a little while yet. 

Goldie is starting to blossom forth. I think you ought to write to them. I think they're a bit disappointed that you do not mention your reaction. Write them a nice letter, baby, will you? 

It's time to say “I love you Phil” A kiss from your “chips.” 

Your Eve 

January 20, 1944 
(10:30 P.M.) 

My Own Evvie,

Here I am again a little late, but well—here I am! Glad to see me, Sweet? You're looking lovely—as usual. I'm still reading your last batch of letters and still finding items of interest that I had previously overlooked. Your letter of the 31st is so full of the charm of Adele that I shall never tire of reading it. You want to know what to do about my clothes? Just pack them away and forget about them. There's no sense in having them cleaned; if I keep losing weight, I won't be able to use any of my old clothes. Already. I am some eleven or twelve pounds thinner than when I left home. Sorry, Sweetheart, that you spent such a dull New Year's Eve. I can well appreciate the intensified feeling of loneliness you experience on the Holidays. It is then that I miss you most, my darling. I remember one particular New Year's Eve (I think the only one we spent together) when we were still living at 5447 Sansom. Remember? we had gone in town with Dot and Snuff and two other couples (I think—that part of it is hazy) and I recall that the Aldine and the Boyd were jammed to the doors, so we wound up by ourselves at the Nixon and saw Ann Sheradin in that picture about the ’90’s, which I didn't care too much for (the title escapes me). The picture of the whole evening is fairly fresh in my mind, even to stopping at a cigar store on 52nd Street for something or other, but the details have a way of getting mixed up with those of other evenings. At the time, I know it seemed a pretty dull way to see the New Years in—but what I wouldn't give to live that dull evening over again! You insist on being pessimistic, Honey, about the length of time that is to elapse before I come home to you. I have every confidence that we'll see the next New Year in together. But I'm rather thankful that you take the long-range view ’cause feeling the way you do, you are less apt to be impatient, and since impatience breeds discontent, and discontent isn't easy to live with, you are much much better off feeling as you do. 

If you refer back to my first or second “London” letter, you will find that I saw “Adventures of Tartu” quite a while back. Whatever, made me think you saw “Princess O Rourke?” Jack N. didn't say a thing about his love-life in his last—and nothing about any WAC either. Forgot to tell you—received Gloria”s New Year's greeting among the batch of other mail. Today, along with your V-mail of Jan. 5—a New Year's greeting from—you'd never guess! Ruth Crothers of the good ole Label Bureau. Was I surprised! Never mind the cigarette lighter, Sweet, I bought one in London for $1.30 and it's quite sufficient for my needs. You have my sympathy, Chippie, for the sketchy mail delivery—I am plagued the same way. About that 8 x 10 you asked for—I'll see what I can do on my next pass to London. If Ed and I can manage to be there together, I'll see to it that he takes some pictures, too. Glad you like them so much, Baby. The sideburns that caused all the comments were entirely “unintentional” (for lack of a better word). The truth is—I needed a haircut. I don't, as a rule, wear them that long. However, if you really like them that way (and I never could understand why), then that is the way I shall wear them when I get home. Even if everyone else can't bear the sight of it, (and I must confess, I'm one of those), your wish is my command. The “pin” you inquired about is the European Theater of Operations (ETO) Ribbon. In your letter of the 7th, you claim that you mailed off nine letters in one night. Marvelous! But how in hell do you manage it? It takes me all my spare time to write you a fairly long letter. I should say the average “Air-mail” letter, such as this one, takes all of two hours. I'm still curious to know your weight, Sweet, because I can get a pretty good idea from that alone how you look and feel at present. Seems to me you are over-working again—what with doing your own laundry, etc. This always worries me. Ev, and I wish you would find a way to ease up on yourself. Your paragraph about Adele's reaction to my picture was very gratifying reading and my heart swelled with the sweetness of the little scene, but, somehow, I find it rather too much to believe of the tyke. Is it possible she understands all that you imply? Was it really just that way—or are you just trying to make me feel good? If that was your intention, Sweet, you succeeded far better far better than you could have hoped for. Which just about answers all your letters. Now I can look forward with a clear conscience to the next batch. C’mon sumpin! 

I took it rather easy all day today. Lunch consisted of meat loaf (spiced and very delicious), mashed potatoes, warm coleslaw, bread n’ butter, coffee, and cherry Jello. So good did I find the meal that I broke a precedent, went back, and did it all over again! What's more—I finished the second edition right down to the last lick—and enjoyed it! I am still passing up breakfast and supper; breakfast because I hate to get out of bed just to walk down to the Mess Hall for dehydrated eggs (which I detest) and coffee; supper because I am never hungry at that time due to the invariably sumptuous lunch. You expressed concern a while back because of my practice of eating one meal, a day. What difference if I thrive on it—and I am thriving on it. 

This evening, a company of English entertainers came to the base to play for us. I can only say that now I can understand why the English import American movies, music, jive, etc. The English brand is corny to an extreme. However, it was good of them to take the trouble for us Yanks, and I will say, in all fairness to the Yanks, that they appreciated the good intentions of the entertainers. Under any other circumstances, they would have hooted them off the stage—instead, they applauded generously and even laughed at the very un-funny gags. Incidentally, darling, that is why I started this so late. It is now past midnight and time to hit the sack. Good-night my Evvie. I'm thinking how I used to say it in better days. The sweet feel of you is deeply ingrained in me—and I can recall that feeling it will. I'm doing so now, Baby; no—don't turn over—snuggle up to my back as you always did. Ah, Chippie, that's heaven! G’night, Baby, I love you—

Your Phil

P.S. Kiss Adele for me. Love to all.