January 22, 23, 1944
I merely got as far as the salutation last night and just couldn't seem to write on. Some kids like to be sung to sleep with a lullaby. Not Adele—she likes “pistol packin’ momma” and repeats the word momma as I finish saying it. Petey used up both rolls of film—mostly of Adele alone. I wanted you to see her in just her dress so we took them on the porch, that is, part of the 16 shots. I stood Adele on the studio couch and when the sun came up (it came up and went down every minute) we snapped, but fast. I took two alone—one in my suit and one in the coat. Don't worry, sweet, I'll have a C.P. (Claire Pruett) picture made in the near future. I've got my fingers crossed—they just have to be good. Adele was hugging her dollie in one pose, two are of Adele and Natalie, one of Adele, one of Mom and Adele and me. Adele, Glo, Glo and me and one of the four Mrs. Strongins and Harry. Gloria is here for the weekend and we hashed over old times. Gloria is angry at Lennie and Lee as they have made no attempt to see her while in New York. What's more, they called at 3:30 on the afternoon of the day they were supposed to be at Frieda’s (Glo’s sister) for dinner and called it off in preference to a date to go out with Jack. After Frieda had gone to all that trouble to prepare an elaborate dinner (she lost her baby recently and really shouldn't exert herself), Glo got really sore. They sure are stinkers if that is the case. After all, they ought to see her, if only to learn of our Jack's whereabouts.
I didn't go to Dot’s party last night, though I called (10 P.M.) and said we would go, (Glo and I). But we decided we were both too tired and would get home too late.
Ethel and Gloria liked my stationary so well, they are both ordering the exact same thing.
I got Adele bottle of cod liver oil ($2.29) and a box of Johnson's baby powder (.21). That powder makes her smell sooo good.
I'm working for Miss Hahn for four hours (1 to 5) tomorrow. Jack N. is supposed to visit us tomorrow, according to Gloria.
I received your V-mail of 6 Jan. 44 and “enticing” is the word for it. (You asking for a furlough to get home 'cause your wife had a change of mind.) I could write a long, long letter on my feelings, but I'd much rather have your arms around me when we discuss such things. Yes, sweet, I am trying to be fair to you, but that isn't my only reason for my change of mind. I'm glad you are so fair with me and I can only say that I love you all the more for it. I've had talks with many wives, and while they think their hubbies swell in that respect, not many feel the admiration I have for you.
I received a three page continuation of V-mail from my brother. He said he thought he was quite a distance from you. The Wymans dropped in this afternoon and made their usual fuss over Adele. I finished Adele’s peach sweater and that started a beret to match. The sweater is large, but she'll grow into it. My cousin Bella sent me one of the dresses she got for Adele. It's a size 4 and she won't be able to wear it for some time. It's a pink color with a full skirt and a lace trim from shoulder in a circular effect to the waist.
Time to go, baby, but don't worry 'cause I'll be back. I adore you my darling, and will always be
January 22, 1944
No mail today, but I'm not kickin’, because the mail has been coming through pretty regularly of late. I am in receipt of practically every letter you have written up to 10 Jan.—and is my file growing! Ruth’s first package of toys are already in the Chaplain's hands. I took it right down to him as soon as it arrived today. Thank Ruthie for me and tell her to keep sending the packages at every opportunity.
This morning the company turned out for presentation ceremonies. Some of our fighter pilots were awarded medals. This took up most of the morning. After a big lunch of roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, bread and butter, coffee and cake; I went to work on the S/R's. This kept me busy until 4:30, when I knocked off work for the day.
Did I tell you I received Dot’s letter of 22 Dec. yesterday? I think I did, but I don't think I told you that she volunteered the information that Adele is “the prettiest baby I have ever seen, including my own.” Now that is something! While I think of it, Sweet, how about that C.P. picture? I hope you don't think I'm going to be content with those proofs of Wolpe’s. I'm sure that you're not satisfied that they do her justice, either. I'd like a picture of the two of you, Honey, and I'd like to see C.P.’s version of the two sweetest girls in the world. What do you say, Chippie? Do I or don't I get it?
I had been planning to send you $75 on the first of February, representing $30 for Jan., $30 for Feb. and the $15 bonus check of S & D, but my furlough set me back about $20.00, so I'll be sending about $50.00 or $60.00 depending on what's in the “kitty” on pay day. I trust this will be satisfactory, Honey, 'cause I want to do the best I possibly can for you—financially. If you remember, Sweet, you're avowed intention of reneging on the Xmas gifts wasn't too well received by me, and I declared that I would send you the fixed amount of $30 monthly; but since you came through so handsomely at Xmas time with presents for everyone; I'm reconsidering. I'm leaving myself a few dollars (about six, I think) for “investing” (if’n you know what I mean) and if it turns out favorably, I will send the “profits” along to you with March’s check. I hope you appreciate the fact that I'm doing my utmost in this direction, Baby, so don't ever again “cheat” yourself by opposing my intentions or wishes when I specify how part of the money I send you is to be spent. I won’t, for my part, make any undue demands on you. That's a promise. But, if I drop the hint sometimes, like: Why don't you use part of this $60.00 for a real picture at C.P.’s?—well, I'll expect you to take the “hint”—get it?
I'm still waiting for Mom's letter. Evidently it's been held up. Sgt. Murphy still hasn't committed himself on the matter of the 5 Feb. pass, but I'm hoping for the best.
And now I'm going to kiss you, good-night, my darling, so that I may get off letters to Jack S and Dot. A hug and kiss for the lassie. My love to all—especially you, my lovely.
This is a letter from Francis Benis from Columbus, OH, whom my parents befriended when my father was stationed in Columbus:
Saturday, 8:30 P.M.
So much has happened the past few months that I really had no thought or time to write anyone.
My news is sad news. My brother Maurice was killed in Wales Dec. 13th and the War Department said all details are withheld until after the war. My dad held up wonderfully, but mother collapsed—my sister Inez was in Texas with her husband and when she arrived came down with the flu, so I took complete charge at Mother’s for nearly a month.
My two younger brothers came in and by this time are on the high seas. God only knows bound for where or what. They hadn't seen each other for fifteen months—My brother Myron came in three weeks ago today from Panama, and since he had twenty months overseas service, may not have to go back, but this week reports to New Orleans for his new station, and we hope it's in the States. Inez went back to Texas two weeks ago. She got to see the three boys, but the two younger had to leave before Myron got in and now, this Sunday, my sister, Mary, has to go to New York on a two week buying trip, so I'll go over to Mother’s every day while the children are in school.
I'm expecting my in-laws Sunday, also my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and baby, and they'll stay for several weeks, so while they are here, I can get over to Mother’s easier as they are so helpful and fine folks, too.
You know Maurice was our best and it's hard to say he's gone, but to us he is always living. You know how religious my folks are, but Dad wouldn't let us cover up mirrors or his picture. Said we should just think of him living away in a distance, helping God to install good thoughts and deeds in all of us, for though his life was short, (he would have been 30 in Feb.), his everyday living was a good, clean one and you should see the hundreds of letters we received from his friends; but the living must go on, even if it's hard to know why a good clean boy should go so quickly, but who are we to question God?
I hope the news you get of Phil is good news and may he come home quickly and safely to you and your big daughter.
Cy said you will get a premium notice where to send the check. He wishes to be remembered to you.
Do write and as soon as things get more settled at home, I'll resume my writing. You keep it up and I'll try to catch up with you! Any chance of you and your daughter coming here for a visit this summer? Think it over—would do you both good if you can make it, so think about it, won't you? Am still awaiting that letter from the Levinsons!!
Regards from us all and may my next letter contain better and more pleasant news.
Please excuse my writing as I'm terribly nervous and it's been hard to sit down and write the few letters I did get off today.
Alice and Stuart say hello—Alice lost 2 upper teeth and looks a fright, but guess we all went through that stage.
Ninth Air Force
[Looked up the family tree and not sure who cousin Issy is, but he's cousin to all my father's other cousins.]
How are you? I guess I'm the last person you'd expect to hear from. Well, here goes. I've been in England for some time now. The folks told me you are somewhere in England and so I decided to look you up. Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter to Help Wanted Stars and Stripes asking for your A.P.O. I just got it and here I am writing to you.
You have the same A.P.O. as mine. I would like to see you soon. I visited [and this is cut out by the censor] Write me where I can meet you. How are Jack, Harry and Cousin Harry and Ben.
Carl is in Africa, transferred to a M.P. outfit on account of a bad finger he got while on maneuvers back in the States. I’m getting mail regularly from home. Please write me and let me know what time and place I could meet you.
Remember me in your letters home.