February 9, 1944
Your v-mail of Feb. 1, 1944 came through today setting a new record for delivery of your v-mail. I don't know why you left yourself so low on funds. I'd rather wish you wouldn't. I said before that I'm not counting on any special amount, just as long as you send whatever you can conveniently spare. I want to save, yes, but I think you are entitled to more than $19. Thanks for your sweet thoughtfulness, darling, and your unselfishness. I'm surprised you were able to remit in amount of $75, as you said you could only send tens. I really only expected $60 and I'm a bit surprised, as you said that the check would be in that amount. I'm in no dire need of cash at the moment. (I was last month, but working for Miss Hahn saw me through) and expect my large check on March 1. Consequently, the complete $75 will be turned into a $100 bond. It is the most we ever saved at one time since our marriage and it makes me very happy. I hope you feel the same. That night you mentioned when Red came in, is very vivid in my memory, and I, too, would love to relive it and soon. Adele and I were building houses with her blocks today and she kept throwing down what I laboriously built. Rae is coming to dinner tonight. I ordered another box of chocolates for you from her. I love you, sweet.
February 9, 1944
This is the first opportunity I have had to continue, as you shall hear—at length. I just finished reading over what I had written—and was appalled that I had covered so little ground. I will “pick up the thread” where I broke it. Leaving the Baths, I went directly to the Hans Crescent.—Still no Eddie. So I engaged a bunk for that night and took off for the Eagle—where Junior had said he would try to meet me for breakfast. He didn't show up either. I ate breakfast, therefore, with only the newspaper for company. After that I stuck around in the lounge until noon, which was the “deadline” Junior and I had agreed on the previous night. When my wrist-watch (still running like a charm, incidentally) showed 12 o'clock, I preceded ’round the corner to the Odeon to see “Phantom of the Opera.” I was remembering your raves about it and looked forward to a truly wonderful picture. Well, Chippie, I can appreciate why you thought so highly of it. After all, it was very colorful and lavishly produced, and the music throughout was edifying (if unexciting), and Susanna Foster is very lovely, and her voice leaves very little to be desired. But, Chippie, you didn't see the silent version of this one with Lon Chaney, and couldn't, therefore, make any comparison. I, on the other hand, remember it vividly because it made an indelible impression on my mind at the time. I assure you, speaking strictly from the point of entertainment value, the silent is by far the better effort. The element of horror and mystery that is meant to be the dominating motif is subdued almost to the point of extinction. Lon Chaney was very effective in the title role. I remember Harry got very sick when the mask came off and the “true” face of the Phantom was revealed. Women in the audience screamed and fainted so horrific were his features. The “chandelier” sequence was a thing of heart-stopping suspense—not the rather silly theatrics of the current picture. On the whole, Chippie, I was mildly entertained and very disappointed with the sacrificing of the qualities that could have made it a great picture.—To get on.—Whoa! Sorry, Sweet, I put the cart before the horse. I saw “Phantom of the Opera” in the evening. The afternoon was spent at Albert Hall. This time I got a seat close to the stage and got a close up view of the Orchestra and the Soloist. I am enclosing the program, which was as delightful as it was varied. “Till Eulenspiegel” especially, caught my fancy. I don't think I ever heard it played so effectively. Iso Ellison is the “typical” long-haired musician. He appeared to be an eccentric, and to have copied his attire and big bow tie and thick bushy hair warn long in the back, and neat Van Dyke beard—from the comic strips. He is in his fifties and stockily built. As you can see by the program, he played Mozart. For your information, Sweet, Mozart's piano music is very distinctive. Its main qualities are lightness, capriciousness, and a very listenable tunefulness. What I'm driving at is that Ellison didn't look the type to play that kind of music effectively. I felt when I saw him that I was in for a disappointing performance. However, I had forgotten that appearances are often deceiving. I was soon reminded of it though, 'cause he gave a flawless performance of technically difficult music. More surprising, he played with a true feeling for the grace and charm that is so much a part of Mozart's music. Everyone likes to be pleasantly surprised—and I'm no exception. I enjoyed the concert very much—as per usual. Someday, Sweet, you will have as great a liking and appreciation of symphony as I have. I've made up my mind to “educate” you in this respect, when I once again have the opportunity. Are you willing, Baby?
Well, I've already explained that I went to the cinema in the evening, but between the concert and the movie, I managed to stop back at the Hans Crescent to see if Eddie had showed up yet. Before that, I had supper at the Eagle. After the show, I again returned to Hans Crescent—still no Eddie, so I had a snack and settled down to write in the “writing and music” room. I completed the first seven pages by 12 midnight, and I would have written as much more in spite of the time had I not run out of stationary.
I spent a very restful night at the Hans Crescent, sleeping like a log, and dreamlessly. I woke at 10 A.M. I felt fresh and well-rested, so I dressed and got out of there. I stopped at the desk long enough to leave a fresh note for Ed. Then I went to the Eagle Club for breakfast. I had to make a five o'clock train, which gave me ample time to see one more movie. This one was by far the best of the three. “Thousands Cheer” is the best musical I have ever seen. It's in Technicolor and so many M.G.M. stars that I don't want to take the time to enumerate them. You probably know who they are, anyhow. Suffice it to say, then, that each and everyone is at his best with the result that the picture is just about the best of its type. So much did I enjoy it, in fact, that I sat through two complete showings—and might have made it three were it not time to catch that train. See it, Honey. I’d hate to have you miss this one. You'll love it! The trip back was uneventful. I read detective stories all the way and the hours flew by. And that, Chippie, was the end of another “London pass.”
Next morning I was very disappointed because no mail had arrived from you in my absence. However, there was a “consolation prize.” The Fanny Farmer chocolates, Hershey Bars and Chewing Gum had arrived the day before. The package was most welcome, but I think I would have traded it for a nice long letter from you, Sweetheart. But I guess that would be asking for too much. Thanks a million, Baby. By the way, weren’t hankies supposed to be in the package? Or am I confused again?
Tuesday afternoon (yesterday), I received a letter from Ed explaining that he couldn't make it because he couldn't get a pass. He was disappointed, too, of course, but he asked me to meet him in London on the 17th, which I'm making every preparation to do. But I told you all about that in yesterday's V-mail. Today I got a bright idea and wrote again (I wrote yesterday) to Izzy telling him of my plans for the 17th and asking him to try to join us. If all goes “according to plan,” we'll have a regular reunion. Nothing else of note has happened since I got back, except that I had gobs and gobs of chocolate ice-cream yesterday. And when I say gobs and gobs—I guess you know that's a lot.
I haven't yet answered your “longie” of 8 Jan. in the manner it deserves, but I will tomorrow. Your V-mail of 25 Jan. (can you imagine?) arrived this afternoon and I was delighted to learn that Jack N. finally got around to see you. Hope you had a swell time that night, Honey. I'm eagerly awaiting your letter(s) telling me all about it.
It’s now after eleven, and the boys want to know “What the hell you writin’—a book?” So—I guess it's time to call it a day. Hasta manana, carissima mia— kiss my daughter (you oughta see my chest swell whenever I write it) for me, her ever-lovin’ daddy. My love to all. I am just as always,
Your adoring hubby,
February 9, 1944
How are you? I received your letter of January thirtieth and as usual was very glad to hear from you. Those cards you sent me some time ago are certainly going to come in handy. In history, we are going to study about some of the historical scenes in England, Ireland, France, and many others so I will be able to take them in for optional work. Boy! Do we have some queer teachers over at Olney. One teacher, instead of teaching England, she walks around singing “Pistol Tootin’ Momma.” I have a nifty Math and Bookkeeping teacher, but our history and biology teachers are miserable. Do you remember Kitty Kallen? The one who used to live around here and her father has a barbershop at Eighth and Louden? Well, she used to sing with Jimmy Dorsey and she and Bob Eberle were a team until recently when Kitty decided to go on her own and sing with Bing Crosby. It looks like Logan is getting classy, huh? That's about all the news for now, but as soon as something pops up, I'll try to beat Eve to it.
Lots of Love,
Fancy, ain’t I!