Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Post #317 - March 11, 1944 It’s Getting Close to Our Third Anniversary and The 9th was Purim, and Fifteen of Us from This Station Went to Services in Norwich


March 11, 1944 

My dearest, 

I didn't give Betty that $12 after all. I spent it, as you shall presently learn. 

Last night I went to Broad St. to cash the checks and properly dispose of them. I stopped at the Cameo Shop to buy Bea a birthday gift from the Strongins. The gift stood us $6 - a lovely pair of pale green silk pajamas. My share was $2. I tried on a lovely brunch coat and wound up buying one for Goldie as a birthday gift and one for me. They were $4 apiece. I could use a dozen more, for they are so handy and neat. They are chintz material, white background splashed with large bouquets of multi colored flowers. The outstanding color of mine is red, Goldies, blue. It has red ricrac about the neat sports collar, has a tight fitting waist that buttons with one large button, a full skirt and bust, and puffed sleeves. Last year I bought two for the price of $4, so that ought to give you an idea of how prices have advanced. Of course, this is the nicest one.

When I told the girl at the Cameo Shop my name was Mrs. Phil Strongin, she asked me if "Phil's sister ever married". I immediately told her that I wasn't married to the guy with the muzzy, but his cousin. This girl, Bea Slivin Smith is a close friend of Sylvia Meadoway. We became quite chummy and exchanged our life's history. Her husband is in the Infantry and she described it as "hellish". Later in the evening I stopped at Ben's for ice-cream (it's getting to be a daily habit) and got talking to Dotsy's married sister. Her husband is now is Hawaii having left a short time ago. She sure is pretty and has the loveliest set of white, pearly teeth I've seen. She asked me to stop over and I asked her to do the same. 


Harry and Goldie got in about 11. The pinafore her stepmother made has lovely lines, but her stitching is extremely poor. If you don't get too close it's lovely. It is made of a silky powder blue material that has roses strewn all over it (green leaves about each flower). It has a low square neck and back, large ruffled shoulders, flared skirt, belt in back and buttons running down the back. It's a bit too big for now, but will do nicely in the warm weather, being washable. And there was surprise for me - an early birthday gift of a tearose silk night-gown, the bust outlined with Grecian lace (wide eyelet cotton lace that is very pretty) wide gathered pieces to form the shoulders, size 34, from Harry and Goldie. 

I haven't anything to sleep in except the two nighties Goldie gave me (remember the one she gave me when I had Adele?) and have to get some pj's. I'm not particularly crazy about nighties, but they do have their advantages, don't they, dear? I'm also in dire need of silk stockings and plan to get them and the pj's shortly. My other pj's were rags, which I discarded just recently. 

Goldie put on six pounds this past month and the doctor gave her hell. She's gained about 12 or 13 pounds already and has three months to go. She's getting enormous and I'm afraid she'll have a bad time of it. She went to the doctor's today. She's crazy about the brunch coat, incidentally. 

We sat and talked until almost one and I had to get up at 6:30 and just couldn't go back to sleep. Perhaps the fourth mailless day had something to do with it. I'm used to getting your mail so regularly that I know you either didn't write, went to London, (you said you couldn't go this time) or something is up and I'm just dying to know what's what. There'd better be something for me on Monday or I shall really be alarmed.


There was a big writeup in the Record the other day about Mayer Taylor, Syd's brother. Read it yourself. The whole neighborhood is talking about it. 

It's almost ten and I'm asleep already. Do you mind very much, baby, if I continue this tomorrow? You don't! You always was so understanding and I appreciate it immensely. Good night, honey, I love you dearly. 

March 2, 1944 

We're having company for dinner today the Browns and Sylvia. They made Bea a surprise birthday party last night and she received many lovely gifts. 

Adele slept (except for one interruption) straight through the night - my first night's sleep in over a week. I feel fine, though I could use a few good nights of rest, uninterrupted.

I've taken to wearing my hair pageboy all about the bottom and it runs up the sides in a curve-like effect. I don't like it as well as fluff on me, but it is neater. It's easier to keep, too.

Adele is wearing a dress for the first time since she was ill. She looks so tall and grownup and I can scarcely believe she is my daughter (I should have said "our", but I still can't believe she belongs to me too). 

I called Dot last night and we gabbed a while. Snuff is going to enlist in the Navy, for he feels he has a better chance there, being a machinist. Marcelle's hubby, Bernie, was sent overseas and when they learn his destination, perhaps you'll be able to see him too. He has a N.Y. APO. I hope i to get out to see Dot some time this coming week. She moved back to her mother’s on Friday and her address hereafter will be 6013 Sansom Street, Phila. The trip out will be easier.. 

Flash! Adele climbs up on the sofa and gets off all by her little self. When she wants to get off any high surface she rolls over on her tummy and gradually slides off, being extremely careful all the time. She walks up and down the steps with my aid. I hold one hand and she clasps the bars with the other. No two steps (by her) on any one step at any time. No sir! She walks up and down like a regular person, one step to a step. 

Did I tell you that I'm working on the sleeves of Mom's sweater? I sewed the fonts and back together 

and what there is of it fits nicely. 

I neglected to mention that Adele can only climb the sofa on Betty's porch as it is extremely low. She plays ring around a rosie by walking in circles herself til she gets dizzy. When she wants to somersault, she puts her head on the floor and I tum her over. Then she comes back for more.

Phil, sweet, it's getting close to our third anniversary and no doubt you will receive this after it. I know I'm going to miss you terribly that night. I only pray to God it may be our last anniversary apart. The three years have shown me what a wonderful fellow I married. Your thoughtfulness and understanding at every turn, your loving devotion and tenderness are my priceless, most precious possessions and I have and always shall appreciate then and you. I’m in an awful loving mood, baby, and if I could get my hands on you -

Uncle, Tant, Bea and Sylvia came about 4:30 and brought along Bea's birthday cake, which was utterly lovely. I damn near died when Unc. plopped down $5 on Adele's hichair - he said it was a Purim gift and I begged him to take it back, but no dice. Honestly, Phil, they have been perfectly wonderful to us and have gifted Adele so often with cash that I hardly know how to reciprocate or thank them. Tant is mighty grateful that I write regularly to the boys for I write the type of letters she would send if she could. Tant has been crying a great deal about Milt, fearing, as I do, that he doesn't have much of a chance. She said, "I hate the god damn Infantry." She said she didn't feel as badly when Syd left as she does about Milt.

Well, angel mine, I come to the end of another "stint” and I shall end with the customary "I adore you, my own sweet Phil" 

Your Eve

P. S. Enclosed are samples of Jack S. valentine, etc.

March 11, 1944

Dearest Darling,

This is the first opportunity I have had since the 8th to write to you. The 9th was Purim and fifteen of us from this station went to Services in Norwich. We were transported via truck and command car. If you remember, Sweet, we did the same thing on Chanukah. The turnout at that time far exceeded expectations (about 500 G.I.s of both sexes—of every service branch of the American and British Armies, Navies, and Air Corps—of every grade and rank. It is interesting to note that there are only twenty Jewish families in the town, and they do not even have a citadel of their own, but must share a church building (I think I explained the setup in a previous letter); yet—they arranged to receive that many people. Not wishing to subject us to the crush we experienced on Chanukah, this time they decided to hold the services and attending festivities in Stuart Hall. That, if you recall, is where our company held its party on the 24 Nov. It is fairly large, as Halls go and would have been ample to house the “Chanukah crowd” comfortably. The catch was—this time 600 attended. Even then they managed to seat almost everyone. After the service, which consisted of a brief period of prayer and the telling (by the U.S. Army Chaplain) of the Story of Purim, our hosts, the twenty families, had arranged a show and dance for our entertainment. The show, although corny by American standards at times, on the whole was very entertaining. The hit of the evening was a young English miss who played the accordion and displayed a lovely pair of gams through a black sheer floor-length skirt. She was an accomplished musician on her instrument and sang very creditably to her own accompaniment, but when she branched off into American swing and boogie-woogie, the G.I.s couldn't contain themselves and drowned her out with their own voices. First thing you know, we had a regular “jam session.” Everyone enjoyed himself thoroughly. (I know I did.) After the show there was supposed to be dancing and refreshments, but since the size of the mob made the former out of the question, we settled for the latter. That is, most of the crowd did. Klein was there with his gal-friend (or should I say—one of his gal-friends—since he has at least one in every town and hamlet from here to London—and a little beyond). Neither of us had eaten supper, and we were famished. Too hungry, anyhow, to push through the mob to the tables which were arrayed with all kinds of sandwiches, cakes, etc. in sufficient quantity to feed a thousand hungry soldiers. (The good people of Norwich weren't taking any chances this time.) Klein and I, though, were “too far gone” to settle for a coupla sandwiches, so we went out to a restaurant for a meal of fish and chips. It was the first time I had tried this English delicacy, but I certainly did enjoy it. That just about finished up the festivities for the night. The trip back to camp was uneventful. Before parting company, the officer in charge of our little party, Lt. Resnikoff, asked Klein and myself to come to Services at the Post Chapel Friday evening and Saturday morning. We promised to be there and kept our promise. Friday evening Lt. Huttner conducted the service, after which he told the story of Purim, ad-lib, in modern terminology. He's a very clever guy, with a delightful sense of humor, and his version of the story of Esther and Mordecai and Haman was as entertaining as a modern novel. He also explained the make-up of the Old Testament, dividing it into its various parts, giving thumb-nail sketches of the Prophets, old and new, and generally making his “spiel” so interesting that I, for one, hated to see it end. Incidentally, Sweet, you would do well to read the book of Esther, in which the narrative of Purim is contained. It has its hero, villain, heroine, and element of suspense, just like any modern novel, and is very easily read and understood.

All the foregoing, Chippie, pretty well explains why you will not receive letters for the 9th and 10th. I might have managed to write during the day, but for the fact that I was busy making up the pay-roll. The greatest drawback, though, is that I haven't had a chance to answer the six letters I received from you in those two days. I hardly know where to begin. I have all your letters now for the entire month of February. The chances are—I will receive very little, if any, mail for the next four or five days. I'll try to answer them during that time. Time doesn't allow of any more writing today.

It just occurred to me that you will receive this on or about 20 March, which, as if you didn't know, is our third anniversary. Therefore—HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DEAR. May the next one see us reunited. My love to you Adele and all the family.


Your Phil