April 5, 1944
Received three letters today, yours of 16,17 and 19 March with your “birthday gift.” I thought it was simply wonderful, considering that you had to keep with the letters. There was a letter from the Chaplain of the 8th Fighter Command advising of the various things they have done for the men overseas and an offer to do anything, if needed. My wallet arrived and is rather nice. It's a brown Indian goat leather. I've always wanted a lady’s wallet and finally got one. I told you yesterday that I got it with the Asco coupons from evaporated milk. We had the sink fixed finally and it cost $10. Thank God that's okay, for it is miserable without the use of a sink, especially in the kitchen. I really could write a letter tonight for I have plenty to say—but no time to say it.
Mom had readied a package for Jack, all chocolate. Today, Goldie had a letter from him stating that he received some chocolate from Gloria. He said it was melted and not eatable. Therefore, Mom has asked me to send the package off to you. It contains a box of milk chocolate, Hershey bars, and a box of Stevens candy. I'll try to get it off sometime this week. I told you that I bought you a box of peanut chews and it's waiting to go off, too. I didn't want to send it along alone, so I bought a box of almond-chocolate Hershey bars to go with it. I hope to get it wrapped and ready for mailing shortly.
Adele’s cold is improved and I shall take her out if it is nice tomorrow. It snowed this morning and was freezing out. Mr. Chase slept over, for he didn't wish to return to Ethel's in the snow, which started last night. It was only a light snow and has disappeared completely. Ethel came home from the hospital with Stuart today. Yep, it's all over except the raising, and that's the worst part of it all.
Today really marks the eighth month of our separation, unless you figure from the sixth. Eight months is a long time and I feel myself eight months wiser. I mean to have the things I want from life at all costs. I know I will someday. I want to take this opportunity, sweetheart, for spending so much time on that poem—it is so lovely. It is a novel birthday gift and one which I appreciate deeply. I hereby send along a kiss for each letter represented.
And so, dearest, I come to the end of another missive from
who loves you very much!
P.S. Ruth brought home the pictures from Wolpe and he made two smiling ones instead of the smiling one and a serious one, as I had ordered. I called and gave him hell and he says he will make good. I'm not crazy about the pictures, but it is nice to have one of a child at one year. I guess sentimentality dictated my action in this connection.
5 April 1944
Just when I thought I'd catch up with my correspondence—four more letters to be answered. But I'm not complaining—no, ma'am! They were yours of 11,12, 13, 14 March. In addition, Mom's long-awaited letter. Besides the daily letter to you, Chippie, I owe letters to the following: Mom, Ruthie, Syd, Phil, Gloria, Eddie and Jack S. and Mr. Silver. Sometimes when I do have an hour or so to spare, I use it up just wondering to whom to write first!
If, as today, I ever seem to disdain from telling you what goes on here, you will know that nothing occurred outside of the regular routine, and I'm fed up with writing all the inconsequentialities that make up the word. Today. I promise to answer your two V-mails of 23–4 March. The 23rd was evidently a dull day for you, Chippie, ’cause you were forced to the expedient of double-spacing in order to fill the form. Evidently, the incessant rain brought on an attack of the blues—at least your letter sounds like it. You mention the fact that “a year ago, (23 March/43) we were preparing to go to Columbus.” I think I covered that subject the early part of last month and I can well appreciate how you felt remembering. Nothing else in this one that calls for further comment.
Your V-mail of the 24th was much more gratifying. It is single-spaced and fills the form to capacity. That's the kind of mail I love to get, Baby. I agree you can say just as much in a letter of this type as you can in ordinary air-mail.
It's good to know that that date at 5 P.M. is being kept. Tell me, Sweet, just where are you at that time and what are you doing? Do you actually sit on the bench, look out at it from the porch window, or just let your thoughts stray there while you are feeding Adele or sumpin?
Glad to hear that Jack was pleased with the gift. Next year, I'll help you make the selection. Evidently, though, you did alright by yourself.
The bulk of your letter is concerned with your mother's offer to care for Adele while you go out to work. From the tone of your voice, I got the impression that you are seriously considering it again. I thought we had settled that a long time ago, but if you don't remember I'll refresh your memory right now, or rather, I'll tell you what I think of the idea. First, I want you to know that I'm irreconcilably against it. Don't think I haven't given it a lot of thought, Baby—I have considered it from every angle. No matter how I look at it, in the end I wind up with the same conclusion. It's tantamount to choosing between money on the one hand, and your health, Adele’s, general welfare and Mom’s health on the other. No matter how you may try to confuse the issue with extraneous motives such as helping your mother financially, getting away from the drudgery of the house and caring for the baby for a few hours a day, and the necessity for saving as much as you possibly can, it all boils down to the ultimate choice I just stated. I have a very clear and unhappy memory of what happened on a former occasion when you tried to help out by working. I don't think you have quite forgotten it, either, Chippie. You had, at that time, little choice. It was worth or seek charity or starve. Today, happily, we're not faced with the necessity for making a choice. You may argue that you are well enough now to bear the burden of work. That may or may not be—remember you were well enough the first few months in ’41, too. The fact remains, however, that you won't know for certain whether you can take it or not until it's too late. A result we can definitely foresee if you leave the house for even a few hours a day, is that Mom will be forced to help with the cleaning, etc. I don't exactly know what, or how much she does around the house—aside from preparing supper, nor am I concerned with it. What I am concerned with is my aversion to asking her to take on any added duties, however light, so that you will be able to go out and make some money for “us.” You will not deny that Adele is immeasurably better off with her “Mommy” in constant attendance than she would be under the circumstances you suggest. As for helping your Mom—I told you long ago—anytime, any way I can, and with any material resources I have, but not at the risk of detriment to any of my family. I'm sure she hasn't considered all the aspects of the case as I have put them down. If she had, she would never have suggested what she did. If I thought you could save a thousand dollars for one month's work, I would still be against it. Any one of the reasons I have set forth is ample justification for forbidding you to go back to work—together, the inference Is overwhelmingly against the advisability of your doing so. I trust I have made my attitude sufficiently clear, Chippie, and that you will understand that my objections are well-founded enough to warrant my stand in the matter. I have purposely left this argument for the last because I realize it is an entirely selfish one. If the previous arguments didn't convince you, I'll ask you not to give this one a second thought. If they were sufficient to sway you to my way of thinking then I won't be taking advantage of you by telling it. In a nutshell—it's this: All these months I have been in the Army, one picture in my mind has sustained me and kept me free of care. It is the picture of you in the house; cleaning, dusting, feeding the punkin, sitting by the radio and knitting or reading or just talking with Mom or Betty or Goldie, putting Adele to bed, undressing, sleeping in “our” bed, fussing about “our” room; I've literally spent hours “dressing” you—in all your lingerie that I can remember, every pair of shoes I helped select for you, your white slip, your pink slip, your peach slip; I’ve put on your blue polka-dot sheer for you, stood off to admire you a few moments—only to take it off and attire you in your tan wool “sailor,” and so on—ad infinitum. Through all my imagination I saw you at home—and the thought that you were safe and sound there never failed to awaken an echo of thanks within me that it was so. Don't, my darling, take these thoughts from me to replace them with images of you hurrying across streets to get to work on time, jamming into a crowded bus, dodging automobiles, getting home to flop wearily into a chair, short of temper with Mom and Adele and Harry and Goldie because you are weary, and bitterly regretting that you were foolish enough to go back to work when the baby cries in the night and keeps you from the essential sleep you need in order to carry on the next day. All that, and much more, which I don't care to put into words, will fill my thoughts if I know you were working. As I've already pointed out, Sweet, that last is a selfish argument simply because it concerns my peace of mind. I flatter myself, it may carry some weight with you.
Once again, I must say good-night, my lovely. It is just an hour ’til our date and I like to be in bed at that time. Need I say I love you? No? I'll say it anyhow—I love you, my Evvie. A kiss for Adele—my love to all.
April 5, 1944
Received your most welcome letter. Let me warn you that now your letters will be doubly welcomed and more eagerly looked for (if possible).
I haven't mailed your package yet (I'm ashamed to say), but I'm not quite settled yet. My stuff is divided between my Mother's and my Mother-in-law's. As you will notice by the return address, we are living at my Mother's.
Snuff is scheduled to leave April 20th, but there is an appeal in that they have received no word on. If they don't hear about it by then, he will probably be in the May quota.
It doesn't seem possible that you have been away so long. I hope it will be an even shorter time before you come home again.
Spoke to Evelyn and read her your letter. She got as much of a kick out of it as I did.
I have just heard Frank Sinatra's program and was thinking of you all the way through.
I know you won't receive this letter in time, but I do want to wish you a happy Easter and hope you will be home before the next one comes around.
Last week we saw “The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.” If you get a chance, don't miss it! It's the funniest thing I have seen in ages.
Also don't miss “Up in Mabel's Room.” We saw a sneak preview of it.
The weather here is screwy. This morning we had snow and in the afternoon it was beautiful out.
Snuff will no doubt drop you a line when he leaves. r
Write soon and often.