April 15, 1944
I have the consent of the C. P. Studios to forward the proofs to you, but they must be returned for I have a $7 deposit and would loose it. Personally, I think the whole batch "stink". You asked for it and here it is! I like the full face of me and the serious one of Adele, if you wonder at my selections. I also like the smiling one, but think her features are too distorted. She threw her head back to laugh and he caught it too soon. I had expected a great deal of Clair Pruett and can't help feeling disappointed. Of course, they are only proofs and will look better when made up, but, nevertheless, I can't help feeling disappointed. I'm glad I can send them along for I wouldn't know what to select and feel better knowing that you can see them. What do you think, sweet? I told you my hair wouldn't look well and it doesn't. If Adele hadn't acted up I would have had ample time to brush it well and give it some extra fluffiness. It was set well and a little more attention would have done the trick. Also, I think there is a noticeable “tired look" about my eyes that tends to make me look much older. He should have fixed my blouse, too. I forgot to mention that Mr. Pruett, himself, made the pictures. That "not serious, not smiling" proof of Adele shows to advantage what à "dead ringer" Adele is of her daddy. You know, Phil, the more I look 'em over the better I like them. Oh hell if only you were here - then I'd know! I'm leaving it all up to you.
Most people I've shown the proofs either go for the dead serious or the smiling one - according to their particular taste. I like the serious one best of all for she looks more like she does in person. The other two make her look too chubby. Please, Phil, return these proofs immediately for they said they will not make up the pictures til I return the proofs. I can't wait to learn your reactions.
April 16, 1944
I was very weary and hit the hay at 9:30 last night, hoping you wouldn't mind if I continued on this today. I just can't seem to force myself or my body as I used to do when Adele was first born. I must rest when I'm tired and I'm sure you understand your ever lovin! spouse's good intentions.
I've gazed at the proofs many more times today and get to like them more and more after each look. I don’t know what the hell I expected.
My mind is so full of proofs, pictures, etc. that I can think of nothing else. You will probably get the same impression that I and everyone else got—that Adele looks at least three years old in the pictures. All babies look older on pictures and I don't know why.
Phil, do you remember saying that pictures failed to capture a certain quality that you saw in me? Well, that's how I feel about Adele's pictures. I think she's much prettier personally.
I asked whether it was possible to change my order, since I had not ordered from the proofs and I think it can be arranged. As you know I ordered two 8X10's and two 5X7’s, all in color, a large and small of each of us, cost, $17.40. If you have other ideas, let me know. I was thinking of cancelling the 8x10 in color of me, since I do not like my pictures. Someday I'd like to have an 8x10 in color of you, Adele and myself and can't see the sense to ordering so many 8X10’s of Adele and myself now. I did think I would frame the two larger pictures in a double frame, but we'd have too many pictures standing about the house and I don't like that at all. Don't I sound mixed up? Gosh, I sure do hope you get it.
I'm writing this during Adele's nap and will finish this evening. We've had nothing but rain for the past two days and it's beginning to clear. I think I'm going to take Adele out this afternoon even if the sun doesn't come out. She sleeps better when she has an airing. She slept til 7:30 this morning, after an unusually restful night.
I brought her down in her sleepers and gave her breakfast, which consisted of a glass of orange juice, an egg and a glass of milk. I also break a slice of American cheese into little pieces and sprinkle them across the tray of the hichair. Adele picks up each piece carefully and jams it into her mouth. She loves "chiz". I had breakfast while Adele played with the covers of several jars. I had pressed most of the day
and let the ironing board stand til this morning so that I could press some of Adele's things that I had washed last night. After having my breakfast I proceeded to press. Then Adele and I went next door to visit the Harnicks, who had beckoned from the kitchen window. We stayed a few minutes, back home through the porch window and upstairs to get dressed. Adele is wearing white blouse, peach angora sweater and royal blue overalls. Adele goes downstairs into the playpen while "momma" dresses, cleans the bedroom, etc. It is now time for Adele's lunch. After lunch Adele makes a "sis", helps me undress her and off to dreamland. Momma then has lunch and here she is right now.
It is now evening and I have just finish getting Adele into bed for the night. Pardon the double spacing, dear, but in the interim I found time to caught up somewhat on my lagging correspondence, by writing to Gloria, Syd and Jack N. and I used double spacing on Syd's letter and forgot to change the regulator.
Phil, I know you won't believe this, but my grandmother actually handed Adele a five dollar bill this afternoon. It didn't clear up til 4 o’clock and I had Adele out for an hour, at which time I stopped at my mother's and the above mentioned miracle took place. I can't get over it. She is supposed to move next week and keeps postponing it. She knows darn well that she'll never be treated as well as she was treated here. She'll undoubtedly move before the month is out and while I thought I would return to work immediately after, I feel it best to give my mother an opportunity to get the house more orderly. So you see, sweet, my returning to work is still a thing of the future, one that I shall take advantage of when the time is ripe.
Tante Bosh was telling me that an airline company is proposing weekend trips from Philly to England at a cost of $50. Where she heard this and whether it is true remains to be seen and I couldn't help wondering what you thought of it. Would you agree to my taking such a trip? I think I know you answer and I heartily disagree. I would make such a trip if it were at all possible. I think it would kill me to pass up such an opportunity. (Food for thought, isn't it, sweet?) Personally, I think it's a lot of poppycock.
I'd like to write on, baby, but it is almost nine and since. I want these proofs to reach you in record time I've simply got to get this letter posted. What do you think of your wife and daughter, sweet? Most everyone mentioned that I look very Italian. Italian, Jewish, whatever I may be, wherever I am or may be I love you very dearly and will always be your devoted
15 April 1944
Tonight I am starting this with the intention of making it a “running letter” (to take a page out of your book). The reason I'm doing this is that there is a show on the base at 8:30 and I want to catch it. I have about a half-hour to spare in which I will tell you what little there is to tell of today.
To begin with, I received no fresh mail, so I still have only your letters of 21,25-26, 29 March to answer. This morning was rather dull as I had very little to do. We gave the Orderly Room, a good scrubbing, but an hour later, you’d never know we had put a mop to it. Guys kept tracking in mud. Tomorrow we'll have to do it all over again. After lunch I flopped on my bunk to relax till 1:00 o'clock. Next thing I knew, I looked at my watch and it said 4:30. I had relaxed right through the afternoon. Luckily, Sgt. Murphy didn't need me for anything, else he would have come looking for me.
After supper, Red and I strolled over to the Aero Club to see what was cooking for tonight. We found out about the show tonight. While we were at it, we had some chocolate cake and coffee. Red isn't going to the show 'cause he has a flock of letters to answer. We just had our showers; I divided a Milky Way with him. He's settling down to write—and I'm about to quit for the time being. Tomorrow, in addition to reporting on the show, I hope to answer those three letters. Until then, my Sweet, I leave you with a hug and a kiss. The same for the punkin.
Hello again darling; you're looking lovely this evening. Whaddya mean “how do I know?”—don’t you always?
The show was put on by some British entertainers, which is the same as saying it was pretty corny. As the performance progressed, the guys started to dribble out the exit. By the time it was half over, half the audience had vanished. It was pretty poor, but it is against my principles to walk out on people who, after all, went to a great deal of trouble and expense to try to give us an evening's entertainment. And they did try. No one can deny that the fault lies in our widely diversant ideas of entertainment, but they couldn't help that, either. So, although the show is poor by our standards, I stuck it out with a handful of men that remained to the bitter end. I would have felt myself an ungrateful and ill-mannered dog if I hadn’t. It was almost 11 o'clock when I got back to the hut, and by the time I had undressed (in the dark) and rolled between the blankets, it was time to keep our date. I was thinking I would like to change the locale to my easy chair—I'm much more comfortable there—and you can sit on my lap as you used to do—okay, Chippie? Of course, I'll continue to keep our tryst on the bench until I know you are aware of the “switch.”
This morning, sho’ nuff, we went to work on the floor again. This time we kept a close watch to prevent a recurrence of yesterday's fiasco. After lunch I had some paperwork to do and it took most of the afternoon. It is now 5:30—and I’m looking my eyes out for the mail. I'm not hungry this evening (I think the chicken we had for lunch ruined my appetite), so I'm passing up supper.
And now to answering those letters of yours!
Yours of the 21st was a “shorty,” and aside from the paragraph about Seymour's present (for which you may convey my thanks also), and that item about Ben expecting to see our Jack “real soon,” there is really nothing that requires comment. Not so your “longie” of 25-26 March, however—that'll take a lot of answering.
First, thanks a million for the “Oh Henry's,” the chocolates, etc. I'll be looking for them most eagerly. Thank Ruthie for getting them—I know it isn't easy these days. Hint: I sure would like to have those Peanut Chews, Chippie. I'll try to remember to tack a request onto the tail of this letter. On second thought, I won't take a chance. I'll put it at the head—right now.
Glad you enjoyed “Thousands Cheer,” Sweet. I knew it was the type of picture you could really enjoy. My regards to Fay (and don't I wish you could send along one of Ben’s Malted’s “with (you) attached”)! It was good of you to think of me at the time, Baby—that's something, anyhow. That Orange, Cherry-pecan ice cream sure does sound “out of this world.” Tell Ben to save some for me.
That blouse Gloria gifted you with sounds like the sort of thing I love to see you in. Bet it’s just the thing to compliment your gray suit—isn't it? Gloria is certainly full of surprises.
At last, the details on Stuart (I like that spelling better) Chase. Seems to me, I “guessed” a boy for Ethel, didn't I? I'll get off a congratulatory letter at first opportunity.
I'm waiting to see those “snaps” that Ruth and Sy took of you and Adele. Do I get em?
Your purchase of a bottle of Brilliantine came as a coincidence. Red got himself a big bottle of it and uses it like a ******. I've been giving him “the works” on account of it. Red is like Yale in that respect, if’n you know what I mean. He drives me nuts with his fastidiousness. Sometimes, when I'm waiting on him to go to a movie or sump’n, he’ll primp and fuss in front of the mirror for a half-hour. Funny how a guy as masculine as he is can still have a typically feminine trait like that!
Too bad about Herby Miller. I think he would have much preferred the Army to that terrific accident, had he had the choice. My regards to him and Lena.
Your next paragraph has me in a “dither.” It's about you're going to work for your Dad's boss. I’ll grant you, Sweet, it's an ideal set-up as far as jobs go, and I hate to throw cold water on your ambitions, but the fundamental reasons for my refusing to sanction it when you first mentioned it, still hold true, and I therefore can’t see my way clear to changing my mind. Sorry, Baby, but as I pointed out in my last discourse on the subject, the difference of a few hundred dollars won't make any material difference in our aspiration's to those “duplex apartments”—and you have so much to lose by attempting to gain, what, after all, is peanuts compared to the issues at stake. I sincerely hope I've convinced you of the inadvisability of what you are intending, Sweet, 'cause I would certainly hate to see you persist in your notion.
The mystery of Hal Chase’s appearance on the same bill with Jane Withers is cleared up, but I still don't understand why you couldn't see him. Was it because there was no one to stay with Adele, or didn't you just feel like going, or were you too busy with something else?
Your paragraph on Adele gives me a new conception of her. I'm intrigued by your assertion that she gets jealous if you don't pay strict attention to her. What I would very much like to know is just how does she evidence that jealousy?—And you were so set against “spoiling” her. Already we have a vain woman on our hands— but then, if she weren't vain, she wouldn't be a female, would she? I'm not surprised that she is as she is. I'm just curious to know how she shows her femininity.
I don’t doubt that Natalie's new bedroom suite is as lovely as you say. I like to think that there will come a day when we will do as much for Adele Bara, bless her little head.
God grant your prayer that I'll be with you by your next birthday—fulfillment, my darling. My prayer is far more ambitious. My dearest love to you and the punkin. My love to all.
P.S. Tomorrow: Ans. yours of 24th March.
P.S. Pplease send the candy.