Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Post #344 - April 17, 1944 Did I Tell You That Adele Swaggers When She Walks? and A Long Letter from Jack Nerenberg


April 17, 1944

Phil, dearest, 

I had a letter from Eddie today stating that the $10 was a birthday gift. He said he had completely forgotten our anniversary and that I should consider the gift as an anniversary-birthday gift. 

I had a terrible night with Adele. She got up no less than 12 times to “wet” and wanted to be changed on each occasion. I never did get to sleep till 8 A.M. and, sweet, I just couldn't get up this morning. That, coupled with the fact that I'm “overdue,” has left me in a pretty tired state. Adele seems to get worse and worse instead of improving. I’m the only one that has such troubles, in fact, none of the girls have had any trouble that way. I always was lucky??? when it comes to taking life easy. Oh well, I guess better days are coming (I hope). 

Mickey and Rae visited here last night and we chatted about one thing and another over tea and cake. Rae is looking exceptionally well lately—thinner and younger looking. 

Phil has a ten day furlough and he and Emma are making the rounds to their various friends and relatives. They expect to spend a few days at the shore. 

Mr. Frommer is back home and you’d never know he’d been through so much. He looks grand. He always asks about you, sweet. 

Did I tell you that Adele swaggers when she walks? She swings her left arm to and fro and looks like she's going to “take off” like a plane. I tried a new system with her feeding this evening. I've noticed that she and “wow-wow,” (milk) are inseparable. She yells for milk first thing and then can’t eat. Tonight I let her yell and yell and yell—but—she ate her entire meal and then drank her milk—without a whit of persuasion. Now that is sumpin’!! 

I started to type this letter at 5 P.M., so I'll give you one guess as to where my thoughts were. In case my air-mail letter of yesterday is late in arriving, I wish to inform you that I mailed off the proofs of our pictures with the consent of the C. P. Studios. 

Fay and I took a walk with the kids and did some shopping at the A&P on Fifth Street. When we got back we sat on the front steps and had chocolate ice-cream cones—jealous? You can have mine, sweet. 

Right now my mind is a blank, but there is one subject that I can always write about—my love and adoration for you, my Phil. No matter how much I say it, write it, think it or talk about it, I can't get over how much stronger it gets with each passing day. Sorry, honey, that I couldn't fill each teeny space, but if you think there's room, I'll squeeze in 

Your Eve

April 17, 1944 

Dear Evelyn, 

I've been vainly awaiting your letter. I can only surmise that it, or my last to you, has gone astray. In the interim, I received a heartwarming five long pages of interpretation from the heart of the pen of Phil. Never shall he, nor you, nor I in any words, be able to describe the wonder that is our friendship. However, that's hardly necessary for each of us three knows the joy derived from its warmth and sincerity. 

Just a few moments ago I reread the letter, finding even more in it than the times I've read it before. I would make mention of some of its points, but they can be done justice only as a complete reading, so I'll skip it rather than try brevity, I do hope you understand. 

And now I shall go on to write that “news” letter to both you and Phil. 

Before starting that, I should like to ask how you all are. Goldie? What's the score there? The Little Princess? You? Mom? Your family? Jack? Harry? Gloria? 

Please write and give me the dope and take for yourself and yours my love and wishes for your well being. 

As ever, 


April 17, 1944 

Dear Phil and Ev, 

At long lingering last, by the light of the barracks bulbs, in sight of the falling snow that Camp Hale is host to, and in sound of the four feet distant dominoes that change chance to money, I'm about to take off on a pencycle, to coin a word, if you will? 

First off, I should like to begin by telling you about my recent “furlough.” I was extremely fortunate in being the only one in my company to garner a three day pass for Passover (Friday, Apr. 7 to Sunday the 9th). Eleven P.M. of the ninth found me pleased to be informed that a snowslide at Loveland Pass between Denver and Camp Hale had stopped all road travel. It wasn't until 1:00 A.M. Wednesday that I started back. The queue that had formed for the one and only bus of Tuesday (in the morning) found me conveniently at its end, to be informed that the bus was full. Nary a word of recrimination emitted from C.O., merely phrases of envy from fellow G.I.’s. 

Those were five lovely days. A Seder at a Jewish home,  a woman of Mom’s kindness, whose presence kept me a-tingle in a paradoxically pleasant-sad frame of mind. The next Seder at a beautiful dining room in a modern Jewish home for children, they to us, as we to them, a welcome change. Following that, a party for seven of us at the home of a Jewish girl and six of her friends. Truly, I enjoyed the boys’ company just as much as the girls, pretty and nice as they were. Sunday found all fourteen of us together again at reformed Jewish services in a lavish synagogue, which were followed by luncheon, entertainment, and dancing in the spacious “downstairs” of the synagogue. Four o’clock, dancing’s end decided us to one of the girl’s houses. She's well to do, and the spread she offered and wine she served, furthered the indication offered by the finished basement with juke box. Girls wearing dresses, boys, Jewish to the core, homes, synagogues, trees with with lawn, me in the midst, what more could I ask? I didn't, but the good Lord gave me two more days in Denver. I U.S.O.’d the afternoons away, but spent both evenings single dating with one of the girls. The other boys had returned to nearby camps. I recaptured a bit of New York in a visit to Denver's “Algerian,” a nightclub of moderate entertainment, nicely done up. 

To be continued

Well, here's another day. Lights out and various and sundry interruptions caused me to defer till now the recapitulation of recent occurrences in the life of yours truly, now, being 10:25 A.M. of Wednesday. The door of my darkroom is locked and I am all caught up. So what better than to write ditto now, even though I am a little tired due to overindulgence last night in bowling, wine-drinking and dancing, and I do mean dancing. Some Wac and I were giving out with the bopping to the swing times of one of the swell bands we have here. On returning to my own barracks, after a six block walk from the newer of the two beautiful service clubs here, I found that my parka head covering had (to be conservative, I swear I'm underestimating) one inch of snow on it, the mirror reflecting a nun-like appearance. 

Now to continue from where I think I left off, (I don't have the beginning of this letter here) 

Testing to see if I can write on this side too. Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. O.K, not too— Nope! No good.

What I wanted to get across in reference to the night club is that the dance band was perfect and the girl and I really had a time. Her name is Bertha Gordon. Her dancing is just fair, but her 5'2” figure is perfect. We cabbed to her home at 11:00 P.M. and reluctantly I started my return to Hale, after hours of waiting for the bus. 

Now as to what’s the score with Pvt. N., it tallies thusly. 10–0 favor the army:

I am doing photography. My work has been commended. But I can't get a rating. My own company has no use for me. Eng. Bd. does but is powerless in getting a rate for me. It seemed for a while that I would be transferred to Station Complement due to my hearing, but A.R. #? or Port of Overseas Replacement circular #? says nothing about deafness in 2nd Army troops, so Second Army won't release me. The last I heard, even Station Complement has no rating for me. So what the hell! I've a good job, anyway. 

Yesterday, for the first time in months I went on sick call about my hearing. I say first time in months because as I think of it, I’ve been on real sick call once since I'm in the army as a result of fever at Louisiana, from an injection. I don't count the times I went for my hearing or for a twisted knee and ankle or a badly mauled pinky, all of which healed perfectly. Thank God, I seem to be quite physically well fit. 

Getting back to yesterday, I was given an audiometer test. The only reason I haven't been given one before is that this half-ass captain that left yesterday or the day before, just didn't give a damn about me or a thousand others. The new officers seem very efficient, to say nothing of surprised at how poor my hearing is. I shall return Friday for a repeat audio test (this is to nullify malingerers). Then when the two tests compare exactly as they must except in case of instrumental failure, I shall probably see some action. 

I think I have mentioned to you that otosclerosis seems to be my trouble. An operation is being perfected wherein a surgeon drills a hole through the bone growth (which causes this defect, while suturing a hearing nerve) to allow for sound to pass through that wouldn't be ample for causing the skull to send its vibrations to the inner ear. The hole would admit the sound, you see, which in itself would cause the inner ear to pick it up, I hope

In the telling of all this, it hardly seems like much. Maybe it isn't. But at times it has gotten me down, yet at other times, I just don't give a damn, especially when I'm off duty on a pass. 

Well kids, I must stop now. I’ve left out the best news of all. Sammy, according to Sonia, is almost his old self again. 

Something else. I've averaged at least a staff sarge’s pay by making pictures for the boys. So here's a fiver, Phil. Gamble it away or win Evvie a new spring suit. 

My love to you all. 

Ss ever, 

Jackie R

April 17, 1944. 

Dear Phil:

How are you? I received your letter of April eighth and I was very glad to hear from you. You wanted to know why I dropped French, well, in the first place it wasn't French, it was Spanish. It can be included in my course, but I didn't want to take it because it won't be as helpful to me as the subjects I am now taking. I'm not going to be optimistic about this report because the work has become much harder and these teachers are not going to be as easy as they were with the marks in the first report. I doubt if I'll make the honor roll, but I know that I will pass everything. The course I'm taking is supposed to fit me for the position of a bookkeeper. I got a letter from Harry Weinman Saturday and he's also stationed in England. I'm sending you his address and when you get a chance, write to him. He may be near you and maybe you would be able to meet him. His address is as follows. 

Pfc. Harry Weinman 
Co. D.–507. Par. Inf. 
A.P.O. 514 - C/O P. M. 
New York, N.Y. 

That's about all for now. 

Love and kisses (105)