Thursday, August 26, 2021

Post #396 - June 20, 21, 1944 I Expect to Hear that Dennis Jay Strongin (What a Monicker!) was Born on 14th June


20 June 1944

My Dearest,

Looks like I'm slipping, don't it? In my correspondence, I mean. Instead of my usual letter-a-day, I've been falling into the habit of writing every other day. This isn't as I would have it, sweet, and I’m sure you much prefer that I write every day. Sometimes, though, in order to do so, it would mean sacrificing a whole evening in town, and i'm most reluctant to do so, now that I've made some friends there. Really, sweet, my letters, if I wrote daily, would be very dull indeed. Because this would preclude my "going out” and thus deprive me of the means, the material for a readable letter, I’m sure you will agree, Chippie, that you gain by this arrangement, in the end. The alternative means that by the time I could get a letter off to you in the evening, Klein will have left. Since I must depend on him for transportation, I must either go with him, or spend the rest of the evening wondering what in hell to do with myself. However, in spite of all this, and because I am as anxious to write daily as you must be to receive a daily letter, I will continue to make every effort to write every day. Moreover, darling, I don't expect to go to town more than twice a week, and most weeks I'll go only once. I tell you all this, Chippie, so that you won't chafe at a delay of a day or two in receiving my mail. It is four days, now, since I've heard from you and i'm wondering if there'll be anything for me today,

Last night, as you must have gathered, I went out again. It had been a very nondescript day, with nothing much happening to break the monotony. There was no mail to answer, it was a lovely afternoon, and I was in the mood for a movie. There were two pictures to choose from. "Heavenly Body" and "Hers to Hold". I was in a quandary, ’cause I hadn’t seen either and wanted to see both. Klein was indifferent. I finally decided that I'd rather see Deanna Durbin than Hedy Lamarr. After all—Deanna also sings! Fortunately, it was a happy choice. Deanna is as lovely in this one as I’ve ever seen her, with the possible exception of her role in "His Butler's Sister.” Her singing, always thrilling, must, nevertheless, take second place to the charm of her as she plays the starry-eyed young thing romantically and unashamedly in love for the first time The tenderness she displays in the “clinches” makes Joseph Cotten, a pretty good actor in his own right, appear lifeless and insipid by comparison. I thought he was terribly miscast as the dashing young lover. Off-hand, I can think of a dozen guys who could have played the part more convincingly. The story, itself, is hackneyed with constant repetition. Deanna Durbin proves her true worth and stature as an actress by taking these two great handicaps (leading man, story) in her stride. She makes the picture a good one by the sheer power of her personality. To my mind, she is one of Hollywood's finest actresses, in the histrionic sense of the word. Add to this the fact that she owns the best singing voice of all the stars, and the added fact that she is undoubtedly among the prettiest, and you begin to understand why I'd rather watch her perform than anyone even Hedy Lamarr).

After the show, we went to see the Woolfs. Evelyn is still at the Nursing Home and doing nicely, as is her son, whom they have decided to name Nigel Keith; (over the objections of Klein and myself—imagine!). Bert and Rita were expecting us, and the table had already been laid. We dined sumptuously (as the books say) on fish most excellently prepared by Rita. To “go with” there was pickle relish, french fries, tomatoes, b + b, coffee. By the time we finished eating, and I had helped Rita with the dishes (guess I shouldn't have mentioned that—it may give you an idea) and examined some of the pictures of you and Adele, which I remembered to bring along this time, it was time for us to leave. Rita exclaimed appropriately over the “beautiful baby;” she thought my wife was very nice, too. (Little does she know!) Bert, always the comedian, glanced briefly at the snaps and placed them back on the table, looking exaggeratedly bored. When he volunteered no comment, I said well?" He made a show of being startled out of his lethargy. "Oh” he deprecated, "what do I care about other people's kids." I could have killed him, even though I knew he was teasing me.

After he had invited us to the "bris", which is either tomorrow on the next day (he hasn’t decided yet), we said our "cheerios" and took off.

Klein entertained with his usual goofy brand of singing all the way back to camp— and so to bed.

—Which just about completes this particular letter.

So-long for now, Baby mine. I'm expecting the package containing the pictures any day now. Hope it’s today.

A fond kiss for you, darling. The same for the punkin. My love to all.

Your Phil
adores you.

21 June 144 


I've just finished reading your two letters of 8-9, 10-11 June and your V-mail of the 15th. To boot, I received the package containing the pictures, the box of Peanut Chews, and the Bond's Cookies. For the past four days now, I've been glum ’cause I hadn’t received anything in the mail. Yesterday there were four mail-bags full of packages and mail for the company. Imagine how I fell, when, for me, there wasn't even a V-mail! Today, though, made up in full measure for my disappointments of the last few days. I'm sitting on top of the world again, and feel so good, that were you and the punkin here, I’d put away the candy and the cookies and eat you instead. Truly, sweet, you both look good enough to eat. Right now, the picture sits on the shelf over my bunk, and I'm having to exert real will-power in order to keep my eyes off you long enough to get this letter written. The package arrived in perfect condition, even though you had piled everything on top of the cookies, and they were slightly mashed up as a result, I've already sampled the Peanut Chews and Cookies, and they were just as good as I thought they would be.

To keep you up-to-date on my doings, Chippie, I'll say a few words about what I've been up to since I wrote yesterday (and I do mean a very few words.)

Last night, having nothing better to do, I grabbed a nap between 6 and 8:30. Then I rode down to the theatre to see Kay Kyser and his gang in "Around the World. It is a very short musical, but what there is of it is pretty good entertainment. After a bite at the Snack Bar, back to barracks and to bed.

I was fairly busy all day, today - and late in the afternoon the mail arrived. I was in the middle of typing a company notice, when your three letters were handed to me. I stuck them in my pocket until I should finish the notice, but so eager was I to get at the reading of them, that I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing-—and screwed it up. Whereupon I said to hell with it, opened your letters, and read them. Then, having curbed my impatience, I proceeded to put fresh paper in the typewriter and started over again. When I finished, it was just 5 clock, so I gathered up pictures, candy, cookies, and letters, and made for the hut. Very slowly, then; relishing each word, I re-read the letters. Then, I looked long and earnestly at the pictures. Suddenly, I was terrible homesick. When that happens, I know only one remedy—I went to sleep. When I awoke an hour and a half later, the ache was gone, and I could once more bear the thought of not seeing you for some months yet. Immediately afterward, I commenced this. Now, let's see what comment your letters call forth. First, though, I guess you would want to know how I liked the pictures. In a sentence, they are up to my fondest expectations, and I can't thank you enough for them.

I'm so glad, Chippie, that my mail started coming through to you so soon after D-Day. Hope it's never held up again for the duration, but I expect it will be. Next time, though, you'll know the whys and wherefores of it, and will be more reconciled to the delay.

No, sweet, we haven't moved yet, but it is not without the realm of possibility that we'll be crossing the channel one of these days. No one knows, of course, whether we will or not, but, it is a possibility. I'm not worrying about it, though, Baby, and you shouldn't either. I told you long before I came overseas how the company would operate, and you should remember enough about tl to keep you re-assured, wherever we are sent. Believe me, darling, you need never suffer a moment's anxiety for my welfare.

Sorry you couldn't see your way clear to using that ten bucks, as I suggested, but, under the circumstances prevailing at the time, I agree that you couldn't very well do otherwise than postpone that “night out." However, I don't see why the opportunity shouldn't present itself soon—long before I could possibly join you. Please keep it in mind, Baby, and avail yourself of the first favorable opportunity. When I come home, and can join you, I'll find another ten dollars someplace. So just leave me out of your calculations in this matter. Fershtay?

Happy to learn that you finally managed to snare a good pair of shoes for the punkin. That leaves you exactly $16.50 for a dress. I figure you ought to be able to get something pretty nice for that. I remember a time when you could get two very nice dresses for that kind of money.

Nice of you, Honey, to remember to tell me what you are wearing now that you are “dressing up" again Didn't you give the “soldier suit" to Ruth a long time ago? And I thought you had discarded the “black net," too. Both were favorites of mine - but what wasn’t, for that matter? Do you wear a hat? I don't suppose you do.

Glad you find your work easy, Chippie, and that Mr. Bellet is so easy-going. True enough, Sweet, your mention of riding down to work with Mr. Bellet's son made me squirm inwardly (that's how bad I am), but I'm not holding any brief with you for mentioning it. The fault lies entirely with me, and I'll never stop being ashamed of my unreasoning jealousy.

22 June 144 

Just couldn't finish this by lights out last night, Chippie, so I'll continue this morning where I left off:

I don't think you're a “jerk", Sweet, because you gave Mrs. Hahn a break by helping her out when she needed you so badly. Especially if, as you claim, you don't feel "half as tired” after a day at the office, as you did formerly after a day at home. As to that, I suspect you're smearing it on a bit for my benefit. One thing I am happy about, in connection with your working. The days will go much faster for you, now that you have an added interest to keep you occupied thru the day. You'll have a lot less time to think of me—and that is good. Don't forget that 5 o'clock is mine, though!

How did your Mom take it when Seymour finally left for Camp Perry ?

Your letter of 10-11 June advises me that your grandmother is in a bad way again. Somehow, I can't feel properly empathetic; nor am I hypocrite enough to express a sorrow I do not feel. Of course, it would be nothing less than inhuman to refuse her her wish to see Adele again. It proves, too, that she is not entirely heartless.

Your remark to the effect that you are keeping up with the news makes me wonder if Mom still tunes in as fait fully as she used to to Mr. Fleischer.

The V-mail of the 13th conveys the news that Goldie was finally getting the labor pains. The suspense must have been terrific. I expect to hear that Dennis Jay Strongin, (what a monicker!) was born 14th June, between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. I'll also lay a little bet that Harry will drive you all crazy at about that time.

Well, Chippie, that just about covers your three letters, except for your sweet closing paragraphs. To them, I can only say that your honeyed words are a soothing balm for the aching loneliness that is always with me. My heart leaps to instant and eager response to each endearment, and echoes my equally fervent love for you, my dearly beloved. Never will I aspire to a greater joy than the one I await now with the greatest patience I can muster—that of holding you once more close to the heart that beats mainly for your sweet sake. My love to our daughter, who, as time goes by, lays increasing claim to that same heart. My love to all—and don't forget to include the newcomer, my first and only nephew, the inimitable Dennis Jay (can't get over that name!) 

Your Phil

June 21, 1944

Dear Phil:

How are you? I am writing to you from Atlantic City and I’m going to stay here all summer. I came here the 17th and I’m staying with Mrs. Cohen again. We came down by car and the ride was wonderful. The weather here is beautiful and I love it here. I’m going home in July for a few days since Seymour is expected home some time that month. That’s all the news so I’ll end my letter here.

Love & Kisses (45)

Post #395 - June 19, 1944 Most People Didn’t Get Too Excited, Wondering How High the Price Would Be and Who Would Pay with His Life and A Letter from Brother Seymour


June 19, 1944

Dearest Hubby,

I meant to write this letter yesterday, as you will note by the date line. However, today is the 20th and it is just getting written. I have a lot to say (for a change) and want to get started right at the beginning.

I didn't get an opportunity to describe the Fathers Day dinner—did I? Well, first I want to say a word about my mother and daddy. They were here for the dinner and both of them looked fine. My mother wore the dress we bought her shortly before Adele was born (I wonder if you remember how pretty it is?) and white shoes. My dad wore a white sports shirt, the blue slacks I bought him for Father's Day and brown and white sports shoes. I don't think I remember my folks looking as well as they did that day in a long time.

Al's brother Ben who was also supposed to attend didn't show up. As it was the following people were seated about the table: Mr. & Mrs, Silver, Murray Silver, My mother and dad, Al and Ethel and Paul, Harry, Mom and myself. We had a lovely dinner consisting of the following: grapefruit with strawberry jelly centers, chopped liver on lettuce leaves, veg. soup, roasted meat and chicken, peas and carrots pickles, tomatoes, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, all sorts of soda, brandy and whiskey. Sounds good, doesn't it - and it was! After dinner, we sat a short while and then the Silvers departed. Ethel, Al and Paul left a short while later. Al was telling Harry and me that Stuart and Paul each have 
$1000 bonds. It seems like everyone you talk to has thousands these days. Al mentioned that they spelled Stuart's name "Stewart" on his birth certificate and it's too late to do anything about it.

Monday morning I arose feeling spry, though Adele had gotten me up more than eight times the previous night. I cleaned the entire house (light dusting, etc. and was finished at 10. I took Adele for a walk and met up with the mailman, who had a stack of mail for widdle me - goody, goody! Your letter to Phil, along with the one for me dated May 16 were piperoos and you needn't feel badly about not writing a special Mother's Day letter, honey, cause, as you say, it was not necessary and that letter to Phil certainly made interesting reading. At the same time, I received your letters of May 24, June 4th and June 6th. It was then time for me to leave for work and I hadn't sufficient time to read your mail. I read most of it on the subway going to work and coming home with my dad. I called Emma immediately and she came over last night to pick up the letter. I didn't feel tired til I had gotten Adele bathed and into her crib. After that I was exhausted and not even bothering to clean up the bathroom I stretched across the bed and caught myself a short nap. Mom woke me to tell me that Em was downstairs and it was a little after nine. I hurriedly cleaned the bathroom and then came down. We chatted til 10, then Em left. It started to pour shortly before 10, but let up enough to allow her to į return home.

And now for some comment on your letters, sweet. They did me a world of good and I feel deliciously happy about receiving so much of you at one time, Gosh, did I tell you I love you. I didn't!? Well, suppose I take time out and tell you, my dearest, that you are the sweetest thing this side of heaven and I love you ever so much!

So you turned out a perfect payroll. I don't think you made a bit todo about nothing - that is 
sumpin to be proud of! More power to you, baby! That just about answers your letter of May 24th.

The first letter you wrote in June, on the 4th, advised me that you had received 7 V-mails and two packages. The C. P. pictures should be coming thru any day now. As for getting sick while riding in trolleys, etc. I've noticed that it was due to the fact that I hadn't actually ridden in them for a long time and was, therefore, unaccustomed to the sway which always made me ill. Now, however, I don't find myself getting any ill-effects whatever, and I'm glad of it. Mom liked "Song of Russia" immensely and I'm darn sorry I didn't get to see it. Thanks about wanting me to get the earrings. Suppose we save that too, so that you can pick them out for me. If I do run across anything I would particularly like to have I’ll advise you, honey.

Your letter of the sixth eased my mind somewhat. Although I knew you were safe and everything would be alright, the lack of mail for three whole weeks did have its effect on me and you have to admit that it would be the same for you. I know you are okay, but I feel better when I hear it directly from you - fershtay!

The Invasion, for the most part, relieved the tension for one and all. But, then, as you said, most people didn't get too excited, wondering how high the price would be and who would pay with his life. It was good—yet bad, if'n you know what I mean. However, all seems to be in hand and the latest news - a statement by Churchill that the war would be over this summer sounds almost unbelieveable. I don't believe I'll realize the war is over til I am able to take

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way to keep him pleased and I only questioned him about it. So that I might know that I had been in the right. I didn’t like her remark, but nevertheless I know better than to let it mean anything to me. I'm getting used to having a big fuss made about everything I do and think.

Besides your mail I received the enclosed letter from Seymour, a short letter from Jack N. and a v-mail from Milt. There were also two postcards - one from Dot and Snuff, who are spending a few days, at the shore, the other from Ruth.

Mom, Harry and the Frommers went to visit Goldie this evening. Mom said she got a good look at the baby and it is sweet. Diana's small crib arrived today and Adele made quite a fuss about it. I put Adele in the crib to try it out (it's the same size as that little one I had for her) and she had a grand time. She's beginning to understand about the baby.

Adele knows how to say "yes" now instead of nodding her head. She also says such things as more, omb for comb, wah-wah, (for water. She calls people by their names. Whenever Petey sees her he shakes his forefinger and says no-no to whatever she wants to do. He has her so trained that when he tells her to sit down, she sits - and doesn't dare move. Whenever I chance to mention his name and this has become a habit, she shakes her forefinger and says, "no, no no." Her hair gets longer and curlier and I have more and more trouble combing it. Phil, you really are missing something now. She's a regular cuddly darling and this is the most interesting age of all - from a year and a half to two. That's when 
they, learn to do and say most everything. Oh well, there will come a day -

I'm terribly sorry, honey, that I haven't had the opportunity to mail off the package I have for you,' but I will do so within the next day or so. Forgive me, but it just can’t be helped.

The weather is remarkably cool again, after a hot weekend. I love the cool weather and hope it continues. I enjoy my new job immensely and the afternoon passes so quickly that I can scarcely believe it is gone when six o'clock rolls around. Ann asked me to cash her check this afternoon (her June check, which she hadn't even started to use yet) before going to work. (I should have said morning). Tony met me at 10th and Ruscomb and walked me up to the bank. I cashed the check, depositing the rest of excess cash (now making our account total exactly $200,) and then he rode on the subway with me, as he was going out to West Philly. He looks wonderful, has been home on a 14 day furlough and says he really became acquainted with the kid this time. We chatted about many things. He says his old job will be waiting when he gets back, but he doesn't know if he wants to go back to it. As I said - let's get the war over first - then -

It's getting kind of late, sweet, and I must get some rest. Adele slept through last night and I don't have to tell you how grateful I am when she does. I’m not good for anything' when she doesn't.

I've managed to get off a few letters now and then and wrote to Jack N., Eddie, Milt, Fay and Gloria recently. I still owe Mike Nerenberg a letter and hope to get one off in the near future.

I'm keeping our date regularly, honey, and I'm hoping we'll have a real date real soon. Guess you won't mind if I say it twice in one letter - I love you, Phil! A hug and kiss from

Your Eve,

Dear Eve,

How are you and Adele and the Strongin family? The Navy is not so hot. The chow was good, now it's getting lousy. You work and work and work—25 hours a day. Yesterday was the first time I had a full night's rest. We wash, scrub, serve, tailor, make up our bed, etc. There are two ways of doing things, the right way and the Navy way. We did not begin boot yet. Monday we start. We'll be here 6 to 12 weeks before we get a leave. We are not allowed to leave our area and when walking in two, always keep in step. The drilling is miserable out in that hot sun for 4 hours. They herd us around like cattle. Then we have to wait 5 hours before they bother with you. The Navy slogan “Hurry and Wait.” Boy, I'd give anything to be back in Philly. Don't say nothing to mother. I tell her it's O.K. All our hair was shaven off. I'm going to the movies tonight, I hope. Take care of yourself and write soon. Tell me hows things back in civilization. Oh yes, in the morning it's cold, afternoon it's 130° and storms at night.

Your loving brother,
Admiral SY
Commander of Camp Peary, Va.