Monday, February 21, 2022

Post #484 - October 16, 1944 Jack is Due for a Furlough Home in March and Then—Westward Ho for Denver!


Oct. 16, 1944

Dearest Phil,

You will note that this is dated the 16th. Well, today is the 17th. That is right! I didn't write last night. Here it is the 17th and still no decent mail. What am I supposed to think? Last night I had no taste whatever for writing and I have still less this evening. It isn't that I haven't what to write, but that I have no ambition whatever to write when there is no mail.

Last night I felt particularly lousy, too, having become unwell. So I hit the hay at 9:30 and got a good night's rest.

Sunday evening I took Adele over to Betty's house after dinner and she had a grand time with the whole crowd. She has become very much attached to Abe. Adele even watched Natalie get her hair washed and take a bath. She was busy pointing to each part of Natalie’s body, etc. and had Betty, Sarah and I in stitches. When eight o'clock rolled around I headed home. Abe was going to Ben's to get some ice-cream and walked us home. When we got to the house Adele refused to climb the steps. She wanted to go to the candy store with Abe and that was that. She had been rather unruly all day long and had caught several lickings, so not wanting to see her cry again, I relented, let her hold Abe’s and my hand and over she went to the candy store. She headed straight for the can of long stick pretzels, helped herself to one, and then was ready to go back home.

Monday I went to Geutings to pick up her shoes and made an appointment with Dr. Lefkoe for Oct. 27th at 7 P.M. He sent me a letter asking why I didn’t bring Adele in. It arrived yesterday, exactly the day I had set aside to call him. We also had a letter from Gloria, who writes that Jack is due for a furlough home in March and can't decide whether or not to take it. He would come home for three weeks, but then he may have to go back. If he waits his tum according to the rotation plan he may get his furlough and be stationed in the States after the furlough. It's all very problematical, and no doubt, Jack will decided for himself what he should do.

Harry is getting the station, but it won't be ready for another two weeks. He only needs about $600 to get started. The station is larger than Al's and more modern, according to what I've heard. They've decided not to attend her cousin's wedding in N.Y. at the end of this month, for they will be all tied up financially and don't want to make any extra large expenditures at the moment.

Ethel had a very pleasant surprise yesterday. Mary and Ethel from Ottawa came into Philly without a word beforehand. The Wymans were so excited! Mom has finally decided It is time she learned to travel alone and went to Ethel’s alone today. And I see I'm just about to the end of this letter and since I have just one more thing to say - why I think I'll say it. I adore you Phil, darling, and hope very much that I'll hear from you very shortly.

Your Eve

16 October 1944

My Sweet,

Yesterday, that "slight cold" I mentioned a few days ago finally got me down. I managed to finish working out the morning, but after dinner I was a dead pigeon. Without going into any further detail, suffice it to say that I advised Sgt. Murphy that I wouldn't be in to work in the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day in bed. This morning, thank God, while a slight heaviness remained in my chest, I felt much better. I hope that's the end of it. D'ya know, Chippie, that this is the first time I've even been slightly ill since last September/43? I think that's a pretty good record, don't you? Today was a day of alternating heavy showers and bright sunshine. I think we had three spells of each,

Through it all, I was kept pretty busy. Pvt. Stahle, the new clerk, went on furlough today, so expect f'll have my hands full this coming week. Tonight, Sgt. Lafom asked me to take his C.Q. cause he has a date. He'll take mine when it comes up. I didn't mind trading with him ’cause I got a lot to say to you tonight, Chippie, and I can do it much better alone here in the quiet of the Orderly Room. This coming Thursday, when my pass comes up, I intend to spend it right here in camp—catching up on my correspondence. I'm way, way behind, and it's been bothering me. And now to answer your own rather voluminous collection of mail. I have all your letters from 1 Oct. to 8 Oct. in front of me. I don't rightly know which of these I have answered, so excuse me for a bit while I glance through the pile to see what catches my eye. Your "longie" of 3rd Oct. was the only letter received yesterday, but it was the kind I love to get.

Your letter on the 1st Oct. was all about your last trip to W. Philly to see Dot. Glad you had a good time, Chippie, but I don't mind admitting I’m also glad you won't be going again, and coming home alone late at night. As for that jerk that tried to pick you up, I would love to get my hands on him for just a few minutes. The mere thought of such a one even presuming to talk to you fills me with an unreasoning fury. I hate the guts of him and all his lousy kind. Be very careful, honey, that you don't again let yourself open to that sort of thing. I want you to go places, visit your friends etc., but please make it a point henceforth never to go alone, I'm counting on you to accede to my wishes in this respect, Sweet, so keep it in mind, will you? At the end of the letter you say that Ruth walked in with the announcement that the had a roll of film, but not a word in your next seven letters as to whether or not you took any pictures! Well—did you? The last line tickled me. You started to say "Well, baby do-" and then thought better of it and xed out the “do” and changed it to read “baby mine.” Guess you know it's about all your precious life is worth to address your old man as 'baby doll.” How Harry stomachs it is beyond me!

In your letter of the 3rd I learned for the first time that Clara Wagman is related to the Reisners. I'll certainly make it a point to answer her New Year's greeting and letter this Thursday. It was good of her to bring along the Combevita pills. Keep taking them, honey, cause I think they'll do you a world of good. As for trying to get my old job at S & D back when I come home - no, sweet, I don't think so. I haven't told you this, and I hadn’t intended to - just yet, but since you brought up the subject, I want you to know that I have pretty definitely decided exactly what we are going to do immediately after I come home, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent, Does that surprise you? Want to hear my plans? O.K., but don't blame me if I don't have time for anything else tonight. Well, I figured we'd spend a week at home saying hello (and goodbye) to our friends and relatives in Philly, and making all the arrangements for moving our furniture and belongings to Denver. The arrangements, of course, would have to be tentative, the moving people would wait word from us and ship the stuff only after we gave them the O.K. Our arrangements complete, we'd go to New York for another week to say our farewells to our relatives and friends there. Then - westward ho for Denver! Our mode of travel would depend entirely on whether or not we could get a car to make the trip. Nor will we be in any great hurry to get there, for I would very much like to make it a pleasure tour, and spend perhaps a month on the road, sleeping at tourist houses and camps, etc. Whether or not we make it a pleasure trip depends entirely, of course, on whether or not we will be able to buy a car. An any rate, once arrived in Denver, we will put up at a boarding house or hotel until we can find a nice little place to live. Then I'll have a look around the town to explore the possibilities. If things are to my liking and I can find the right place to set up business, I'll go straight away to the Eastman-Kodak people and proposition them. My idea is this (1) To find a two-story building. (2) To set up a photographic supply business on the ground floor. (3) To meet living expenses until such time as Jack and Lenny will be ready to go to work (3) on the second floor, which will be outfitted as a first-class photo laboratory. Now, before you start raising objections, honey, let me point out a few advantages of the scheme. In the first place, Photographic Supplies is a business with a future. More people are becoming interested in all phases of photography each year. Secondly, competition shouldn't be too keen, but especially in place like Denver. Thirdly, by “pooling” the lab the greatest item of expense is cut in half (in three, if I work on still another angle). Thirdly, we shouldn't have to worry too much about money. The initial outlay would consist solely of the lease of the building and fixtures. I should be able to get an adequate stock, if not entirely on credit, then certainly for the price of a small collateral. If Eastman-Kodak do business as most concerns of their stature do, then I’m pretty sure they'll be only too glad to put the stock in on consignment. That end I think I can swing myself. If Lenny and Jack are out of the Army at the same time, we can, between us, under the G.I. Bill of Rights, raise something like $18,000, on long-term loans, which amount is far in excess of what we'd actually need for the enterprise. In the meantime, in the event that Jack and Lenny are still in the Army when I'm ready to start the business, I can get $6000 on my own hook. That amount should be ample to get the first phase of the business going. With that kind of collateral, I could get a stock running two or three times that figure. If, at the end of, say, a year, the business isn't making any money, we would still only have lost, possibly, the cost of the lease of the place. The stock, in that case, would be turned back to Eastman-Kodak, and I could try something else, and nobody would be the loser. But, for the life of me, I can't see why we shouldn't be able to make a success of it. The only real essential for such a venture, would be to have enough cash on hand to be independent of income for at least six months. That is, we should have enough money to pay our rent, and buy our food and other necessities for that period of transition Roughly, it would take, I figure, from $800 - $1000 (of our own). Now, Evvie darling, if you think you detect any flaws in my reasoning, now is the time to air them, ’cause we're not going to waste any time once I get home - that is, of course, if you are game to try it. I can readily understand, honey, that the whole thing may strike you as being a wild gamble, and I could appreciate your fear and reluctance to leave Philly and your family behind to try to make a future for us a thousand miles away, but as long as I have the strength to work (and I am pretty strong, if I say so myself) you need have no fear that you will ever suffer privation in any way, shape or form. With you beside me, Chippie, I feel I can do anything. Mom, of course, would be perfectly welcome to share our lot, either from the first, or later, after we are established. The choice, of course, would be hers to make. The punkin goes with us right off the bat, naturally. Well, Chippie, there it is. That is the plan i've been milling over these many months. Needless to say, I'm more than eager to hear your reaction, criticisms, etc. Please, darling, give it your most deliberate consideration and let me know how you feel about it. After all, I'm only a man. You, besides having the advantage of a woman's intuition, will, no doubt, consider it from a woman's standpoint, and therefore possibly point out things that I haven't even considered. You might talk it over with the Moms, although I can see my Mom (and possibly yours) rebelling at the idea. Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to get them used to the idea, so that when the time for action arrives, the shock will not be so great for them. Let's hear, Baby. Time and room enough to say "I adore you, my Evvie." Love to the punkin and all from 

Your Phil

Monday, October 16th, 1944. 

Dear Phil:

Evie probably wrote you that I am down in Alexandria, La. paying Irv a visit. By the time you receive this letter, I shall be home. But I thought I would drop you a line to let you know we hadn't forgotten you. 

My trip down here was uneventful and unexciting. My mother is taking care of the baby, so of course I'll have to go back. 

Alexandria is a very nice town. If I had known it was this nice, I would have brought Hal with me. I go out to camp every night and Irv comes in on weekends. I have a room in a tourist home for $8.00 a week, which includes maid service (when they have one), and washing and ironing privileges. The other people in the house are very nice. I am very friendly with a Major's wife that is staying here. Her name is Frances Cooper and she is from Georgetown, Ohio. She is 36 years old and is one of the nicest people I have ever met. Her husband is in charge of the colored troops at Claiborne and he is going overseas as soon as they return from their 4 weeks bivouac, which he just went out on today. They have a son 14 years old who is at home. Then there is Betty King, a Captain's wife. She is 23 years old, and her husband is Jewish and is 32. They have a 14 month old daughter down here with them. He is a dentist and it is doubtful if he will ever go “over.” Then there is “Johnny” Sigafoss, whose husband Is a flight officer. She is 22 and her husband is 23. She has a 5 year old daughter by a former marriage. 

And last but not least—Elayne Mudrack, our landlady. She is 24 years old and has a son 8 years old, also by a former marriage. She has beautiful red hair but weighs at least 200 lbs. if not more. She has been very nice to me, so I can't kick. I wish you could meet her as she's quite a character—and I ain't kiddin’. All in all, we get along pretty well together. 

Irv looks fine and makes a neat soldier—however, he made a better civilian. He's lost weight, but mostly in his face. He takes being in the Army real well, which takes quite a load off my mind. Of course it is only a matter of time before he goes “over” too, but we can only wait and hope for the best. He has applied for N.C.O. school (non-commissioned officer) and we are hoping he gets it, as it means more time in the good old U.S.A. 

Well, Phil, Thursday is my birthday and I'll be all of 21. I'm kind of getting up in years, but what the hell, time and tide waits for no man (or woman). 

How are you? You must be pretty busy. I hope you're still in England. When you answer, send it home as that is where I'll be by that time. That's about all for now, except how did you like the pictures? 

Regards from Irv and I. 

As ever,

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