Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Post #501 - November 4, 5, 1944 All I Can Say to the Whole Setup is a Very Definite NO and Who Needs Pin-Ups?!


4 Nov. 1944

Dear Phil,

I have been trying for some time to settle down so as to let you in on what is new. Well I guess by the time you get this letter you will already have received one from Dot, so by me telling you that she was down here should not be of a surprise to you. Well Phil it sure was a damn good feeling to see her. It was only a short time that I was away from home, and I missed her like I never thought I could anyone. I now have a faint idea of what you fellows over there must go through,

I am Bn. C.Q. today and there isn't a damn thing to do. I just finished a letter to Dot. & you were the next one to come to come out of my little red book. It is about time isn 't it. Do not give me hell as I know I have not been a good boy. As I have once told you before it is one hell of a job to sit down and write to anyone. By the time I finish my daily letter to Dot, I haven't the patience to write to anyone else. Enough of this so maybe I can give you some news.

I have been alerted that I am going to Aberdeen Md. for a four weeks course in Deseil Motor Mechinics, personally I don't know the first thing about it but what the hell it may be interesting. There is one good point about it and that is that. I have hopes of going home for the weekends.

I received a letter from Evie. last week and she tells me that she has not heard from you lately. Again I hope that you are still in England. If I remember correctly she said that you were going to see her brother. Have you? If so how is he?

We are in 0.D's down here as of Nov, 1st and let me tell you that it is still as hot as the devil here. Oh hell, what's the use of griping I’ll be up north very shortly.

We have been having a lot of fun in camp, ever since we finished basic training. Let me tell you about a Lt. we had with us, at one time. He asked me how you take an Aerial photograph, with an aerial of course. He liked of died when he heard that. His old cry was "You ain't listening  tell him sargeant, tell him. He once put another question to me." What is the best way to protect yourself from Syphilis”, Keep your pecker in your pants I told him,

Well Phil. so long for now and take care of yourself.

As ever

Nov. 5th, 1944

Dearest Phil,

I didn't write yesterday, as I went out to see Dot. I did have three gorgeous letters from you, sweetheart, all of which dealt mostly with your plans upon our reunion. Since you see fit to go into detail, I'm going to go to a lot of trouble and give you a lot of details about things I've been wanting to tell you for a long, long time. Your letters were those of the 16,17 and 20 Oct. As for my reaction - at the present time all I can say to the whole setup is a very definite NO. Phil I detected a million flaws in the idea, not that I wouldn't be willing to try it, but there are very many things to consider which you neglect completely. Do you, for one minute, think I would sleep in boarding houses with Adele? It isn't like it was before and it never will be that way again until Adele is a grown young woman. Your life is not your own when you have a child and while this applies more to me than you, you are, nevertheless, more tied down than previously. I like the idea of going into business, but I don't want to go into business immediately upon your return. I'm sure you realize that when you have your own business you must devote double the time you would to an ordinary job, and I don't particularly care for the idea of being tied down more than necessary when you first return. It's really very difficult to even plan, though it does make interesting conversation and gives us something to look forward to.

When I mentioned the idea to the Moms, they both disliked it intensely. Mom (yours) doesn't think Jack Nerenberg would make a good partner and she isn't too crazy about Jack anyway. However, and of great importance is this: You, evidently do not wish to live at 4906 when you return. That is the conclusion my mother drew. For a long time now, my mother has been urging me to give up the house and return home. She would only charge me a small amount for caring for Adele and my board, say $12 to $15 per week and I would have my entire allotment check, plus a good portion of my salary to myself, plus your bond. In that way we could really save a lot of money and I wouldn't have to break my neck for it. I want you to answer me “yes" or "no" as to whether I should give up the house and go home and I shall await your reply before saying or doing anything.

Of course, there are many other reasons why my mother is dissatisfled. She claims that this house was "ours" and not the "Strongins" who have every benefit mentionable, but refuse to cooperate in the matter of caring for or even having anything to do with the house. My mother cannot understand why I must go to work and come home and clean a house - for whom??? Phil, I worked very hard and I know it was not appreciated. I once had an argument with your Mom and she claimed that she and Harry are doing my mother a favor by staying here. Her words were, we're paying for what we're getting, that my Mom is not losing anything. Phil, do you realize that if my mother either rented or sold the house, she'd have a good income which would enable her to stop working as hard as she has been working? She doesn't make a cent on this place and many is the time Mom gets a little peeved ’cause she won't fix certain things. My mom could make a $1500 profit on this place if she sold it today or else she could get $50 or even more if she rented it. Betty is paying $60 for her place. And I've also learned that a daughter's mother is not like a son's mother. No Phil, there is a world of difference and it makes me very happy that I have a daughter for that very reason. Phil, do you recall that argument we had when we went to Columbus that Mom did not wish to help me with Adele. Well, it's worse now than it ever was. She loves to play with the kid and will help me with her but God forbid if I have to leave her with Adele and go away. She tells me to get my mother to care for Adele and she even tells me that I don't appreciate what my mother is doing for me. She never makes me feel like my mother does when I leave in the evening to go out. She doesn't mind if Adele is sleeping and even then she always says "I hope she doesn't wake up and be troublesome". Sometimes I say to myself "I'm going out and the hell with what happens" and that's the only way I get out. You know, as well as I do, that I would never, never take advantage of your mother. In fact no one of her daughter-in-laws has done as much for her as I did, but just as she claims I do not appreciate anything, neither does she. Everything is coming to the Strongins, or so they think.

I hate to hurt you in any way and you know that full well. Phil. But one of the sentences in your letter hurt very deeply. You said that I would never have 
to "suffer privation in any shape or form" being your wife. I hope not any more for I feel that I've had more than my share of it already.

Furthermore, Adele is like a caged bird in her own house. She mustn't dare go here or touch that and I can't leave her alone for a minute when she's in our house for fear that she’ll get on either Harry's or Goldie's nerves. I'm tickled to death that she can run freely at my mother's. Besides the porch is so taken up with Diana's carriage, miniature crib and playpen that the kid hasn't anywhere to play. Half of Adele's things are at my mother’s and half here and it is most inconvenient.

Phil since the day Goldie married Harry and moved into this house she has never once lifted a finger to aid in the cleaning of it. She helps in the kitchen with the dishes and many was the time that Harry thought that too much for her. I once casually mentioned to Mom that it would be so much easier on the both of us if we had a little cooperation, but she said she wouldn't say anything to Goldie for fear of hurting her feelings. Your Mom is always so considerate of some one else's feelings - except mine.

I once told her that she sticks with her other children more than she sticks with me and she said that I hurt her more than they did. When I asked her why, she said "I told her she was short and didn't want to walk beside her. Well, I was shocked. The last time Gloria was here she kidded the ears off Mom cause she is such a shortie and all I did was look at Mom. Phil, way down deep in my heart I don't think Mom ever wanted me to be your wife. I know it's a pretty awful thing to say, but many is the time I felt that way, even when you were home and since I'm anxious to get it off my chest, you have it for once and for all. It sort of reminds me of the fuss Mom made when Gloria and Jack got married.

It's only natural that there is vast differences and inconveniences when so many people live together in a house with two small children. We've all gotten along pretty nicely, considering, and have managed that way cause we keep out of each other's way. For instance, Goldie bathes Diana first thing in the morning. I’ll be in my bedroom with Adele and she'll suddenly have to "go". I must go down two flights of steps with her to the cellar and hold her on the seat so she can make and trudge up two flights of steps. When I get back up there I'm fairly well exhausted. All of it is just small things, things that you stand for day in and day out until you think you'll just about bust.

My only consolation for this whole mess is the fact that we can save a little money and look forward to better days. Your mom has said many things to my mother that have hurt her deeply too, For instance, when Diana was born, she said that "my Goldie doesn't have anyone to wash her baby's clothes or do this for her or that for her". Goldie only has the diaper service to help her out. My mother is broken hearted cause she has to be of such a help to me, when in all right, it should be my husband's responsibility. Harry can't understand why I'm hard hit by the war, cause my mother helps me out. I think they are all a little jealous, if anything, my mother didn't do much for me when I was home and I shopped and cleaned this house beside. At that time Harry use to boil up cause I didn't do most of the shopping and he had to go to the grocery. Now Goldie doesn’t even have time to shop. I realize that Harry says many things he doesn't really mean, in fact most everyone does, but I can see that no one else gives a good god damn about you. When you're so down and out that you must have help - well then you get a little consideration,

I'm glad that you reassured me that we will live alone someday and I only pray that someday is soon. I'm not anxious to go back to my mother's place either, though it will be much easier for me. My mom says I’m worn out and need a rest and that living with her will make it easier for us all around. My job is a regular cinch, for I am seldom tired when I get home. Even my Dad’s job is a cinch. Of course we have our busy days, but on the whole both jobs are very nice. But taking care of cleaning and many other duties of a house isn’t necessary for me and she can’t see why I should. Harry claims it’s harder on Mom since I went to work. Mom washes the porch floor once a week, sweeps the front, washed the kitchen and bathroom floors twice a week and cleans her room once a week. I take care of my r
oom, hall, living room and dining room on my day off. This place is always so filthy looking that it turns my stomach. I usually only find time when I have a day off to clean and during that time this place could pile six inches high with dust, but it waits til I remove it. I don't expect anyone to clean my house for me but I do believe in cooperation.

If you want me to stay here and we will live here after the war - alright, but I doubt if my mother will continue to allow us the $35 rate. If you and I lived here she'd even lower the rate, but she will not permit it any longer. I’ve not said a word of any of this to the family and I wish everything I’ve said in this letter to be kept strictly between us and never to be aired before any of the family. I've held my speech for a long time now, in the hope that we would soon be reunited and when all of us lived apart we'd all be good friends, and so any nasty speeches would only make hard feelings, and there is no need for that. It's only a matter of time and I think I can take it that much longer, if I must.

You once said that I become annoyed with more little things than you do. I don't think so, Phil, for you are under very similar conditions in the Army. You can't do whatever you like when you like and so you hate it.

There are many other things I could tell you, but I'm just not in a mood for any more of this. Just think it over and let me know what to do. I’ll naturally abide by your word, as I feel the decision is yours. You may feel differently and that's what I want to know.

Mickey Wyman has not been feeling well for a long time. Nothing serious, but she always seems to be ailing with this or that and her doctor suggested that she go to a hospital for one week for observation and perhaps they could put their finger on what is the matter with her. She is always having trouble with her stomach, headaches, dizziness and the like and is rather disgusted. So, today she is going to Jewish for a week, as the doctor suggested. Mom went over to their house this morning alone, so she could say so long to Mickey.

Mom received a bracelet and necklace set from Jack just like the one Gloria has. Since the necklace is a little long, she is having two of the pebble-like shells removed and will have earrings made.

I worked my usual four hours yesterday and came straight home as Mom had telephoned the office to inform me that at long last there was some mail. I had some lunch, stayed out with Adele, who did not nap yesterday and was very cranky, gave her dinner (she ate just a drop) bathed her and put her to bed. I then took something to eat myself (Mom went to see "Dragon Seed" last night) washed some clothes and left for Dot's. I was very tired, but decided to go anyway. I left her house fairly early and walked home from Broad St. so you needn't worry about my going alone. I detest going alone, but I have no one to go with me. (Fay does not like Dot, or she would go with me.) I wore my new lumberjack dress and it is really a gorgeous outfit. Betty and Mrs. Feldman raved about it, and Dot said that she "must get a lumberjack. dress". Once out on 60th St. I bought Lil a pair of pajamas in exchange for the nightie Mom gave her, which was too large, and then to Dot's. Dot and I chatted a while and then she showed me some bath mats she made while down South. Phil, those mats were lovely and just as soon as I have a little more time and some spare cash I'm going to make several, Dot looks grand, having gained 8 lbs, while with Snuff. The trip cost her $300, but she said it was worth every penny for a most important reason. She said she and Snuff have never gotten along sexually as you will recall my telling you, but that her stay with him changed both of them completely and for the first time since they were married they were compatible. Can you beat that!

After chatting a while we took a walk on 60th St, and I wanted to shop or rather, window shop for a dress. It subsequently developed that Dot took me to a place where she always buys her clothes and I wound up buying another dress. How's that for action! Two dresses in three days. Not bad at all! The new dress cost $10.95 and 50¢ for a zipper. It is plain, yet very dressy. It's very 
different from most dresses I've had. It's a wool dress of the palest (is there such a word) shade of lemon yellow I've ever seen. It has no collar, just plain round neck with three large buttons of the same color to button the top part of the dress. It has three-quarter sleeves (which I detest, but almost all dresses. have them) and the edges of the sleeves are trimmed with a bit of rouching of the same color, pale lemon yellow. At the shoulders, only in the front, along the sleeve is a large tuck that gives fullness across the bust. It has a fitted waist. and a large gathered skirt and has slash pockets on either side of the skirt, trimmed with the same rouching that is on the sleeves. It's the first dress I’ve ever had that really requires a necklace and I'm hoping my moonstones will look well. However, this dress would look best with a pin and earring set of acqua stones and I mean to get it, just as soon as I can. I also need black shoes and bag and hat and gloves to set off both my new dresses, but that will also have to wait for a little while. Gee, but I wish you could see how I look in them!

I gave a deposit on the dress and Dot is going to pick it up for me when it is ready.

So much for that. In your letters you ask me to discontinue buying bonds and build up a cash reserve at the bank. I was figuring on doing that myself, starting January 1, 1945. I'll buy one more $50 bond with my December check and then I'll merely deposit the balance of the check to our account. As I told you in a previous letter, we now have $1100 in bonds, I also have $6.75 toward another bond in 25¢ stamps and hope to finish it also in December. If that is the case, we shall add another $100 in bonds to our original total next month and then I'll stop buying bonds. Since you are investing your money in bonds and since we already (have) a goodly amount of them, I too feel it would be better to save at the bank. Our bank account, incidentally, totals $185.00. So you see, sweet, we have attained a little more than $1000 in cash. That's enough to get us off to a fairly good start on most any enterprise, don't you think?

I asked Mom how Harry made out in his first day at the station yesterday and she said "fairly well". She doesn't think he'll make a lot of money right now, since gas is scarce, but as time goes on and he is able to sell tires, anti-freeze and the like, he should be able to make out very well. He likes the work and he particularly likes being his own boss.

And that is just about all I'm going to say today. I think I've said more than enough already. Just one more thing - if I should go back to my mother's, she would give me the front room. When the war is over and in the event all of the boys come home at the same time, we would have the front room, the boys would have a room and my mother and dad would have a room. Ruth would be put out for a little while, but I'm sure we could manage. It would naturally take a little while till we decided what we were going to do and where we were going to live. However, I'm leaving the entire decision up to you. I think you think things out more completely than I do, though I woman does look at things a lot differently, but I feel you know enough about the situation to decide our future.

I haven't any complaints whatever concerning how the folks have treated me. They have been as good to me as anyone would be, considering our relationship, and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I guess they mean well in their own peculiar sort of a way. In spite of all I've said, I always want to be good friends with all - but I want to live alone and be friends, if’n you don't mind.

You asked me to send along your civilian shoes. I have two pairs of brown shoes (one pair had little dots all over them - recall) and they aren't too badly beat. If you would like to have them or just one pair, kindly let me know. I think the fancier pair is in better condition.

Dot's sister Naomi told me that a fellow from the ground crew of the 8th Air Force got a 30 days furlough home. Have you ever heard of such furloughs for men in the ground crew? I rushed through this letter so quickly that I have many typographical errors. Pardon, please.

I got to bed very late last night. When I got home I found Adele had wet the the bed, which necessitated a complete change. By the time I had washed, undressed and got into bed it was darn close to two o'clock. I arose fairly early this morning and felt tired all day. I cleaned our room thoroughly and just used the electric sweeper on the rugs downstairs. I had Adele out for an hour and a half this morning and chased after her til I felt worn out. I typed most of this while she slept and I'm going to get to bed as early as possible this evening.

When Ethel took Mickey up to the Jewish Hospital this afternoon, she met Nat and Lena. Etta is laboring at the present time, so I ought to have some good news for you most any hour. Looks like Etta and Mickey will be keeping each other company. I'm afraid Etta is going to have a terrible time of it, as she was positively enormous and I think the baby will be too large for her. We’ll know all soon enough.

And now baby I'm going to call it "quits" for the day. I guess I don't have to tell you that I adore you, that I love you and miss you so much I just don't know what to do with myself. I can think of just one more thing. Dot and I had banana splits at a ice-cream parlor on 60th St. that we visited frequently when you lived at 59th & Chestnut, It used to be Syds and now it is something else. Dot and I sat in the same booth we usually chose and just remembering made me kinda sick in the stomach. It's a funny way to remember things, but that's how I get. I never used to, but this long drawn out business affects one queerly. Today, baby, marks our 15th month. No, sweet, we'll never ever be separated really for sometimes you are so very close I could almost reach out and touch you. It hurts so much! I want so to take you into my arms and to love you -

Your Eve

5 Nov. 1944 

Dearest Darling, 

I couldn't write last night because I went into town on the Liberty run. I took the package along to give to Evelyn, but on arriving at the house, found no one home. So I proceeded on to the Marks. Mrs. Marks was getting the three kids ready for bed, and I didn't envy her the job I can tell you! Helena, being the oldest, is sedate compared to the devilish Stanley and the impish but cute Carol. Stanley was all over me a moment after my entrance. Helena, in her pajamas, was absorbed in a Yank magazine, and Carol was standing on the table, clad only in a brief sweater and clamoring for her pajama bottoms to cover her cherubic nakedness. She had just been bathed, and her rosy plumpness was so tempting that were she mine, I'd have taken a hunk out of her. After some wheedling and scolding, and after they had dutifully swallowed their nightly dose of syrup of figs, they all trooped off to bed.

A little later, Dave Dee and his wife and a British soldier named Charlie dropped in and we played poker until it was time for me to go. We only played for ha’ pennies, so while I was pretty lucky, I came out only a shilling to the good. The package I left with Rose Marks, who promised to see Evelyn next day and give it to her.

Today, Sunday, was one of those days when everything seems to go wrong. As a consequence, I was in a pretty bad temper all day. That is, until the afternoon mail came in bringing your two most welcome letters of 23rd and 24th Oct.

My first thought when you informed me that you had rented the garage as a store room for newspaper, was that it is a potential fire hazard. Please be sure, Chippie, that they don't pack the stuff too tightly, and that there are no oily rags or papers in the lot. The $5.00 monthly you are getting for the rest of the place, in my estimation is hardly worth risking the property for. Besides, in case you are unaware of it, if fire does break out in the garage, you wouldn’t be able to recover a penny's worth of the damage, your insurance notwithstanding. Talk to your Mom about it, honey, and ask her if she thinks it is a wise thing you are doing.

Thanks for the pin-up, Chippie. I really have no use for her, but I do appreciate your unselfishness in sending her along. Right now I have all the “pin-ups" I’ll ever have any use for - they are on my shelf, looking down at me so wistfully that I never look at them without feeling a tug at the old heart-strings. Perhaps I'm prejudiced, Sweet, but there are only two girls in the world for me, and I'll be content with just their likenesses until that blessed day when I'll have them to hold.

Your letter of the 24th was very sweet, Baby, and I'm glad you liked my letter of 3rd Oct. I think I'll start making carbon copies of my letters to you, honey, so that when you speak of a particular letter, I can refer back to it. 

Well, dearest one, that's about all for this evening. I'm going to the base theater tonight to see "That Night in Rio.” Tell you about it tomorrow.

I love you dearly, my Evvie, and often (very often) picture you in all the thousand-and-one aspects of you that are my dearest memories. (Who needs pin-ups?!) A kiss and a hung for your daughter and mine, the scrumptious Adele Bara.

My love to all.

Your Phil

Sunday, Nov. 5, 1944

Dear Phil—

Here goes Alibi Glo—with the same old story of having meant to write & send these pictures to you sooner. However, I do believe you’re the correspondence lagger now tho. At any rate, I gather you’re quite busy—so let’s not quibble. (Say who started this anyway)!

As you can see from these snaps—your daughter gets cuter as well as bigger all the time. Your wife is not getting bigger, but as you can she looks lovely as ever. Too bad the snaps weren’t technicolor as the red is quite becoming to glamour Jr. The picture of yours truly, kindly disregard—didn’t want to ship a snap with cutey pie Adele Bara in it though.

I hear your A.P.O. no. has been changed. Unfortunately, I can’t find the letter in which Ev told me this fact—here’s hope this letter will reach you anyway.

How’re you doing—& what’re you doing? Your middle brudder Jack is quite busy, but is expecting a furlough next spring—as I gather you know by now from Ev—a gal who doesn’t let grass grow under her feet.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten my promise to send you a box of Hershey bars. I wish to tell I’ve given up hope—my girl friend in the wholesale drug concern says they’re not getting them any more. They’re all going overseas to the boy so they say. Soon we’ll have to be sending requests to you to send us poor civilians some chocolate bars. I did send a 4 lb. box of chocolates from Lofts in Sept. which I hope you received in good condition.

Am keeping quite busy myself—have gone back to college—twice weekly—taking English & Bio.—getting eddicated in my old age, you see (or probably don’t from this letter!)

So long, Phil. Let me hear from you if you get a moment.

Take good care of yourself. Be good—


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