Monday, April 4, 2022

Post #515 - November 21, 22, 1944 Lil’s Package Contains Delicacies Which I Haven’t Tasted These Past 15 Months in the U.K. and We Had a Letter from the Valley Forge Hospital Today, Informing Us That Eddie was There


21 Nov. 1944

My Darling,

Arrived back in camp about midnight. This morning - back to the old grind. My work, thanks to Stahle and Murphy, is pretty well under control. So much so, in fact, that I had very little to do today. Naturally, the first thing I looked for when I came in to work this morning was my mail. Alas, it has been held up again. In all the time I was away, I received only your V-mail of 11 Nov. and Lil's package of foodstuffs. I'm not complaining, Sweet, but I had rather hoped to find at least three or four letters awaiting me. Today, although there was plenty of mail for the company, as a whole, there was not even one letter for me. Oh well - tomorrow is another day. (Not another mail-less one, I hope!)

Lil's package is a very welcome one because it contains delicacies which I haven’t tasted these past 15 months in the U. K. The contents, which are still intact, are as follows: A can of tuna; a tin of anchovies; bottle of mayonnaise; condensed milk; Nestle's instant chocolate; can of pineapple, and a large box of Cheez-It. Some night, when the weather is bad, and the fellows don't feel like pedaling or walking down to the mess-hall, we'll make a feast on the stuff Lil was good enough to send along. Until I am able to write to her, tell her that I thank her, and my hut-mates thank her. Her gift is most apropos and very much appreciated. As a matter of fact, I have almost forgiven her for refusing to write for so long - but not quite.

Your V-mail was written while you and Mom and Goldie were waiting for Nat to pick you up to take you to the party in honor of my newest cousin, Vicki Paula Blank, may her years be long and happy! This is the first word I have had about this particular blessed event. I'm awaiting the details. Please convey my congratulations to Etta and Nat, Sweet. I don't have their address. 

This letter also informed me of Mickey's indisposition. I hope that she is well recovered by the time this reaches you. 

Thanks a million, honey, for the detailed description of how you looked, your costume, etc. on that particular night. I wish you would remember to write about yourself more often. You seem to forget, Baby, that you are, by far, the most interesting subject I know. You mention a gray and white checked “lumberjack dress." Is it a new one, Chippie? And what is a “lumberjack dress" please?

You quote some of Adele's most recent utterances, and they're all cute, but one in particular intrigued me - the one in which she says, in part "Mommy wants you—” Just how, Chippie, does the punkin know that?

Speaking of Adele reminds me, Ev, that I meant to send off her birthday gift today, together with a letter to her, but I'm afraid it will have to wait 'til tomorrow, ’cause Red was too busy to work on it this past week, and is just finishing it. He has promised to have it ready tomorrow.

Until tomorrow, then, sweetheart, I'll bid you my fondest adieu - and my fondest adieu consists of a long, lingering kiss, a close embrace, and a whispered "I love you, my Evvie". My dearest love to Adele, your daughter and mine, and - my love to all.

(Hmm! How come I never thought of that before?)

Your Phil

Nov. 22, 1944


I thought sure that there would be some mail for me today but I was disappointed again. We won't discuss the mail situation tonight, or the paper might burn. I neglected to tell you that I had mailed off the can of chocolate chip cookies I had readied for you and hope they taste as well when you receive them as they did when I tasted them.

I called Etta last night to find out how she has been coming along. She has a nurse staying with her, who takes full charge of everything and Etta is still taking it very easy. The baby is gaining nicely and that's most important.

We had a letter from Gloria and she intends to visit us shortly. She wanted to come on Adele's birthday, but that will be impossible. I wrote her last night and told her to come regardless. Last night, too, Mom, Goldie and I wrote to Jack. I told Jack (and Mom) that Jack should be flattered that his family writes to him so often, cause they certainly do not write to you. Just as a matter of record, exactly how many letters have you received from Goldie since you went overseas? I'm sure it is only one, or two, at the most and I can't help getting aggravated when everyone keeps complaining that we don't write to Jack enough. Even Gloria wants to know why I'm the only one who knows how to write. Oh well, it's all in a lifetime - and a hundred years from now who'll know the difference.

I stayed up late last night, since I wrote to you, Jack and Glo, washed, showered, etc.

I started to type the above at work, so you can Imagine how surprised I was upon arriving home, to find three letters for me, two from you and one from Jack Nerenberg. The two from you were dated Nov. 1 and 2 and contained the snaps. No, I don't think you look particularly well in either, but that's not important. Long as I can gaze upon your well-loved features, it's okay with me. I can't remember what kind or number of film you want, so enlighten me, dear one, and I shall send along some film. I'm glad you finally received the bottles & nipples and I am most anxious to learn whether they were okay. If you recall there were a few things for you in the package and I hope you unpacked it before giving it to Evelyn. Jack said nothing at all, but asked for the letter, which I neglected to forward. I shall get a letter off to him tomorrow.

We had a letter from the Valley Forge Hospital today, informing us that Eddie was there. There was a few sheets of questions stapled together, which have to be answered concerning Eddie's life history, in the letter. Evidently Eddie isn't as well off as I hoped he was. He asked us not to visit him, but if we don't hear from him shortly again, we shall visit him anyway. Room enough, I see to send along my love to my beloved.

Your Eve

22 November 1944

Dearest Eve, 

Just returned from the base theater, where I saw Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and others in "Passage to Marseilles". It was a disjointed sort of film, mainly because it made free use of the “flash-back". However, it was a fast-moving, interesting yarn - in spite of the kaleidoscopic impression one caught watching it. 

I was kept pretty busy today, but I am pretty well caught up with my work for a change. I hope to keep it that way.

There was nothing at all in the mail for me today, which makes it a sum total of one V-mail and one package in the last eight days. I'm looking to hit the “jack-pot" any day now.

Red didn't get a chance to work on that trinket for the punkin, but it requires only the finishing touches, so I’m almost positive I'll be able to mail it off tomorrow.

I'm really at a loss for words tonight, darling, so you'll have to forgive me the brevity of this particular letter. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Hasta manana, then, Baby, I leave you with all my love, Two kisses for Adele - one for each of her two years. My love to all.

Your adoring hubby,

P.S. Enclosed is a souvenir of my meeting with Limey. I've been holding it back to show the boys. Note: I franc = 2 cents.

Rough Translation of the Yiddish Letter from Rebecca (Bella) Strongin, Philip’s Mother:

Nov. 22, 1944

My beloved and dear son, Philip,

I am writing to you to let you know that we are all well and living well. We are especially so since we got your letter. It made us feel so good to hear that you are doing well. My darling son, I am writing this letter today and thanking God. I thank God every day for all the blessings he has given everyone in our family. I thank God for your little one and hope that God will watch over you, my dear and darling Philip. We are having trouble receiving your mail. We sometimes have to wait 2 to 3 weeks to get a few letters. I do understand that it is not your fault that the mail is held up. But, thank God, at least we hear the news from you that everything is alright with you. May God continue to watch over you, and we hope that nothing worse should happen to you, my lovely son. Where I keep your letters, my beloved, I will not tell you. I know that you understand my meaning quite well [In her bosom]. Because of this, I know that you will not stop writing. As for the little one [meaning his youngest brother, Jack, stationed in Guinea] I thank God that he writes two letters per week, and his letters are very sweet. He also wrote to Ethel (Chase) that he has further discerned, as he writes, that he is in a good place, but very far from you. I can also write to you that I am not as fat as I was, I have lost 23 lbs. I feel so much better. I can walk much better. I have a very good doctor, take medicine, and every week I take two needles for protection from colds and nerves. Now, in addition, I have learned that my health will become even better with time. Now, my dear son, about your daughter, the beautiful and bright one, I can tell you that there is so much I could write. She has a temper, sometimes, but also a big heart, and your nice teeth, and she is a beauty. She is vey friendly. I am so happy to be able to write that Goldie with her daughter is such a blessing. That the Lord provided me grandchildren is such a nice thing. I like this so much. I believe that I have now written you everything I wanted to say and I may have forgotten some things, but I am sure that Evelyn has not failed to write everything to you since she writes every day. But my darling son, please write me a letter with a couple of words just for me. Well, good-night my dear son from Your Mother.