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Terry Don’t Like Her Ducky

Posted by on July 31, 2015

October 12 and 14, 1943. Two letters to the boys from home. Autumn is coming to Albany as the weather shifts back and forth from “cold for a day or two and then hot again.”  As with many of the letters from home, these center on what is going on around the house and the exploits of baby Terry.

Despite the shifting weather the family manages to make the rounds to other relatives. “Sunday we went with Eddie’s folks to Cohoes to see Aunt Tessie and we stayed there until six o’clock. …They got the biggest kick out of the Terry when she was rocking in the rocker and singing to herself.  We take the rocker with us everywhere we go so she don’t get bored staying in a strange house.”

Anna still has problems with the baby kicking the covers of in the night, but she seems to have found a solution. “I went down to Whitney’s today and bought her what is called a ducky. It is like a big sheet which….goes on top of the regular sheet and under the mattress …On the sides it has strings which are tied to the crib …there is a zyper down the middle big enough to put the baby through and…a hole big enough for the head… You put the baby inside and zyp the works up…” 

Guess what?  “Poor Terry don’t like her ducky and she keeps on crying something terrific. She keeps kicking up the covers but they keep on falling down again and she tries to get her little hands out but she can’t…she has been used to having her hands free at all times. …It will take a few weeks for her to get used to the business but I would rather she cried for a few days than lay on top of the covers with wet pants and catch a cold.”

Ad for W.M. Whitney & Co., a well known department store in Albany.

Ad for W.M. Whitney & Co., a well known department store in Albany. Image Credit: Flickr Albany Group Archive

By the time Anna writes the letter on the 14th she reports “Terry doesn’t seem to mind going to sleep in her snuggle ducky. I thought she would put up a bigger fuss than she did. The one and only time she cried was the first time when I put her into it and zipped it up. Now she can’t get out from under the covers no matter how much she kicks and pulls. It’s really marvelous what contraptions people make nowadays. There is really a remedy for every problem.”

In other news,

  • Eddie is looking forward to deer hunting season. “I imagine he will want the head stuffed if he gets one but I know right off the bat that mama won’t let him keep it home…”
  • Their “cousin Henry” who is in the Navy is home on leave and he expects to go back on October 16th.
  • Papa had a tooth pulled by “some dentist by the name of Doctor Donahue on Central Avenue.” Apparently papa is feeling well and wanted to go into work the same day.

Finally, over at St. Casimir’s, “The bells in the belfry have become damaged”. Apparently the clappers are “worn out” and.”…the things that hold the bells up so that they swing also worn through and it was just a matter of time when they would come crashing down.” The pastor said that the cost for the repairs is $200. As Anna tells it, “It would have been terrible if the bells fell especially when some of the boys were ringing for Mass. All you would find would be a grease spot where they were hanging. So we all have to get busy and contribute extra in the Monthly Collection…”

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