May 2 and 4, 1944: Anna writes two letters to her brothers from Albany. There are new tenants upstairs, baby Terry has made a new friend, there is word that there may be an invasion of Germany soon, and the local election committees seem to be doing whatever they can to get the men in uniform to vote.
Work on the upstairs apartment is all done and the new tenants have taken up residence. “…the Mrs. upstairs is Italian and her husband is half Irish and half Indian… They are Catholics however, and that makes mama feel much better.” The little girl from upstairs has already visited and has started to play with Terry. “Her name is Jean Ann… yesterday I heard a lot of giggling in the front of the house and I went looking for baby to see what was the matter and there she was in the front hall and she had the curtains pulled apart in the middle of the door and her nose plastered to the window pane laughing to beat the band and Jean was on the outside between the storm doors and had her nose plastered to the glass and she was laughing and playing with Terry. They sure get along swell. She is seven years old and loves babies…”
Anna goes on, “Today…Jean sat in Terry’s rocking chair and when Terry saw her she didn’t push her out of her chair but ran to the big rocker and daddy helped her climb into it and away the two of them started to rock. Baby copied everything from Jean. It looked so funny to see a little girl in a big rocker and a big girl in a little rocker… You sure can get a big kick out of watching little kids.”
Turning to War news, Anna writes that speculation about an imminent invasion of Germany has been all over the radio. “It is supposed to be almost any day now so they say and yesterday I heard some kind of siren wailing for some time and I thought they were announcing that it had started. In our Times-Union there was a piece about it and it said that the man who played chimes in City Hall had a list of songs…then if people heard them played they would know that the invasion had already started. Gosh I hate to think about it because there sure would be a wholesale massacre. It gets you scared just to think about it.”
1944 is an election year. Along with Anna’s letter of the 4th she sends an enclosure which was either an absentee ballot or an application for one. Oddly, this is one of the few things that Dad did not save. As Anna writes, “…I am enclosing in each of your letters post cards which the good citizens of our state have distributed to the families of soldiers and asked to send to you… As you will see they are only interested in the vote, not the soldier so much… Here boys is your chance to vote and in such a thrilling manner. As for you Stanley, imagine voting from across the ocean. Anthony will be twenty one next month but the lady said it was Okay to send him one too… Look them over and see what you can do about them.” For more about the process by which soldiers voted during the war, you can click here.
In other news, Regina Wilk is in town with her husband apparently serving overseas. Anna saw her at church and is now able to confirm that she is “having a papoose”.