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A Cablegram

Posted by on February 21, 2016

May 7 and 16, 1944: Two letters from Anna to her brothers.  Anna tells her brothers about how well things are going with the new upstairs tenants. She also writes to them about a pleasant surprise that mama received on Mother’s Day, and a scare that the baby had one night during a very loud thunderstorm.

Anna spends a good deal of the letter of the 7th writing about the new upstairs tenants. Ralph the husband is a fireman for the railroad. He and Eddie have gone fishing a few times, once not getting home until midnight because “when they were starting to go home the fish started to bite…” Anna also writes that Ralph helps out with the yardwork. “He has already cut the lawn and raked it and helped mama trim the grapevine…Mama is so pleased and so is daddy that Ralph helps out…never in my whole life have I come across a tenant who was willing to keep the yard clean. He goes around the yard picking up papers, and he told his little girl Jean to pick them up when she sees them.”

When Ralph and Eddie went fishing, they came home with six catfish which Ralph cleaned outside near the grapevine in the back of the yard. As Anna tells it, “We were so surprised that he cleaned them outside and so far away from the house because Eddie always puts up such a kick when we make him go down to the cellar to clean fish. I had something to tell Eddie when he came home. I also told Eddie that the way Ralph helps out in the yard he would make a better son-in-law then Eddie does and daddy asked me if I wanted to swap husbands but I don’t see where that would work out. Maybe Marian would still want her husband and Eddie wouldn’t want her. I am just kidding.”

On the 16th Anna writes a 3 ½ page letter. She writes that she bought a new girdle and dress as “a present from my dear husband on Mother’s Day.” Mother’s Day was also special for mama as she received a cablegram from Stanley. “The telephone rang about seven thirty Friday night and the woman said she had a cablegram for Mrs.Stanislawa Murawski and I told her mama couldn’t hear very well over the telephone and that I would take it and it was just as well because mama didn’t know what a cablegram was…and she probably wouldn’t have known what the operator was talking about. …for a minute I got scared when she told me it was a cablegram but then I thought that it was almost Mother’s Day and sure enough she told me it was a message for Mother’s Day and she asked me if I would like a copy of it…so Western Union sent a copy of it to us on Monday morning which we will keep as a souvenir. Mama was so pleased that she didn’t need any other presents to celebrate Mother’s Day.”

Anna writes that there was a very loud thunderstorm that came thorough.  “…the way the lightning flashed got baby Terry scared. The thunder woke her up and I ran to her bedroom to see how she was…and there was poor baby Terry laying in her bed cuddled into a little knot shivering from fright… I pulled her out of bed and she was still frightened but mama told her it was nice and every time it would thunder mama would laugh and imitate the noise …but it took quite a bit of persuading.  …I held her in my arms until the storm subsided a bit and then put her to sleep and she fell asleep so hard that when the storm got loud again she…slept right through all the lightning and noise.”

In other news from home:

  • Mr. & Mrs. James Hanrahan had a baby daughter.
  • Eddie Falkowski is home for his last furlough before he is sent overseas.

Before closing, Anna writes that she got a letter from Dad in which he asked that she send him some shampoo from a local pharmacy. She tell him that he can “rest assured” that she will send him what he asked for and that “…as long as it is for our soldier brother it won’t be any trouble.” She then goes on to rib him only the way a sibling can. “It would be different if you were back in civilian life then I would tell you to go down and get it yourself, but for a soldier it won’t be too much.”

She signs off with her traditional “So Long, Good Luck and God Bless You”

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