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A Critical Shortage of Coal

Posted by on December 11, 2016

February 3, 1945.  Anna writes a letter to her brothers from Albany. She acknowledges that “…it is again almost two weeks or over that I am typing to you, but time flies so fast…” Little Terry is taking a nap, so Anna takes the opportunity to get a letter done. She has a lot of news to catch up on.

The most pressing issue in town is that Albany, NY is being impacted by “a critical shortage of coal.” Anna goes into some detail with the news that “…all schools have been shut down for a week already and even in church it is cold when you go. All the stores in the city are shut except the food and drug stores. All the big buildings in the city are closed too and all shows and public places of amusements. Some people were so short on coal that the city has organized a system under which people without coal call up the Mayor’s Office and they have a few bags of coal sent to them. However on the radio yesterday…the city only had a twenty-four hour supply of coal for the whole city and Mayor Harris of Albany sent a telegram to Washington, D.C. for help in this critical situation.”

Anna goes on to explain some background as to why there is a coal shortage. “Part of this shortage is due to the fact of the heavy snowfall we have had and the trains were snowed in and weren’t able to come through with coal. Now they are having State Guards digging them out so that they can be used. Even there is a food shortage because of the trains. Yesterday when we went to the A&P store it was so empty of customers and most shelves were empty likewise… Warm weather is a long way off and I hope things turn for the best. It is so funny to go out on the avenue and it is so dead because the stores are closed and people go out only to the A&P and the fruit store and bakery.”

In other big news, Anna announces “Baby Terry and we are expecting a baby brother for her around June 22 of this year. Terry is all excited and she keeps on talking about him and she says she wants a baby brother and she is even willing to give up her crib for him She isn’t selfish, is she?”

Little Terry continues to be the apple of her mother’s eye and continues to keep Anna both amused and on her toes. As Anna writes, “Here is another accomplishment that Terry has learned. She sees me cooking and using the frying pan and pots so she has her own and uses them too. She has a little frying pan so she goes and puts a cover on it and puts it on the stove and tells me not to touch it because she is cooking pork chops for daddy. I sure get a kick out of it and I can’t touch it because she screams bloody murder… if she is so good that she cooks for her daddy how can I deny her and let her father go hungry? Could be that I am not cooking enough for him that Terry has to pitch in and help to feed him too or…there isn’t enough around to feed him…with all this rationing and all kinds of shortages…”

Anna finishes with “Well, I have covered all the news on the home front so I will close for now until another time when I will have more time to write. So Long, Good Luck, and God Bless You.”

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