February 23, and 24, 1943. A couple of letters from friends, one from back home in Albany, another from a little closer to where he is stationed. The first is from Henry Weiss who writes, “I was very much surprised to receive your letter and to learn that you are so close to Chicago.” He asks what Dad is doing at his new station and what part of the service he is in. He informs Dad that he and his wife Claire live in Chicago at the Edgewood Apartments in Wintrhrop Ave. and invites Dad to visit when he has “special liberties or passes.”
It seems Henry is stationed hear Chicago and is able to commute to his base. He says, “I drive into Chicago every night for I get special liberty every night. My time is my own after 4:30 pm. I am home every night. I get up 6:15 AM and leave Chicago about 7AM and get to the station about 7:45AM. I leave Saturday at 4:30 and don’t have to be back until Monday morning. If and when you do get to Chicago, call us up. Let me hear from you soon.”
He also gets a letter from Isabelle Pawluc the Secretary for St. Cecilia’s Choir in Albany where he was a member before being inducted into the Army. She is responding to a letter he sent from Miami Beach She says, “Your description of the country down there certainly sounds very lovely and interesting, especially the moon over the water. But I’ll bet you’ll agree that no matter how beautiful, there is no place like home.” As if to drive the point home she continues, “Last week the thermometer dropped to 30 below zero, although the weather is quite mild now. Any time we complain about the cold, Mr. Kosinski (the choir director) reminds us of the valiant Russians.”
While on the subject of the Russians, she tells Dad, “the choir is being treated to the Don Cassock Chorus.” This is the same group that Dad had seen earlier in the month in Flamingo Park in Miami Beach. Below is a YouTube clip of the Don Cossack Chorus. More about them can be found here.
She tells him “the choir is in the process of learning a new Mass which promises to be quite effective. Both you and your brother will have a lot of new music to catch up on when you get home.” She also asks, “Do you have any WAAC’s or WAVE’s in Florida? We have a whole battalion of them here. They parade and parade around trying to look important although they actually do next to nothing. The Military Police follow them around like bees after honey.” She signs off, ”hoping we leave you in the best of health and spirits.”