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A Little is Better Than Nothing

Posted by on July 8, 2014

May 14, 1943.  Anna writes a letter to Dad. Stanley will be home soon on furlough and Mama’s jaw is feeling better as she continues to recover from having two teeth pulled over a week ago. Anna acknowledges to Dad that “even though I am writing this letter to both of you only you will receive it because when this letter goes out Stanley will be on his way home.” She also writes that she heard on the radio that “the second service command made a new rule granting 14 day furloughs. …I hope it applies to you. If it does Anthony we will see you for a few days, not like Stanley. He said he would only be here two days unless the new ruling came out and he knew about it before he left. I hope so then he could stay longer…However little is better than nothing.”

She is looking forward to seeing her brother Stanley whom she is expecting to arrive the next day. The weather is good and she writes that “I walked and worked on springs all day. My heart was singing and I can hardly wait for Stanley to come. It seems like something very big and it is because it will be 7 months …tomorrow when he comes. He mentioned in his letter that he has a moustache and maybe he will have it when he comes.”

Apparently Stanley has been sending recent letters home about his furlough via air mail so Anna knew that “it must be important.” She did not get a chance to read the letter first, mama did and Anna says, “I was glad that she was the one to read that pleasant surprise. It seemed to make her feel better and her face and eyes just lit up and her whole face changed. I myself had the biggest lump in my throat and still have it now because I am so happy.” In a departure from her usual writing style, she seems to write the next two sentences to herself. “Isn’t it funny how people cry when they are happy?  Cheer up Anne the war will be over soon and your brothers will be coming home again to stay.”

She moves on to other business, wishing Anthony luck so that he will be promoted noting, ”I know that you rightfully deserve [it].” She also thanks Stanley for “those beautiful pictures of Winter Movements in Ephrata.” The picture Stanley sent is below. It is obvious that Anna’s feeling pretty good, as her comment was tongue-in-cheek.

A picture that Stanley sent home titled "Winter Movements in Ephrata"

A picture that Stanley sent home titled “Winter Movements in Ephrata”

Next up is news of neighborhood nuptials. She saw in the paper the announcement of their cousin Josephine Weiss and Henry Duncan. She observes that he is not Catholic and that the wedding will probably be performed in the priest’s rectory. She also passes along the rumor that Eddie’s cousin “Mattie in Cohoes is getting married this coming June”.

The next paragraph she addresses to Stanley (remember she is writing one letter with carbon paper so sometimes she addresses each brother specifically). In a recent letter Stanley described his overseas physical to Dad. Apparently he included the same description in one of his recent letters home. Anna comments “about that last physical you had…. I am glad you have an asshole because if you didn’t you wouldn’t have passed your physical… I don’t think that I would care for such a job of inspecting such a thing.”

Before signing off she asks Stanley if the fourteen day furlough will apply to him, although she will no doubt know the answer before Stanley sees the letter. She signs off, “So long, good luck and God bless you.”

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