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A Lot of Love in That Package

Posted by on March 31, 2016

June 26 and 30, 1944: Two letters to Dad and Stanley from his family in Albany, NY.  As has become the custom, their sister Anna is on letter writing duty. Since the letters often run three or four pages, she uses carbon paper in her typewriter to generate two copies, one to send to Dad in Topeka and one for her other brother Stanley who is in England.

Terry is now 20 months old and her teeth continue to come in with tooth number eleven making its entry. Terry continues to grow every day. Anna writes, “…I am keeping my fingers crossed when I say this. She has passed from the diaper stage into the pantie (sic) stage and that sure feels good. She wears cute little pants and asks to go to the potty.”

There is also another challenge as little Terry is walking and is far more mobile than ever. “We here in Albany have quite a time getting shoes for baby Terry. It seems that there is a shortage in shoes in her size. We have tried in many stores but to no avail. We couldn’t get them even in black or brown let alone white for dress up.” Anna writes that they eventually were able to get a pair in black patent leather and she hopes that “Eddie can get the pair of white ones for Sunday because white looks nice for dress up. We had to use the coupons out of mama’s ration book…”

Anna also extends the family’s wishes for a happy birthday to Dad as he turns twenty-one on June 28th. She writes that “…those greetings are from all of us. Cards have been sent out…and mama got together a box of candy. She wanted to send you something… She put a lot of love into that package and you ought to feel it when you get it”. On her youngest brother reaching twenty-one, Anna comments, “Now you are a man – how funny Anthony being a man when he was always the baby and what a big baby to look at.”

Anna comments on a few notes from Dad’s previous letters. “Anthony, you said that you might be sent to the country where sacred cows walk the street. The only place I can figure out is India. Am I right? I had quite a time explaining to mama the situation and everything that went with it. As for that description you gave me of the WAC and soldier near the WAC barracks, don’t you know they are helping to win the war, but they don’t have to do it so openly.”

Anna writes that she and Eddie took little Terry out to see a movie. “We went to the auto-vision theater on the Albany-Saratoga Road. I thought that it was an excellent idea. For a while I thought that it would work and the baby was okay for a while but… she got tired of it and sure was a pain in the neck. Never again will she see another show. We were to the one on the New York Road on Saturday night but without her…and we enjoyed ourselves. Well enough of that.”

Auto vision Drive In East Greenbush Albany, NY late 1940s. Photo credit: AlbanyGroup Archive

Auto vision Drive In East Greenbush Albany, NY late 1940s. Photo credit: AlbanyGroup Archive

Anna writes that they received several letters from Stanley with one including a picture of him playing volleyball. Anna says that “We had quite a time arguing about which one is you. …You should have made an arrow over yourself so that we won’t mix our brother and son up with some other fellow and gaze upon a stranger with loving eyes. To me it seems strange that mama and daddy could not recognize you… As for me and Eddie as soon as we saw the picture we knew you…from the shape of your body and head…”

Anna also comments, “Stanley, since you have been in the Army you have been shaving and growing your mustache more times than I can count. Please make your mind up about it.”  She also addresses an item Stanley wrote home about. “We also received… your request for Ritz Cheese cracker and cookies and we will send them to you as soon as possible.” She also mentions that “…mama is so worried about you on account of the Nazis keep on sending robot bombs over to England but I keep on telling her to stop worrying and that you will come back home safely because the Lord will take care of you.”

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

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