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Boy Did He Yell and Shake His Fists

Posted by on June 27, 2016

August 14 and 18, 1944: Anna writes two letters to her brothers from the home front in Albany, NY. There is not much news about goings on around town, just some personal updates about a trip to a friend’s farm and news about the impending eviction of the upstairs tenants.

On the 14th Anna writes about a trip that they took to the country the previous Sunday to a farm owned by the Matulewiczes. She writes that her husband Eddie went fishing and “caught about half a dozen bullheads about eight inches long” and that he “felt at home because there was a place he could fish.” Little Terry got to see the pigs and the chickens. Anna comments that the farm is not as nice as the Falkowski’s, since on the Falkowski farm “the animals live just as good as the people” and they “have all modern equipment in their home.”

On the 18th Anna covers two items of note, one is that they are expecting Dad home on a furlough, hoping that he comes home “before Uncle Sam should decide to ship him elsewhere.”  The other news is that “the Dennises from upstairs have to move out.”

Apparently things went bad with the upstairs tenants in the last few months to the point where Pop had to resort to working with a lawyer and the civil authorities to serve them with a ninety day eviction notice. The plan is that mama and pop will move into the upstairs flat and Anna and Eddie will continue to live downstairs. Anna does not go into detail about what lead up to the need for the notice, other than to say, “I could write you a whole bible on what they did but why should I when I can say…they always seemed to be doing what was wrong.”

As one might expect there was some drama when the notice was served. The upstairs tenant “came downstairs and boy did he yell and shake his fists.. He was threatening to do this and that to get even, He went to the O.P.A. and they told him to behave and not to ruin anything because if they did they would have to pay for it and to keep the house clean because that is how they got it when they moved in.”

Apparently Eddie had words with the tenants too. Anna writes, “He told Eddie he would live here for ninety days and be miserable. Eddie told him that he was nuts if he did that because they would all be miserable as long as they lived here and the quicker they got out the better off they would be. …He said he would move as soon as he found a flat. However it is hard to find a flat in the fall and on top of that Albany is a defense area and many people have moved from other cities and flats are not easy to find.”

Unfortunately, whatever happened between the family and the upstairs tenants fractured the friendship that Eddie had with the husband from upstairs. If you recall, shortly after moving in he and Eddie spend a good bit of time hunting and fishing together on the weekends. As Anna writes, “Ralph expects to go hunting and fishing with Eddie but fat chance he’ll have. Eddie says that he can’t shit on my folks and then expect me to take him out and be his friend yet…Anyway, we are all looking forward to the day when they will leave this house forever.”

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