November 1st and 4th, 1943. Two letters to the brothers from home. As a reminder, Dad was drafted two months after his brother Stanley. Rather the having to write two separate letters to her brothers, Anna began to write one letter, sending the original to one brother and a carbon copy to the other. There are three upshots to this. The first is that we know that Stanley was getting the same news as Dad. The second is that at times Anna addresses parts of letters directly to Stanley, so we glean a little about what Stanley wrote home. The third is that carbon paper works best in a typewriter; consequently, Anna typed all of her letters, making it much easier to read them. In case any of my nieces or nephews (or anyone born after 1990) is reading this, you can find out more about carbon paper here.
November first is All Saints Day on the Catholic calendar. Anna went to mass at 5:30 am with Eddie. She says that “Mama did not do the wash today because it is a Holy Day of Obligation and she took the day off for herself. “ Never mind that it was mama’s 51st birthday. Anna mentions that they received Dad’s card wishing Mama a happy birthday. Mama “was glad to receive it.” In a departure from the usual procedure, Anna writes a few lines on a separate sheet just for Dad. In the attachment (image below), Anna is passing along a few words to Dad from Mama.
Of course, every letter form home includes news about the baby. She is now able to balance on her feet and is making great strides in doing all kinds of things in an upright position. “Today she was dancing with us.” Anna writes, “I took her by her little hands and started to dance and sing and she started to lift her tiny feet with my big clodhoppers and she was also singing. She would carry her voice high and low and in all different tones.” Anna writes that the baby is getting the hang of walking and is getting better at it with each passing day. “…Terry walks damn good now. We stand her by a chair by the pantry and she starts step by step past the table and then the walls and into the frontroom she goes. The she turns around and comes back again. …All she has to do is get self confidence and she will walk all by herself. Another month or two will do the trick. …Waking is a new experience to her and it will take time to get used to it.”
The baby continues to be vexed by trips to the doctor’s office, even if it is for a regular one year check-up. “Tonight Eddie took Terry to the doctor and he said that when he carried her into the office and she saw the doctor she started to cry and when she took hold of her hand to put the thermometer under her armpit she started to scream because she thought that she was going to get another injection.”
In reference to a comment in Dad’s November 1st letter, Anna writes, “I’m glad that you boys enjoy the diaper by diaper description of Terry and her various stages of life. Then only thing that is lacking is you boys aren’t here to see the fun she makes. When we put on the radio for news at six o’clock she already knows the music which plays just before news goes on the air and she sings in her way and keeps on swinging her hands back and forth in time with the music as if she were directing a band. There are countless things that she does everyday and everyday it is something new and I wish I could have room to tell you everything…” She goes on to advise “…wait until you have papooses of your own…”
Apparently, Anna reads some of the letters that Dad receives from his friends and has been sending home for safekeeping. Anna comments on one of them, “I noticed that Miskiewicz mentioned that on his last furlough he almost got married. From the way he writes letters to you fellows so conscientiously and the way he writes them I get a good impression of him and I imagine that he will make a good husband when he gets married. The only thing is he comes from a big family and woe to the girl – she will probably have about a dozen papooses.”
In other news:
- “Tomorrow [November 2] is Election Day and Governor Dewey has ordered State Troopers to the Polling Places so that there will be no monkey business.”
- “Billy [Lubinski (Eddie’s brother)] is leaving to go back to camp… He expected this furlough to be his last one on this side of the water.”
- Papa has been working on the house that the family owns on Second Street and they got a call from someone who inquired about renting its basement apartment. Anna says that she will write about the results in the next letter.