July 27 & 30, 1943. Two letters from home. As a reminder, Anna’s letters to Dad were actually written to both brothers. Although I have the letters that Dad wrote home, I do not have the letters that Stanley wrote home. However I am able to glean a little bit about them based on Anna’s replies. Now for the news from the home front…
Mama had the rest of her teeth extracted, and “it seems as if a great load was lifted from our shoulders”. If you have been following along you know that the extractions have been going on for some time. Even three days after having the final teeth pulled, Mama is “still ill somewhat”.
Anna is hoping that Mama feels better by the time Dad is home on his furlough. Anna relays that she is looking forward to seeing her brother when he is home on furlough and that she is “getting that springy feeling which I had before Stanley came home. It’s nice to know what to expect so that I can have the pleasure of thinking about your coming home before you finally get here.”
Anna tells Stanley that she has received the picture of him working at his desk as well as the cigarettes that he sent for Eddie. Anna says she wasn’t to happy when she saw the “coffin nails” but that “Eddie will no doubt be overjoyed.” She kids that “I found the cigarettes first so by the right of way I should keep them – finders keepers.”
Commenting on Stanley’s constant moving around Anna writes, “The way you move around it looks like you are a Wandering Jew or a man without a country. My only hope is that the more you travel the nearer to home you will get instead of further away. We think so much of you going overseas that whenever we get a letter I am almost afraid to look at the address…”
Apparently in one of his letters home, Stanley must have gone into some detail about the Private Snafu training films that he has seen as Anna writes, “Those cartoons about Private Sanfu were pretty good and Eddie sure got a kick out of the name SNAFU.” There is no mention as to whether Eddie told Anna what “Snafu” means. Based on some reading and internet research that I’ve done it is unlikely that Anna or Eddie saw the Private Snafu cartoons as they were animated shorts that Warner Brothers produced for the military. It seems there was great secrecy around the production of the shorts as the Warner animators that worked on them were required to be fingerprinted and qualify for security clearances. Security was so tight that the ink and paint artists only worked on ten cels (about half a second of the cartoon) at a time so they would not be able to easily figure out the story line. However now the cartoons are in the public domain.
In other news, the family has received word that Billy Lubinki (Eddie’s brother) is on his way to Meridien, Mississippi.
As I close, I leave you with this Private Snafu cartoon that was produced in July of 1943. As you watch it you may recognize Sanfu’s voice as that of Mel Blanc, best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny and many other Warner Brothers cartoon characters. What you may not know is that the rhymes in these shorts were written by Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), among others.