January 10 and 13, 1944. Two letters from home in Albany. Anna writes about going to see a movie at the Palace Theater and shares her thoughts about the big crooning star of the day, Frank Sinatra. She also brings the boys up to date on what’s going on in the neighborhood as well as other local news.
Anna writes about a trip to the movies at the Palace Theater. Apparently one of the movies on the bill included Frank Sinatra. It seems Anna was not impressed. “I don’t know if you ever heard of Frank Sinatra or heard him sing. He sings on the Hit Parade every Saturday night and the women raise an awful screech in the audience. …I remember the days when the Hit Parade on Saturday nights was a very quiet program but not anymore. Sinatra has made it a very boisterous three quarters of an hour.”
She goes on to explain her thoughts. “The funny part of it is that he is married and has one little girl and his wife expected to have another one around Christmas time. Well, the young girls go mad over him. They practically mob him wherever he goes. The men can’t understand what they see in him. Well I think he sings pretty good. …You would never think that such nice sounds would come out of such a big mouth and homely face. I wouldn’t say that he was ugly looking but he certainly isn’t handsome. He is slim and tall and also he is Italian – Sinatra – nothing else but that.”
Anna sums up the fuss over Sinatra like this, “Well when we got to the show and they flashed his name on the screen you should hear the women squeal and the others who booed and made raspberries must have been the men in the audience. Eddie and I had a good time listening to the whole business. I thought it was fun.”
In addition to the Sinatra movie, Anna also mentions that there was a newsreel about the fighting on Guadalcanal that “showed how the Marines were landing and fighting the Japs and I was looking for [cousin] Eddie. I thought that maybe somehow accidentally he would be caught in the camera and we would see him but no luck.”
Anna writes her hopes for the New Year. “I hope that this year will bring the long awaited victory for which so many people are waiting so impatiently. The news so far seems to be coming along fine but my heart aches when I hear what a price some parents have to pay for this war which we know we will win.”
She also provides some commentary on the latest war news. “Did you hear about the Nazis killing Ciano Mussolini’s son-in-law? That goes to show you to what end such bums come who associated with those damn Nazis. If they had signed peace with the Americans before the Nazis filled their country with their stinking troops they wouldn’t have war on their territory and a great many of those prominent trouble makers would still be living. …I give up trying to solve this big puzzle…”
In news from the neighborhood:
- “Mascari ,who killed his wife…was executed in Sing Sing” on January 6th. “There was quite a piece in the paper that day.”
- Mary McAllister’s father died on Monday that was the 10th of January and he was buried on Wednesday morning…”
- “So far we haven’t heard about or from Vincent and Eddie. …I guess if I get a chance today I’ll write our cousin Eddie a letter. Even if he does not answer them we understand that maybe he is in circumstances which might not permit him to answer our letters.
I leave you video of Frank Sinatra singing Some Other Time from the 1944 movie Step Lively