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He Was at Pearl Harbor

Posted by on November 13, 2015

February 7, 10 & 11, 1943. A few letters to the boys from back home. Everybody is in a celebratory mood, with Eddie having just turned twenty-five, and Eddie’s Uncle Leo home from an extended tour with the Navy. Although Dad has not been away as long as Uncle Leo, Anna writes that they are looking forward to seeing Dad when he is home on his furlough too. As always, there is news about the latest that Baby Terry is up to.

The letter of the 7th leads with “Yesterday…was Eddie’s birthday and he is now twenty-five years old. Jeepers what an old man, I gave him a shirt and mama bought him some undershirts. …his mother and father…gave him a ten dollar bill.”

As for Uncle Leo’s visit, Anna goes into some detail. “Uncle Leo, Eddie’s mothers brother came home. He has been away from his family for fifteen years and is with the Navy. He is some kind of officer in the Navy and now he has a 30 day leave of absence and he came in from California. He also was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed and he did not get hurt. The day Pearl Harbor was bombed was his birthday and he was out celebrating and he says that it was lucky that he went out to celebrate because if he didn’t he would be six feet under because by the time they got back their base or station or whatever they call it was a mess of ruins. Well, anyway he was through a lot. He is an oldish man about forty five years of age. He seems to be pleasant enough and he gave me a very nice warm greeting. …He looks like the Gorskis alright, you can’t miss.”

The letter of the 10th is one of the few letters that was written directly to Dad, as opposed to the usual practice of sending the same letter to both brothers by way of carbon copies. Anna writes that they are looking forward to seeing Dad when he comes home on his furlough. She also writes that he is making the right decision to take his furlough when it is available, otherwise there could be a chance that “things will have changed and you wouldn’t be able to do so.” She points to the furlough that Stanley took before he was sent over, noting that “…if he didn’t take his ride …and waited till he got transferred nearer he wouldn’t have seen us and would have been shipped over without some kind of a good-bye. …Anyhow, we will be seeing you in person in a few days if nothing happens… Mama is probably making out a summary of the things that she would like to tell you.”

While on the subject of Stanley, she writes, “On the news they said that the Germans got through past London and did some bombing and damage. I hope that Stanley is safe. He never told us about where he is but he did mention in one letter that he went to London and that it was big like New York and was nice what was left of it so I guess he must be in the vicinity of it unless he got shifted around again”

In other news

  • Anna writes that Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra is coming to the Palace theater. They have no plans of going but she tells Dad to “let you know what is going on in our fair city.”
  • Billy Lubinski has been transferred to Myrtle Beach, SC

Anna somewhat apologizes to Dad about what she writes in the letters, with the issue being driven by the fact that she is sending the same letter to both brothers. “I cannot answer things directly because it goes over and maybe the letters are read and they would probably find something to cut out of the letter and it would spoil the letter to Stanley so I just write about the common things of life…”

Of course, no series of letters from home would be complete without the latest news about the baby. It looks like she has graduated from walking. “Now baby Terry is mastering the art of running and she is making use of her little feet. Any time she does something wrong she starts to run or when I want her to go on the potty and she thinks she don’t want to…she runs from me as quickly as she can. Poor girl don’t realize that with one step and a swish I have her by the tail…”  

Anna continues the blow-by blow description, “She knows where her navel or belly button is…and she loves to touch it and then she looks at me with a question mark. When she poops her pants I say to her ‘Shame on baby, baby stinks.’ Baby puts her fingers to her nose and says Phew or Poo in her language.”

Finally, “mama has taught her to kneel down before she goes to sleep. She kneels down and makes the sign of the cross which is her little evening prayer. She knows where Jesus is in her bedroom and in our kitchen. She sends him kisses. When mama gives her the rosary to play with she finds the cross on it with Jesus and keeps on kissing it. She really knows how to blow kisses to Jesus. She puts her tiny palm to her mouth, makes a smacking noise and then pulls it away quickly. Who would make the world a happy place to live in if it wasn’t for those tiny morsels of humanity?   

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