March 8, 1943. Anna writes to Dad. Eddie’s Uncle Smyt, who lived in Cohoes, has passed away. Eddie and Anna are going to the wake that evening. The funeral is schedule for the next day.
As Anna is writing, Theresa Marie is “laying in her carriage and chewing on her teething ring.” They are starting to get the baby to go to bed right after 10. “We make her stay up during the day and she gets naps in between the morning and afternoon and then when she gets the last bottle I put her to sleep and shut the light off and close the door…when she is good and tired she just closes her eyes. But sometimes you can still hear her talking and gooing in the dark. Before she used to yell when we shut off the light and closed the door, but now she is getting used to a lot of things that she didn’t like.”
All good stories have a dream sequence sooner or later, this one is no exception. The following two paragraphs are taken from Anna’s letter verbatim:
“Last Friday I dreamed about you and Stanley. I was sitting in the parlor on the chair by the radiator and I guess I was sewing and when I looked through the window there was a black car just like the Oakland that the Pritchards used to have and it pulled up in front of our house and it had a chauffeur in it. When it stopped the chauffeur disappeared. Then the back doors of the car opened and you and Stanley stepped out of the car. You were dressed in a navy blue sailor uniform not like the one that Henry has, but the regular one of an officer and you had gold stripes on your cuffs of the coat—I think there were three stripes on each hand, and you had some more golden trimmings on the breast of the coat and the hat you were holding in your hand.
Stanley had on his regular uniform just like the one he has on in the pictures that he sent us, and he had his overcoat on his arm. You stepped out of the car first and entered the house first but Stanley was the one to start talking first. This is the second time I dreamed about Stanley. The first time he came himself as I was sitting in the parlor on the same chair and he had on his regular uniform and had his blue overcoat on himself. When he entered he did not say anything but I ran up to him and the first thing that he wanted to see was Theresa Marie. The next time when I dreamed about you and Stanley he also asked to see Theresa Marie first of all. I guess he must want to see her pretty bad or else is thinking a lot about her.”
It is important to note here that Stanley was inducted on October 15, ten days before Theresa Marie was born. Even if he was given a seven day furlough like Dad, Stanley still would not have seen the baby before being shipped out.
Anna says that she took several pictures of the baby and sent them off to New York to be developed noting “They always do them better there.” She says eventually she will take the baby to the studio to have a professional portrait done. For now, when the photos come back from New York she will send copies of them to Dad and Stanley.
In an answer to a concern from one of Dad’s previous letters Anna writes, “Don’t you worry about us moving out before you boys come home. I wouldn’t anyway unless I was very sure that Eddie wouldn’t go to the army.” At this point, Anna and Eddie are renting the downstairs half of their parents’ house. She goes on to say, “I have dreamed so long of having a flat of my own with my own pretty furniture and drapes and venetian blinds.” She continues, “Enough of that because things will happen eventually. I never thought I would be married.”
She writes, “When this war is over…we will be going fishing in Covehill just like we used to. Now they have lifted the gas ban and you can drive around in your car.” I am glad that summer is coming so that we can take mama out on Sunday to the lake so that she can enjoy herself.” Anna also mentions that they received the souvenir from Chicago and the bead that Dad found at camp.
Anna also relays the news that “Stanley will be finished with his school now and I hope he gets transferred nearer to home so he can come to see us.” She also writes that cousin Billy has been asking about Dad and Stanley and she sends Dad Billy’s address at Truax Field in Wisconsin.
Anna assures Dad that she will be writing him more often, stating “I would rather not go out but write you boys a letter even if it is only one page long. I won’t forget you. You were so good to me when you were home. You boys were much better than the ordinary hoodlum brothers that most girls have and then you would expect me not to write to you. Forget it.”
That’s it from Anna. Still curious about the Pontiac Oakland? A nice write-up by noted automotive historian Kit Foster can be found here.