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It is a White Christmas Here

Posted by on November 1, 2017

December 25, 1945. Stanley writes a letter to Dad from the home front in Albany, NY wishing him “a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year, and hope sincerely that you come back to the homestead as fast as you can. …we have a bed and an extra chair all reserved for you as soon as you come home.” 

Although Dad is still on Gaum, Stanley acknowledges, “There is a little joy in the homestead since I am home for this Christmas.  First one in four years.”  That being the case, Stanley took the day off from his job at the train station. He also mentions going to Midnight Mass where “the church was pretty well crowded” and was “decorated with Christmas trees and potted Poinsettia flowers.”

Stanley goes on to give a weather report, writing, “The weather here has been pretty cold for a while now. We even had a day or so of subzero weather and you could really feel it. Brother, you are lucky where you are having the warmth, by the time you get home most of the cold spell will just about be clearing up. …it might snow tonight although the weather news on the radio said rain and sleet…” Later on as he is writing the letter he notes that the looked outside and “…it started to snow a little…” with “…some rain mixed in as well…” He writes, “After all it is a white Christmas here.”

Being that it is Christmas time, little Terry is up to her usual antics, and there is a story to tell. Stanley provides the details, “Yesterday morning I went downstairs and put the lights and Christmas balls and tinsel on the Christmas tree which Anne has.  Terry was all excited. She wanted to help me but I wouldn’t let her as I figured she would break some of the Christmas balls. So towards the end I let her hand me a few balls and let her hang a few pieces of tinsel on the tree. She wanted so bad to have the tree lights on all day long. Anne said she went into the parlor and saw the lights going off and on, off and on again and again and she said to herself something must be wrong. She got close enough and spotted Terry behind the tree turning the switch on and off on the extension cord. Anne told me Terry would not go to bed since she wanted to see Santa Claus come in and leave the toys.”  

Eventually Anna got Terry to bed and everyone woke in the morning to a collection of gifts under the tree. Terry got some toys and clothes while baby Judy got mostly clothes.  Stanley got “…about three white shirts and a tie and a tan sweater from Anna and Eddie.”

Stanley also writes that a few days before Christmas a few of his cousins took Terry to see Santa at one of the department stores downtown. At first they went John G . Myers where “the place where Santa was situated was kind of dark and Terry got scared and would not even come to Santa Claus, so they took her over to Whitney’s store. There everything was lit up and Santa was happy. They took Terry close enough to him and he asked her what she wanted and she told him that she wanted some new toys and a doll. When she came home, boy was she excited.”

John G. Myer’s Department Store, Pearl Street, Albany NY c.1933. Photo Credit: Times-Union Photo Archive

The front of Whitney’s Department Store in Albany, NY c.1936.

He also writes that Billy Lubinski (Eddie’s brother) is home on furlough from Chanute Field in Illinois and that he saw Steve Miskiewicz at mass. Stanley also heard that Vincent Morawski  was “on the high seas in his way home and also had some German souvenirs.”

Stanley also writes that they received Dad’s letter with the twenty dollars in it and that everyone got some of the money to buy gifts for themselves.  On another financial matter, Stanley mentions that he is expecting his last $100 mustering out check at the end of the month. After that he will be totally reliant on his work income. Even so, he writes, “Someone told me that New York State was working in on a bonus either in the amount of $200 or $300 to all New York State veterans. It will probably be years before they ever come across with anything like that.”

Admitting “I don’t have much more to write about,” Stanley closes the letter, “So long for a while and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year

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