March 1945 sees two letters to Dad from friends back home in Albany; one from Isabel Pawluc, the Secretary of St. Cecelia’s Choir, dated March 20 and another from Stanislaus Kosniski, the director of the choir dated March 30. The letters cover much of the same topics and can almost be read as one letter.
On the 20th, Isabel writes that she has received Dad’s letter of the 10th and that he seems to “adjust himself very easily to new locations and environment.” As far as things in Albany, “Spring has finally come…it is unusually warm. Won’t be long before I am puttering in the garden.” She has also, “started looking for new spring attire…and are clothes expensive.” She comments, “You fellows are lucky not having to worry about what to wear. Khaki is suitable for any season or occasion.”
Isabel gets to some rather sad news that “Marie Predel’s mother passed away after a long illness,” leaving Marie to “take responsibility for her household and also having to bring up her two younger sisters.” Kosinski also mentions the passing of Marie Predels mother with a comment that he “did not realize her mother’s condition was as serious.”
Isabel writes that the choir performed “at another inter-racial function at the Jewish Temple, no less. They listened very intently to our renditions and expressed their appreciation in a swell round of applause and cake and coffee afterwards.” Kosinski also writes about the performance and details that the organization they sang for was The Daughters of Israel and that it took place “in the synagogue on Federal Street.” The program consisted of “four a cappella numbers.”
In other news from home, Isabel writes that “Victoria Galemb underwent a successful appendix operation today, she has been suffering with the darn thing for a long time and I’ll bet it’s a relief now that it’s gone.” As Kosinski writes ten days later, it seems that, “Victoria…is in the hospital” and “not feeling too good.” He goes on to comment, “I have always suspected that the cause of her troubles was her work,. The fumes and chemicals affect many people in different ways and may make them sick. The girl was a picture of perfect health a year ago. She works at General Analine.” The General Analine plant in Rennselaer produced dyes and colorants. From a modern perspective, General Analine will later change their name to General Analine & Film, or GAF for short.
Isabel also asks if Dad had received the news about “Lt. Anthony Harzynski being killed in action in Italy. He was a former member of the choir and such a handsome, level tempered fellow. The whole parish feels the loss.” A history of the 84th Chemical Mortar Battalion indicates that Harzynki was killed by enemy mortar fire on February 16, 1945 while on a reconnaissance mission seeking positions near Gaggio Montano, a town in the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy.
As they wrap up their letters, both Isabel and Kosinski wish Dad well, with Kosinski acknowledging, “This letter probably will not reach you at Easter, but good wishes are appropriate at any time. I hope that you also have an enjoyable time and good health at this time and any time.”