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Posted by on October 10, 2015

January 17 & 20, 1944. Anna writes two letters to her brothers. She gets them caught up on news about some of their friends and family from Albany who are in the service, as well as the latest “gossip” about what is happening on Orange Street.  As always, Anna writes about the latest antics of baby Terry and how she is growing.  Anna also writes a letter to Dad directly to congratulate him on being promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Anna opens the letters with her traditional “We are Okay as usual” and the gets into things. She asks Stanley to verify that he has received the packages of clothing and other items that they sent to him. Anna also makes a point of telling Stanley (who is in England) that when she writes “letters on plain paper instead of the V-mail” she writes “two copies. The original goes to you and the carbon copy to Anthony (Dad). In this way you will know the news that maybe I missed in the V-Mail letters and besides the V-Mails are so small and [have] so little space for writing on them.”

Anna writes that one of their neighbors “Joe Hagen…is in Italy. …He is in the infantry and I heard a few days ago about how the American Infantry were fighting there in Italy. I hope he will be fortunate enough and that he will come back safe and sound.”

She also writes about their cousin Eddie Murawski. The news is that “his parents were notified by an American sailor who lives here in Albany and who is home on leave that he had seen Eddie before he left Cape Glouster in New Guinea and that he is safe and sound so far. The guys was headed home so he asked the Marines if there was anyone there from Albany and Eddie said that he was so the sailor told him he would stop at his home and notify his parents how he was getting along. Boy it sure was good of the fellow to do that and Eddie’s parents and family sure were grateful for the news and information. I know how it would be if I was in their shoes. I am only a cousin but I was glad to hear that he is safe and sound.”

Her letter of the 17th includes more of the “regular round of gossip”. The biggest news is that Anna Marie Johnson who lives across the street “was married …the 19th of January”. Daddy saw “Mr. Johnson come out of his car with the full dress up suit and tails.” Anna also saw the “three bridesmaids dressed in very pretty clothes… Last came the bride herself in white satin and veil to the waistline and white flowers. She looked very pretty… The bride and her bridesmaids got into the big taxi and the father with them in with the driver. The taxi was one of those big affairs for eight passengers.”

Baby Terry is getting bigger by the month and learning new things all the time, even to the point of inventing her own words. “She can’t say candy but something which sounds like ‘KUKa’. …we tried to teach her to say cookie but she would only say kuka. So now when she gets the candy she too calls it Kuka. She knows just where mama keeps the candy in her bedroom in the bottom drawer of her dresser. Any time she thinks of the candy she marches right through the whole house to mama’s bedroom and on the way she keeps on saying kuka continuously.  Then when she gets to the bedroom and tries to open the dresser drawer to get the candy out and when she can’t she starts to cry. Then mama comes and asks her what she wants and she says Kuka. A few times we were out of candy so when she wanted kuka we would give her a cookie. She would take it very enthusiastically and taste it then when she noticed that it wasn’t candy…she bites the cookie a few times and tosses it in the corner. Then she goes looking for the real thing and on the way she keeps saying kuka. You can’t fool her as small as she is.”

When she’s not busy trolling the house for “kuka” the baby’s diet is expanding beyond candy. “Baby Terry eats almost everything now, all vegetables, and soups and puddings and jellies and ice cream. Today we let her have some ham and boy was it delicious. I had to cut it into very fine pieces because she hasn’t enough teeth in her mouth to chew with. However she makes good use of the ones which she has in her mouth.”

In the separate letter that she writes directly to Dad, Anna writes, “Since you have been made Staff Sergeant, I think you deserve a separate letter addressed only to you to congratulate you on your success. CONGRATULATIONS SON AND BROTHER AND UNCLE!!!!!!!!!! May the Good Lord keep you and protect you further and guide you on the path to safety and success. …If I had not already written two letters I would devote more time to the celebration of this occasion. But this is the best that I can do and heck words don’t often express what you feel in your heart. Daddy is so proud of you boys and you can read it all over his face. He says that he will take the best care of his muscles so that he can back you boys up even if he will have to take special treatments.”

She closes the note, “So-Long, Good-Luck and God Bless You. Also Congratulations Brother!”

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