September 1, 4 and 8, 1944: a few letters from Anna to her brothers. The days are getting shorter in Albany, NY, as Anna mentions, “In fact, by eight thirty it is pretty dark and the streetlights are on.”
Anna follows up on a comment that Dad made in a previous letter about Henry “Hank” Coons. She checked with Eddie and it turns out that he does know Coons. Anna comments that “Isn’t it funny how this guy gets in the Army and he has to meet you in Topeka and tell you about Eddie. How things do happen in this world.”
It seems that Anna has taken it upon herself to be a matchmaker for her brothers. Not to either one of them in particular she writes, “My dear brothers, I don’t know if any of you is in the market for a female companion or want to be serious, but I have found a girl…who is very nice. I found her in church at that. …that little…girl from the farm and what a nice, good and hardworking girl she is….I saw her in church and she was dressed up very nice… She is slim and has blond or yellow hair as I call it. …I told mama about her and mama likes the girl…so I thought I would tell you about her and if any of you like to make her acquaintance we could arrange that. Here is a good pretty Polish girl for which you boys said you would wait and I have found one but give me time and I can find another one too. …Think it over.”
On the eighth Anna leads with the news that “We have had a big earthquake Tuesday morning about quarter to one. It shook the whole eastern coast of North America. However there didn’t seem to be any damage that could be considered serious. Eddie and I didn’t hear it or feel it, Daddy heard and felt it and he said that he was afraid to himself the way the bed was walking back and forth across the bedroom floor. He said the woman from upstairs was yelling because she was so scared.”
Eddie’s brother Billy is home on furlough. “He looks good although he seems slimmer to me for some reason. He came from Colorado Springs because that is where he is stationed now. He said that he has a good commanding officer so he gave him three weeks. He said that he too had to travel three days and nights and if it wasn’t for all those beautiful women that he met on the way he would have been bored to death to ride so many miles.”
Anna is looking forward to Dad’s upcoming furlough and advises him to “be sure to wear a coat from your uniform when you come…so you won’t be cold because the weather we are having now is typical fall weather and it don’t by any means make you sweat. Who knows, maybe God will be good and send warm weather when you come or maybe you will bring some of the bright sunshiny Kansas weather to Albany.”
In other news about some of the boys from town:
- “Joe Miller and Eddie Falkowski…are both sent out to fight in the Pacific…”
- “Tony Maffeo is home on furlough. …He has no stripes of any kind…”
- “Johnny Maffeo…is discharged from the Army …now he works for the New York Telephone Company.”
More on the Massena Earthquake of 1944, which is referenced in the letter, can be found here. For the record, the epicenter of the magnitude 5.8 earthquake, the strongest ever recorded in New York State, was about 200 miles north of Albany in an area known as the Saint Lawrence Rift System.
That’s it from the home front for now. In the next post,we’ll see how Dad reacts to his sister’s matchmaking efforts.