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Milk is Milk

Posted by on October 1, 2016

December 11, 1944: Anna writes a letter to her brothers. She starts the letter off telling a story of what was probably a common experience in the 40’s, but more than 70 years on is a window into a bygone time. She relates that “…a salesman was coming around and he was leaving bottles of milk for samples and he insisted I try one because it was free of charge. Well, I took one and he was in our kitchen mixing the cream off the top and making whipped cream. He had his own egg beater and bowl and dish towel… He left us the quart of milk and whipped cream which we ate for supper with our jello.” Anna writes that she decided not to change milkmen since “He wanted 18 cents a quart for it while I pay 15 cents now and the milk doesn’t taste any different to me. Milk is milk…” Nonetheless, the salesman gave it his best try. “He tried to tell me what vitamins milk with a lot of cream gives you and I told him that I wanted to reduce and keep slim never mind paying extra for cream to get fat. We had quite an argument…”

Anna mentions receiving a picture from Stanley in which he looks “filled out in the face. Mama was so pleased that you looked so good…and she said that you must be getting good treatment to look that way.” Anna notes that he has “lost that boyish expression off your face and it looks more mature or grown up” She comments “you can’t look like a kid forever…”

With Christmas on its way to Albany, Anna writes, “We intend to have a tree this year, all our own in our own house, and it is all so very exciting. I can hardly wait for Christmas to come. I told Rita and Eugene to come over and fix our tree…I have Christmas wreaths hanging in our windows… The stores are all decorated for Christmas but it isn’t as gay as it was before the war when the colored lights on the avenue were lighted across the street and they had trees with lights of every color and fresh snow sparkled and shone on the trees. Things are so dead now but people are trying to keep up their spirits just as well.”

Cover of a Christmas Card from the War Letters Archive

Cover of a Christmas Card from the War Letters Archive

They had a visit from the choir director as “Professor Kosinski came over with the oplatki to our house.  “He sends his regard to you boys with his best wishes. He talked with me for quite a while about you fellows and he said that you were two very nice boys, the best he’s met in young people in a long time. He told me about his son Alex and that he was a grandpa since October 18 of this year.”

Christmas being on the way, also means that deer hunting season is over and Anna notes that “Eddie has no animal to show for all his trouble… However, things are not yet ended. …They heard that on Saratoga Lake they were ice fishing already and it has been cold enough for that… If it isn’t one thing it’s another just so he don’t stay home.”

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