October 6 and 9, 1944: Two letters from Anna to her brothers. Dad’s furlough is finished and he is back at Topeka Army Air Base after two weeks home in Albany, NY. Things are getting back to normal on Orange Street, despite the work being done on the upstairs apartment. Anna writes, “Anthony has already left home since last Wednesday and we sure hated to see him go. I stayed home and everybody went, and even Terry, to see Anthony off to the train. When they came back, Terry kept on telling us, ‘Antos poszdel do dumo na choo-choo train.’ (Anthony went home on the choo-choo train).”
Anna writes one paragraph specifically to Stanley urging him to write more often. “For a while there even I was getting worried although I was telling mama not to worry. Mama thinks things are happening in this war and as long as you are away from home we just can’t help but feel uneasy when we don’t get letters for a long time. Maybe two weeks don’t seem so long but it is when you look forward for something that don’t come.”
The upstairs tenant has finally moved out, and they are getting the upstairs flat ready for Anna, Eddie and the baby to move upstairs. They bought new linoleum for the kitchen (“red black and white for a change”) and the dining room. Anna and Eddie will be going out on Saturday to shop for furniture. Anna relates that “That will be fun, to pick out the furniture you like and everything you want. Did I tell you about Eddie’s parents giving us a $200 check for a present to buy ourselves furniture with?”
They are also in the market for household appliances. Given the demand for steel and other metals for the war effort, buying new is out of the question. “We did manage to locate a frigidaire. It is much smaller than mama’s and an older model but it seems to be in good condition. We saw it and it seems to be okay and it don’t look too mediocre. For the three of us it will be big enough. …Anyway, it will be better than an icebox. This way you can go out without worrying about the iceman… A frigidaire is much cleaner and convenient. Now we have to find a washer by hook or crook and I hope we can locate one. Frigidaires and washers are as plentiful as hens teeth nowadays because they don’t make any now.
While they were doing some work upstairs, “…daddy was trying to pry open the window in the bedroom, and he was standing on a ladder and it skidded across the room and fell with daddy with it. He hit himself across the ribs on the window …when I came daddy was white as a sheet. At first he didn’t want to go to the doctor but he went the third day. I told him it would be better to check up to make sure he had no broken bones. Anyway, he seems to be better now. Daddy says that he almost went and flew out the window. If he did he would have killed himself. I guess it wasn’t time for him to die, so he is still here.”
As the 9th comes around, they are still working on the upstairs apartment and preparing for the move. Anna details the furniture shopping trip to Nelick Furniture in Troy. She writes, “We got the pre-war stuff and it is quite nice. The only thing he didn’t have was rugs.…We are getting a beautiful mirror to hang over the buffet…a big square one with blue glass trimmings. Our cocktail table too has a blue glass top on it. …It is all very nice.”
Anna also writes that she saw their cousin Eddie Weiss who was home on furlough from Camp Cochran in Georgia. ‘..he and Ruth came to see us…he sure is a changed man. …He had an accident at his field and he got clipped on his hand by the propeller of a plane and he got his wrist bones broken. He said he was in the hospital with it for ten weeks and he is on sick leave now for fourteen days and when he gets back he is going back to the hospital probably for another six weeks. He had his hand in a plaster cast like only the fingers sticking out.”
Anna finished up with “Well, I guess I’ve covered all the news on the home front…”