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War Marriages

Posted by on March 18, 2016

June 4 and 9, 1944: two letters from Dad at Topeka Army Air Base to the family back home.  He continues to be on the hunt for film for his sister, who is having difficulty finding the film she needs for her camera in Albany. Dad also shares some news about an old boss of his and provides some commentary on what seems to be a rash of “war marriages”.

Anna has been asking Dad to try to find V-616 film for her camera, as it seems to be a scarce commodity in Albany. As Dad tells it, that particular format of film “appears to be unavailable” in Topeka too. He writes that “they’ve got all sizes in town except the V-616, I presume the same situation exists up there in Albany.” He promises to keep an eye out for her.

Dad comments on his father’s return to a work schedule that has him home on Sundays. “I’m sure he will enjoy being off on Sunday. When Stanley and I were tots, daddy used to take us for long walks and entertain us on Sundays. I can still remember those delightful hikes we used to take to Rennselaer and the Port of Albany.” Dad also reflects on the sacrifices that his parents made for them as children. “Although we couldn’t have all the things other children had when we were small, we gained in other ways and are capable to take our place in the world better equipped for the struggle ahead then ma and daddy were when they first came to this country.”

Dad is also sending a money order and asks that his father take care of it at the bank for him and that he feel free to keep a dollar or two to treat himself to a few beers. As Dad explains, “When  I say that daddy can take something out and get himself something, I mean to treat him and not imply that he is a drinking man. I mean to help daddy out the same way he used to do when Stanley and I were kids and daddy would take us out and almost every time treat us no matter how hard times used to be.”

Dad passes along some news about Sgt. Ball, his old boss who is now in O.C.S. “Ball says that as far as studying is concerned, Ordnance O.C.S. is easy, but they lay a lot of stress on physical fitness and your ability to take in more then what you learn in books. That’s what is hard on him…”

Dad also addresses the spate of wartime marriages. Commenting on his cousin Eddie Morawski’s upcoming nuptials, “If she is a nice kid, he’s doing the right thing. He will be able to concentrate better on married life and keep his mind off other things.” Dad also mentions that a day ago “…some of us fellow were over at the Chapel seeing one of our men getting married. The fellow is from New York City and the girl is from Topeka. Today another one of the men is getting married; the girl, however, coming from the home state of Connecticut. And so Cupid has got rid of more of his arrows.”

Dad is not above some youthful speculation. “It looks as though these ‘war’ marriages might either be caused by the couple being in love, being emotional, or just having ‘hot’ pants. I wonder what percentage of couples will still be together ten years from now. That is strictly my own opinion and expression.”

He closes the letter with the news that he had some dental work done. “A day ago I had a filling put in one of my back teeth. If I get any more metal in my teeth, I’ll probably sink if I try going swimming. …That’s about all from here.”  

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