November 26 and 29, 1943. Two letters to the boys from the folks back home in Albany, NY. The last two posts have covered Stanley’s Thanksgiving in England and Dad’s in Topeka – now for Albany. It is getting a little warmer and about half of the thirteen inches of snow that fell on the 22nd and 23rd has melted. Thanksgiving has passed, the baby is beginning to walk by herself and Anna catches herself being sentimental. She also takes some time to catch her brothers up on what is going on around town.
As far as the holiday, it is clear that Anna misses her brothers. “…Thanksgiving came and went and we went to Eddie’s house for dinner and it was very good. All day long you were in my thoughts and when we sat down to eat tears rolled down my cheeks and everybody felt bad and looked so sober and white but I just had to spoil everything and bawl. As usual, I ate like a pig and I consoled myself that you too were having a turkey dinner and enjoying yourself some.”
As sad as Anna was missing her brothers at Thanksgiving, the baby brightened the mood. “Baby Terry can walk by herself pretty good. When we were at Eddie’s house…Terry sure made a hit with everyone and she was walking by herself and she looked so cute and adorable and I only wished that you could be here to see her first tottering steps.” Later in the week, as the baby continues to exercise her walking muscles around the house Anna would write, “She don’t want anyone to walk with her, but only herself and she is darn good on her feet – solid. …She loves to walk and knows when she can do it by herself and without anybody’s help she certainly enjoys the privilege.”
Now that the baby is walking on her own, her grandfather has expanded the games he plays with her. “He leaves her in the kitchen and goes into the frontroom and she looks and sees that he is gone. So she starts looking for him, into the frontroom she goes and when she finds him she smiles so hard and laughs so loud because she is glad to see him. Then Daddy picks her up and hugs her and baby just loves it.”
Anna addresses a part of the letter to Stanley, “Stanley, my typing isn’t very good and I do hope that the censor can read [it] so he won’t think I am writing in code.” She says that she is “writing this letter on plain paper because I can get more down. The V-Mail is Okay but they leave so little space for writing that I only get…started…and the end of the paper comes in sight.”
At times, Anna gets reflective in her letters and shows her tender side to her two younger brothers. “It is eleven o’clock at night. …I am writing to each of you even if I had to stay up all night. You may be sure although you are so many miles away you are close to us in spirit and sometimes when I type letters to you I feel as though I was talking to you directly and if I reach out I could touch you with my hand but then suddenly I wake up and everything is different. Practically every noon time when we sit down to dinner I can see you, Stanley, the way you used to sit on the side from the stove and the way you used to eat your bread so conscientiously at every meal and I can see slow Anthony, the ways he used to take his time to do things till you felt like taking him by the ears and hanging him out on the clothes line.”
In other news from home:
- In the middle of the snowstorm on the 22/23, there was a twenty minute blackout drill, Anna figures that someone wanted “to know how it would work with the snow.”
- Mama took the cross that Stanley made from the plexiglass of a plane that crashed in Cut Bank to church to be blessed. Anna writes, “Now we can be sure that Stanley will be home again safe and sound.”
- They haven’t heard from Billy Lubinski “for about a month and neither did his parents.” There is concern that he may be headed “over the ocean blue”.
- There has been word about their cousin Eddie Morawski, as “our cousins on Second Street… got two letters from him. …one dated more recently was from the Red Cross and he said that he was resting up and didn’t have any work to do… Now his mother is so worried and they don’t know what to think.”
- Anna has also been following a local murder trial, and passes along word that “That Mascari guy who was from Watervliet and killed his wife last November…was sentenced to the electric chair…” Anna continues, “Poor sap. He should have thought of that before he killed his wife.”
By the time the 29th came around, a letter for Stanley “the first one since he was across” finally makes its way to Albany. The relief is palpable. “We were certainly glad to get it. It seems funny to remember that he is in Europe away from us. …It’s a grand feeling to know that he is on land again and that we won’t be scared stiff when we hear that a ship went down.” She tells about how worried they were when Stanley was making his way across the Atlantic. “…during that time…I tried to ease mama’s feeling so she wouldn’t get so keyed up and nervous because I just refused to believe that anything would happen… I believed that God would take care of him on every step…I had strong faith that everything would be Okay and all the time during that time when I thought about him I would say a little prayer for his safe passage.”
Anna closes, “It looks like I have covered the news and gossip of the home front so I will close the letter until next time.”