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Nothing Like the Real Thing

Posted by on February 22, 2017

May 15, 1945. Anna writes to her brothers, once again apologizing that it’s been some time since her last letter and stating that “Getting letters from me nowadays is like waiting for a good Sunday dinner. I am doing my best and I can’t guarantee how things will be after the new baby comes. Probably you won’t be hearing from me too much.”

News of the Allied victory is sweeping the country, as Anna writes,”…over on this side of the ocean everybody is celebrating VE Day… For weeks we’ve been hearing the peace rumors and it was supposed to be confirmed today by the three powers, America, Russia and England. So people are celebrating anyway. The stores are closed for today.”

Anna takes time to consider how the latest developments will affect her brothers. Knowing that Anthony has just arrived in the Pacific, her thoughts turn to the impact on Stanley, who has been with the 401st Bomb Group in England for the better part of eighteen months. Addressing him she writes, “Stanley, now that the possibilities of war being over in Europe are almost realized…what’s keeping you over there? Come home because they don’t need you over there. It was on the radio that boys who went overseas in 1943 had a good chance for being discharged from the Army completely.” 

Looking beyond Stanley’s discharge, Anna continues, “Well, yesterday mama said to me that maybe Stanley will come home in a few months to be a god-father. I hope he could. Mama told me that we should wait for the Christening till Stanley gets here personally. I think we will do that. There is nothing like the real thing, eh? Stanley hasn’t mentioned in any of his letters yet if he wants to be god-father to his new nephew, ahem, I say nephew but maybe it might be another niece, but I just take it for granted that he is going to be.”

With all of the thoughts about the end of the war in Europe, and the prospect of Stanley coming home soon, we get a remarkable paragraph from Anna as she writes, “The night before last I dreamed about Stanley. That is the first time I dreamed about either of you fellows. I can’t remember where or at what place, but I only know that in my dreams only mama and daddy and Terry were present… …there was a parade coming down the street and it consisted of soldiers and people stood at the curbs cheering and yelling. Well, I was sure I would see Stanley and  I kept on straining my eyes to find him as the boys went by and finally I saw him right on the edge of the line and I started to yell to mama that ‘Tam jest Stas, Mama tam jest Stas.’ (There is Stanley, Mama, there is Stanley), and then I started to yell ‘Stanley’ so hard over and over so that you would hear and see us. I was so scared you would not see us. You finally saw us and tears started rolling down your cheeks. I bet I was yelling so loud in my dreams that I was probably sitting in bed yelling and waving my hands around because it all seemed so real. I told mama about it and mam says that maybe soon I will be doing that when the boys come home again. Gee, that will be swell. Now there is at least hope of some kind that the fellows will come back.”

As much as Anna is looking forward to seeing her brother Stanley come home, it is a bittersweet moment flavored with the reality of having another brother just having been shipped out to the Pacific. All in all, Anna concedes that they still have it better than other families.  “As for brother Anthony, they would ship him out right before Victory. We just don’t seem to have much luck. Before we worried about Stanley and when we would see him, and now we are worrying about Antos. If it isn’t one thing it’s another. Well, I am glad that at least we can see one of you at one time or another and not like some people who won’t be seeing their sons because they aren’t coming back.”

Before closing out the letter, Anna relays a story about some of little Terry’s antics, this time having to do with when the parish priest (Fr. Mycek) stopped by the house for a visitation. “…Terry ran right to him and made friend with him immediately. She was crawling all over him and Father was playing with her… She was playing with Fr. Mycek and then she says to him, ‘Wait, I show you my red button.’ Terry went out and got her red button which she had on a string and when you turn it, it makes buzzing noises. When mama came with her money there was Terry almost on Fr. Mycek’s knee and he was playing with her red button. It was too funny for words. When he was going out, Terry said, ‘So long, Father.’ When her father came home [from work] she told him about the other father that was here and he was playing with her red button.”

Anna wraps up, “Anthony, I am very glad that you got safely to your destination and that you weren’t sea-sick on your way over. Did you see any hula-hula girls? Just kidding. Eddie Falkowski had some pictures taken where there were hula-hula girls on them. You know what mama told you about women but she is always giving you advice.  …Well I have covered all the news on the home front and I just can’t seem to think of any more to write about.”

Before closing the post, I wanted to provide you with link to a short video tutorial in case you wanted to make your own button spinner just like Terry’s.

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