Saturday, August 12, 2017


Coral Gables                                                   Tuesday, Dec. 17, 1940
(from Mother)

Darling. precious Dick –
     This is our first Christmas apart, dear son.  Life has changed much since the times when you and the girls used to race into daddy’s room and mine, and pull us out of bed at umpty A.M. to see the tree and open gifts.  Darling daddy was always late, for not until Christmas morning did he begin to wrap his own packages and write the little verse he invariably composed to me.  How young he was, and oh how kind and dear.
     But here we are, separated by many miles.  Nevertheless you could not be closer in my heart.  I love you, my dear and only son, and the best Christmas gift the Santa Claus of life could bring would be the knowledge of your happiness.
      Barbara, poor child, sheds many tears these days.  Yet though Edward’s letters upset her, she is clinging to her resolve to start a separation.  If she goes through with this and finishes her business course, in which she is greatly interested, then I shall give up my plan to return here next winter.  I’ll make a home for her and Kathie until she is re-married.  So by that token, we shall all be together again in Boston, come another Christmas.
     Everyone thinks a check is a banal Christmas present, and I blush to send one to you.  Yet, dear, if I know you, you’ll need it when next month comes.  The magazine which Barbara subscribed to for you is rather expensive, so Janeth gave half toward it.  Be sure to remember.
     My heart is very full of tenderness toward all my children.  Despite a few bad times, they have made life very sweet and full for me. 
P.S. Don’t return the $5.00 I loaned you last week.  I include it as part of your Christmas gift.
Coral Gables                                                   Tuesday night -- Dec. 17, 1940
Dear darling Eddie -- How nice to get a fairly cheerful letter from you!  I cried myself to sleep last night, but I think I shall sleep well tonight. 
     Who was this genius you were out with whose sex you took great pains not to mention.  If it is female, cultivate it -- if it’s male, bring it down with you in February -- for Bobbie, of course.  It sounded ideal, whichever sex it was.  Incidentally, I’m jealous if it’s a genia.
     I am getting into my stride in school.  My shorthand teacher has advanced me again -- ten lessons farther on.  I have to do two lessons a night, which takes two or three hours, but it’s worth it because then I’ll be able to have a three-week vacation in February.  My Spanish teacher dictated a letter to me in Spanish and I wrote it on the board. 
     “That’s remarkable!” he said. “How many years of Spanish have you had?”
     “One semester at Smith -- but it was a concentrated course.”
     Then he asked me to translate the letter and was equally thrilled with my translation.  I could go on like this for hours, but enough!
     I’m beginning to be glad you’re not coming until February.  If you came Friday, you’d soon be gone and I wouldn’t see you again for months and months.  It’s funny, now that we are going to be separated legally as well as literally, I miss you more keenly than ever. 
Boston                                                             Wednesday -- Dec; 18. 1940  
Dear Mrs. Malley,
     I hereby make a reservation for the last week in February and the first two weeks in March.  Do you suppose that you can arrange with the weatherman to gratify my wish for glorious weather?
     I know I’m not supposed to be hopeful, but I am.  Even if you go through with your foolish and I hope unavailing plan, I’ll still believe that in time we shall be together again for always.   I am being kept so busy these days  I don’t have a minute to myself all day -- and too many to myself at night. . . .
Coral Gables                                                   Thursday -- Dec; 19. 1940
Dearest –
     I wish you could see Kathie now.  She has a charming little manner of looking at you searchingly, then swiftly turning her head away, grinning at the same time as if to hide a smile at a mischievous thought.  Today she discovered a fascinating new sound.  She sticks her tongue way out and says “Ahh ahh” in a rather flat tone, just as if she were obeying the doctor’s well-known order.  And when I say aah, she imitates me!  At less than four months she is already observing and imitating. Mother says Kathie is the most responsive baby she ever saw.
Boston                                                                         Thurs. -- Dec.19,1940
My sweetest -- 
     I bought my genius a bowl of soup tonight.  Did I tell you that my genius is not only all the things I said but also sings beautifully, and makes amazingly good charcoal sketches and portraits.  This same genius once tried to commit suicide, worked in a maternity hospital, is twenty-three years old and reminds me of you.
     Isn’t it swell to write and receive letters from each other?   When the mail comes in the morning and when I write at night are the very nicest times of the day.  The seventy days that you’ve been gone seem like seventy years.  But think of what fun it will be when we’re together again.  I’m going to whirl you right off your pretty little feet.  Whoopee and whee!
     I haven’t seen Taffy for weeks, but I talked to her for a few minutes on the phone tonight. She says she has gotten some letters from you and some pictures of the baby.  She wants Harry and me to go to a Christmas party at her house next Saturday, but I doubt if we’ll go.  I still don’t and probably never will have much interest in feminine company.  Some of the girls are nice but they just aren’t you.  Even my genius is going to leave me and return home to Albany permanently.

Coral Gables                                                               Friday night -- Dec. 20, 1940
 Dearest ‑‑ Bobbie and I are going to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas day ‑‑ for Western Union.  Can't you just hear me singing cheerfully into the phone, "Merry Christmas to you, Merry Christmas to you,"  We get sixty cents an hour, which means 8 or 10 dollars I can hand over to Mama. 
     I'm glad to hear that your truck rental brainchild is growing and flourishing.  Maybe if you get that raise I'll marry you for your money.
     Merry Christmas and a Happy Middle of February!
Boston                                                                                         Friday, Dec. 20, 1940
Barbara dearest -- My what a thrill I just got!  I sneaked away from work to see if I had a letter.  When I arrived the mail box was empty, but I’d been here only five minutes when the bell rang, I looked again in the box, and there was a letter from you!  The mysterious part of it all was that the stamp had come all the way from Florida without being canceled.  Could it be that you had delivered it in person?  I even looked under the bed to see if you were hiding there.
     I’m upstairs with Marge and she is telling me about a Christmas party that was held at the Mother’s Club. A men’s W.P.A. chorus sang carols, ice cream and cookies were served, and all the little mothers-to-be received the gift of a wash cloth for their babies-to-be.
     Well, I must get back to work before dad fires me.

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