02 February 2013

When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 6

When my father died in 2002 and my mother began her precipitous decline (dying eight months later) my brother and I began the arduous task of cleaning out the house. In my mother's dresser drawer I found a packet of twelve envelopes containing letters my father had sent her during their courtship. The letters are sweet and humorous, completely reminiscent of my father's personality. They are a wonderful chronicle of the beginning of their enduring love-affair.
In honor of what would be my parents 66th anniversary on February 9th, I will be posting a letter each day along with an annotated transcription adding additional insights and explication.

August 15, 1945

My Dear Norm,

    How's the girl today? I am my usual self and hope you are the same.

    Yesterday, that historic day, I worked all day, as usual. In the evening the news of the cessation of hostilities came. [1] You can't picture what went on her. All hell broke loose, every siren and horn blew and everything was bedlam. I can't understand what ever possessed me but I couldn't get excited and join in. It was good news but I could hardly see any reason to go crazy. We all knew it was coming for days and it seemed to me as just a matter of formality when they affirmed it.

    In the evening there was a dance at the N.C.O. club and the beer flowed like water, all on the house. It was quite an evening with everyone in high spirits.

    I listened to the radio for a while last night and it sounded like a great celebration in N.Y. How did you take the news?

    Maybe you and I can have our own little celebration. If I ask you in a nice way will you go out with me sometime?

    Today, was declared a holiday, by all soldiers and not the powers that be. We just didn't show up for work. However, I imagine we will be going full swing again tomorrow.

    While browsing around the library the other day I happened to run into a book by Rose Franken called "Claudia." It was a good book and I enjoyed it immensely. It wasn't a war story, one of social significance or anything like the other run of books. It was just a story of two people and it interested me. You may have read it, if not get a hold of it. It was a picture, too. Then again, you may not even like it.

    How's everything, honey, are you behaving yourself? If so, why? What are you doing these days? How do you look, lately? Are you still adding weight? Do you still have that dissipated look? O.K. you can wait for the $64.00 question.

    The subject always formost [sic] in my mind is getting out of this man's army. Perhaps, I am getting close to what I have wanted for almost four years. Perhaps, being a civilian won't be as beautiful as I think it will. It will mean going to work, perish the thought. I have a swell spot picked out for my apple stand. Will you be my customer. I faithfully guarantee no worms. I only do that for people I like and I think you are a pretty good guy.

    I'll say, bye now, and drop me a lion.


1. Japan announced its surrender on 15 August 1945.

Other posts in this series:
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 1
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 2
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 3
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 4
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 5
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 7 
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 8 
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 9
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 10 
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 11
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 12
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: 66th Wedding Anniversary       

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