06 February 2013

When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 10

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 22, 1945

Dear Norma,

    Today, I received two letters from you and the pleasure was all mine. They were dated the 19th and 20th and I was glad to hear from you.

     Thanks a lot for the picture and I must say that is a little more like it. That picture looks like you as I remember it. I keep the picture in my wallet, next to my heart. I hope you have not noticed where I carry my wallet or you wouldn't believe me.

  The news of the war seemed to have effected [sic] me the same way that it did you. I guess all those false starts caused that let-down when the real thing came.

    I was surprized [sic] when I heard that you quit your job. You seemed to like the work and was getting along so well with everyone. Oh well! I guess you had your reason and it probably was a good one.

    Right now I am reading "The Red Badge of Courage" but I am not getting on so well with it. It deals with the civil war and I don't particularly care for anything that even mentions war. However, the interesting part of it is that the author describes certain feelings, doubts, and anxieties that a soldier goes through and he hits home every time. The remarkable part of it is that the author was never in battle at the time he wrote the book but has an excellent grasp of it.

    I'll try to get hold of "Fountainhead" on you recommendation.

    Looking at letter number two I find you dabbling in tennis and golf. I was going to challenge you in either one of these sports but I hesitate. My neck still burns when I recall how I went down in ignominious defeat at bowling. [1] I've played tennis a few times but will hardly say I ever approach efficiency at the game. I've played golf two or three times, too, with the same results. In Amarillo, Texas we had a nine hole course with 40 as par for the course. [2] I would up with a bang up 66. Do you see what I mean. You can't say I didn't try though.

    You were perfectly right about those services I mentioned. I guess I have always looked at it that way but never did express it that way.

    As far as I am concerned things are pretty much routine. I worked today, as usual, but did not work too hard. I guess they will make up for it tomorrow. Last night there was a dance at the N.C.O. club which we attended. We had a few drinks and a few dances and so to bed. I went downtown last night just for the express purpose of getting a steak. I managed a nice sizzling steak and returned to the base as that's all the town has to offer. [3] [4]

    That's about all for the present so I'll say, bye now.



1. My father became a life-long bowler and bowled with friends in the B'nai Brith Bowling League in Rockville Center, Long Island, for many years. My mother bowled for a few years and played tennis with friends regularly for a while, but did not pursue her past times with the same passion.
2. Likely Amarillo Air Force Base. Unfortunately, my father's Army Air Corps service records were likely destroyed in the fire at the archives in Missouri in 1973. When I requested records, all I received were his mustering out paperwork.
3. I think steak was my father's favorite food. 
4. The town is probably Langley, VA.

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, 6
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, 11
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 12
When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: 66th Wedding Anniversary 

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