03 February 2013

When Bernie (Sonny) met Norma: Courtship Letters, 7

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 16, 1945

My Dear Norm,

    I am fine and dandy and I hope this letter finds you well and happy.

    Yes indeed, the news certainly has been terrific. Something we all have been waiting for a long time. The Japs have shown a tendancy [sic] not to take anything we say seriously. I guess old MacArthur will have to crack down on them with a mailed fist. They are stalling and won't bring this thing to an end. [1]

    I know it will be a relief to the women to get all the hose they want. The gasoline and tire situation interests me, naturally. Some of our business people are really in for a rude awakening when all the abuse they have passed out with their merchandise shows effects.

    I am glad to hear that you are rooting me home and if it won't make a difference to you I'll sure find out why. I don't like to repeat rumors as they are usually unfounded. However, I would like to believe the one that sprouted up this afternoon. They are supposed to cut the flying on this field by 90 % and consequently all the men necessary to maintain the planes will be released. Isn't that a lovely pipe dream.

    My time is spent somewhat in the same rut that I have described in my last letter. Yesterday I drank beer with the boys and went to sleep comparitively [sic] early. Tonight I shall go to the movies. Humphrey Bogart in "To Have or Have Not." It ought to be pretty fair.
    The night before last I even surprized [sic] myself. I attended Jewish services at the Chapel. I am far from religious and haven't been to services in ages. I don;t mind telling you I felt a little self-conscious and almost a hypocrite. I guess you just can't take a persons background away from him. I get along swell with the boys of other faiths but there was a certain feeling when we all got together, there. The Jewish women from downtown brought some refreshments for us and everything was really nice. I guess it does a guy good to get close to his own once in a while.
    Lenny dropped me a line from Tacoma, Wash. and it contained good news. He did not have to go overseas after all as he had enough points for a discharge. He was declared essential and should get some assignment in the states. Of course, now, it doesn't matter, He is very much in love and wants to get home. [2]

    I guess the mail situation is just plain laziness. I know I should write to you and then I wonder what in the world I am going to say. My life down here is just a series of repetitions. The odd part of it is when I get down to it I find myself filling up a few pages. Maybe talking to you comes easily and then again maybe I like the idea. I'll try to write more often but I won't be responsible for the contents.

Well, Honey, I'll sign off, now, as I have a date with "the look" Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Remember me to all.



1. Japanese Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address on 15 August 1945 announcing his empire's surrender. On 28 August, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, began the Allied occupation of Japan. A formal surrender ceremony was held on 2 September.
2. Lenny Garber, Sonny's younger brother, was in the Eighth Air Force's 491st Bombardment Group and served on the B-24 "Here's to You" at the base at North Pickenham, England. His last flight was on 25 April 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, 6
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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