‘Send Cigarettes in Your Next Package and Each Christmas’

Cover-Girl

I saw the picture “Cover Girl” the other night, and I thought it was pretty good.

Dear Folks,

I am well, happy, and safe and I hope you all are the same.

I received three packages today and a letter which fully compensates for the little relapse I didn’t enjoy for the past few days. The packages contained the candy, all kinds of cookies and olives and jam. You don’t have to send any more peanut butter because it doesn’t agree with the hot weather.

You tell me that Aunt Mary says I owe her a letter, but I sent her one quite a while ago. I guess she hasn’t received it yet.

So Gene has a slight case of the whooping cough, eh? I don’t remember when such a catastrophe overtook me, but if you say it happened, I guess it did.

You asked if there was anything special I would request for the coming Christmas rush. Well, do you remember that pen and pencil set you sent me last year? It just wasn’t built to take a beating, I guess, because it is in bad shape right now. I lost the top of the pencil coming across from the States to Africa, found the same top the next day, lost it again the next day, bought another whole pencil the next day, the top of the second pencil wouldn’t fit the first, and today both pencils are broke. The pen fared a little better — it still writes, although it is a little scratchy yet. And send me a “substantial” amount of razor blades, all Gillette. Do not accept a substitute. Also, send me some Conti Shampoo, a metal soap dish, and some other things that I want to be a surprise — besides foodstuffs.

I think that I owe Vince a letter besides a number of other people. I must start writing to some of that chosen few before they all decide that I have forgotten about them. The funny part about that is that I have forgotten some of them.

I saw the picture “Cover Girl” the other night, and I thought it was pretty good. I also saw “Bathing Beauty,” which also was a fair picture. That was quite unusual, two technicolor pictures in such a short time.

How is everything back there these days? Is Pop still working in the same place and is the financial condition concerning the house still going smoothly?

Things are pretty much the same here, although there are a few minor changes in the weather. It is a little cooler at night, although the days remain about the same. As a matter of fact, the candy you sent in those packages was melted into one piece in each box.

It’s almost chow time, so I will have to hurry this letter a bit if I want to get done in time for something to eat. However, I’m not worried too much about eating with all the cookies and stuff I got today. It will carry me for quite awhile should I miss chow for quite awhile.

While I still think of it, send me some cigarettes in your next package and each succeeding Christmas package. And again, while I think of it, it is very incorrect to write or say Xmas. If you will look at the word, you will see what you are leaving out every time you write that X.

About all I do all day now is play Pinochle, Rummy and Hearts. Every once is awhile, we play a little cribbage, but Pinochle is about the most prominent. The fellows here all play it different than I do, but we manage to come to a compromise whereby all understand the now-standard procedure.

I think I mentioned before that you don’t have to send any air-mail letters because regular mail will get here just as fast. Air-mail only pertains to the States and over here it goes anywhere they have room, even if it’s only a rowboat.

I guess my mental writing capacity is just about finished because I may have to close this letter short yet.

While I think of it it, make that pen you send one with a fine point. I don’t like those large point pens at all.

Are you still getting any more War Bonds from me through the Army and how much are you getting each months by allotment? You should get $25.75 allotment and no Bonds. Let know if you that is the case and if it is how long has it been.

Well, I hear that we are having steak for supper, so I will have to move along if I want to get some. I guess that’s all for now, so I’ll sign off.

Love & Kisses,

Frankie

PDF: ‘Send Cigarettes in Your Next Package and Each Christmas’

‘I Never Starve, So I Guess I Get Enough to Eat’

Andy-Hardys-Blonde-TroubleThis is actually two letters, dated July 21 and 22, 1944, both inserted into an envelope postmarked Sept. 2, 1944.

This is the July 21 letter:

Dear Folks,

I am well, happy, and safe and I hope you all are the same.

I received a few letters from you all today, and I was happy to hear from you.

I received Vince’s address via V-Mail from Bib, but I can’t make it all out. However, I shall write to him and hope he gets it.

I hear also from Bib’s V-Mail that Teet is in the hospital in England as a result of a little accident on D-plus two. He hasn’t anything to worry about. Send me his address and I will try to correspond with him while he is recuperating.

If you talked to Joe Acquista’s sister and neither of you know the reason why he didn’t receive my letter, why didn’t you send me his address again? He might have a different address than you gave me.

I am glad you received the pictures from Mrs. McClaine and intend to writer to her. Read more of this post

‘Well Spent Time; I Have Gained Valuable Experience Though It’

I don't know where this came from. It was included with this letter. I'm not sure why Babe would have sent it to his parents. I need to do some research. I'm guessing it's from The New York Times ('The Times' is referenced), but I'll have to check.

I don’t know where this came from. It was included with this letter. I’m not sure why Babe would have sent it to his parents. I need to do some research. I’m guessing it’s from a defunct newspaper called the North Westchester Times, but I’ll have to check.

Dated July 3, 1944; postmarked July 6, 1944. The letter included the small newspaper clipping that you see here illustrating the letter. This is a second letter written with a typewriter he bought in Italy. For the sake of this transcription and to make reading easier, I’ve corrected typos as I indicated I would here

Dear Folks,

I am well, happy and safe and I hope you are the same.

I received a letter from Vince today and I was very happy to hear from him. He informed me that he finally met his one and only woman. He seems rather happy to ver his transfer to Pre-Flight school, but I’m afraid I cannot share his glee.The people around here seem more hospitable than the people in souther Italy, although the southerners were abused a lot more than the northerners.

Today, we stopped at an Italian house and the people treated us better than most people down south. We had a big dinner with them and all the wine we could drink. Another place we went to the people wouldn’t let us go, they insisted that we take all the fruit we could carry and all the wine we could drink with us because they had waited so long for us to get there.

The first thing they did when we got there was to kiss us on both cheeks and say “Bona Americano.” Of course, we enjoyed that very much, but it would have been much better if the women had kissed us too.

I am still waiting for those packages to arrive as I am getting very hungry for some good things to eat.

I expect to be sending you a package or two pretty soon. One of the packages will consist of small souvenirs such as alarm clocks, pocketwatches, German equipment, and this beautiful Italian typewriter I am using to type this letter. If I were sure of this typewriter getting home all right, I would gladly discard all the other souvenirs I have.

I sure got a big surprise when you informed me that Bib was going to Boys’ State for the H-Y this year. It was the farthest of all my expectations. As a matter of fact, I still find it difficult to believe that he is president of the bloody club.

You will have to excuse the writing since I haven’t had much practice lately having acquired the typewriter just recently. However, I am well satisfied with my progress thus far.

With the 1st sergeant we have here, one cannot help but to improve his vocabulary, a feat which I am trying desperately to perform.

That last sentence brings to mind a thought that I would like to transmit to you. When and if this typewriter reaches you, teach Rosemarie how to typewrite. If you start teaching her now, she will become quite adept at it when she gets a little oder. Thus she will have the advantage over other people she goes to school Then you can brag about how smart your Rosemarie is for so young a girl. I only wish that these thought were based on actualities rather than on dreams.

I started this letter on July 3, but it is now July 4, Independence Day, and in exactly 10 more days it will be my first anniversary overseas. It isn’t a long time, but it is well spent time and I have gained valuable experience though it — experience I hope to use to advantage some day.

I read in one of your letters that Steve, across the street, had come home, but wouldn’t tell you where I was. For God’s sake, don’t let that worry you for one minute because he probably doesn’t know where I am any more anyway. Besides, I can tell every time you worry about me by your letters, and I don’t want you to worry.

Well, I just about reached the end of my rope, but I started this letter with two pages and I am going to finish it with two pages if it takes me all night.

I am going to stop now for a little while to make a sip of coffee, which I hope will bring back my memory long enough finish this letter, anyway.

Although I have had my sip of coffee with crackers, jam, and cake to boot, I still don’t see any visible recurring effects of my little snack. Unforeseen circumstances command me to close this letter earlier than was first expected, but I will say this, though, it is much better short that nothing at all, isn’t it?

Send me some candy and cookies, s’il vou plait.

Love and Kisses to all,

Frankie

PDF: ‘Well Spent Time; I Have Gained Valuable Experience Though It’

‘I Thought War Was a Glory Then’

My Uncle Vin Mauro, younger brother to Babe. From the context of the larger photo from which this head shot came, I am guessing this was taken between 1960 and 1962.

My Uncle Vin Mauro, older brother to Babe. From the context of the larger photo from which this head shot came, I am guessing this was taken between 1960 and 1962.

This is one of the only letters I have that Babe wrote to someone besides his parents. This is addressed to his older brother Vince, who was in the Navy, but had not been for very long. I’m not sure how long. It was addressed to Ad. Cad. V. Mauro, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and dated July 2, 1944, with a postmark of July 6, 1944.

Dear Vince,

I am well, happy and safe and I hope you are the same.

I meant to write this letter a long time ago, but I never received your address until today. All the other addresses I received were wrong and I received quite a few of them.

I suppose you are wondering how come this letter is typewritten so I’ll tell you. I pick up a good Italian typewriter here and I am planning to send it home to Bib for his birthday. Right now I am praying that it gets there all right.

Mom never told me that you finally met THE woman, but I’ll say it’s about time. She did tell me about you passing all your exams, though and I’m sure glad to hear that.

I received your picture and you looked swell. As a matter of fact, all of you looked swell and I hardly recognized Rosemarie. I always show those pictures to all the Italians just to hear them say how nice you all look.

Believe it or not, I’m glad it won’t be any less than 9 months before you get your wings. I wish that you could stay there for about 9 more years. Then I might get a chance to see you before you take the trip somewhere.

Right now a lot of people are watching me and I might make a few mistakes so you will have to excuse them until I get more practice. Besides that, there is someone playing an accordion and I am trying to keep in time with him, which I cannot do. Anyway, some of the keys on this thing are different than the ones on our typewriters and it takes a little practice to get used to the change.

You must have heard about Bib going to Boys State for the H-Y this year- didn’t it surprise you? Personally, I never expected anything like it from him. You see some of the letters he writes me. They look like a little Baby’s scribbling only not as neat. They wouldn’t even let one of them be photographed because it was too sloppy. I reprimanded him about it several times already so he shows some signs of improving.

So you liked my pictures, eh? When I sent them home, they asked me where the steel helmet was because they said they couldn’t picture me over here without one. When those pictures were taken we were in a rest area and we had no use for steel helmets there.

Bib writes from home that Steve, who used to live across the street from us and who came over the same time I did is now home, why I do not know. Anyway, he knows where I am right now and won’t tell anyone for which I am very happy.

You just met your woman, but I have been writing to a couple that no one knows about yet. As a matter of fact, I have been writing to them ever since Camp Wheeler. One is a cousin of a fellow named Joe I used to pall around with while I was there. The other is a friend of his who used to live next door to him. I have a picture of his cousin, but I do not know what the other one looks like yet.

Well, Vincent, it’s about time I closed this experiment with a thought that has been in my mind for many months now. When I was home I was only kid, but now I feel like I was old all my life. I thought war was a glory then, but I know different now and I don’t even think of being or doing more than is necessary just for a little glory. Don’t get me wrong, because I don’t mean I wouldn’t do my job whatever it is.

That’s all for now even though I don’t want to stop.

PDF: ‘I Thought War Was a Glory Then’

‘Bib Is Quite the Man These Days’

boysstateDated June 25, 1944; postmarked July 6, 1944.

Dear Folks,

I am well, happy, and safe and I hope you all are the same.

So Bib is quite the man these days, eh? Going to Boys’ State must have given him quite a thrill.

I still haven’t received any of the packages you sent but I’m being pretty patient with them. As a matter of fact, you can send me another package, a box of candy.

I’ve been trying to write to Vince for well over a month now, but every time I decide to write, someone sends me a letter saying he is moving to a different place. I haven’t heard of him moving for a little while now, so send me his address.

Love & Kisses,

Babe

PDF: ‘Bib Is Quite the Man These Days’