On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.

This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.

My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I never thought anything so wonderful could happen to me!

Friday, August 22, 1941

Well, my Friedrich phoned me again on Tuesday, and wanted to go swimming with me Wed. But I couldn’t make it till Friday so we made our date for tonite.

I picked him up at his office, Locust and Franklin Streets, and we went to the beach - North Avenue. It was a perfect evening for swimming, warm, the water was calm, and I couldn’t go. My visitor came 1 week and 1 day early (Wed.) due, no doubt to my having gone swimming at a beach near Louise’s house in Michigan last month on my 4th day.

So I just said to him, “I no can go,” and let it go at that. He’s a wonderful swimmer -- in fact there were many people watching him from the shore, amazed at the distance he swam.

"It was a perfect evening for swimming..."
We sang German songs and when he came out, and he was explaining some chemistry to me -- and I’m just crazy about him. After another dip, we went to the Vine Gardens and had some barbequed beef and 5 beers. We danced every number they played and he said I was so loose in his arms and followed so well. He dances very well. We had so much fun again.

Then we drove back to our beach. The wind was blowing furiously and whipped my hair about my face. We were all alone on our “Question Mark Pier” and danced a polka to our own tune. We kissed there, with the waves rolling violently below us.

Said my darling, “It’s wonderful to be alive.” And I, of course, agreed wholeheartedly. We also criss-crossed our hands and went around fast in a circle as we did once before. We sat down on a bench there, the whole place deserted, and I sat on his lap and we kissed again. He evidently is very fond of me, and I am positive I love him.

I never thought anything so wonderful could happen to me. It seems that we have known each other so long. It hardly seems possible we have been on only two dates. I hope this goes on and on.

We have a date to go swimming next Wednesday and then out to Hapsburg for dinner. Oh heavenly days! I just haven’t lived before. Also, he’s so solicitous of me.This is the kind of romance I have always dreamed about but never thought would happen.

The 70th anniversary year of Lil's and Fred's glorious dates continue next Tuesday with solo dancing and dinner.

Comments welcome. Just click below on the red words, "Post a Comment." Thanks!

To read all of Lil's diary entries from her first 1941 encounter with Fred, click here and keep scrolling forward in time to catch up.


Adrienne said...

Talk about chemistry! What a perfect description of falling in love.

Naomi Smith said...

Wonderful material here. What a treasure trove! - Naomi

Marian Kurz said...

I can hardly wait 'til Tuesday, what did their parents think about this fast going romance?

Paul Gartz said...

Movie material for sure! Romance in the air of the era and any era...swimming in warm waters at night, dancing under the stars alone on a beach, kissing and touching, hormones all up and running. And at just the perfect ages of ~27 and 24. Lil's best friend, Gert, told me decades later, "Your mother and father were so romantic and good looking. All thought they were a like a Hollywood couple". What a nice story to relate. Thanks!

Linda Gartz said...

Chemistry is sure in the air (and in the hormones, as Paul points out). Marian, I'm pretty sure my dad would not have talked to his parents about his dating -- his mom could be very judgmental (in fact, in later WWII letter (yes, there's SO much more!) I learned just what she thought of my mom. Thanks to all for your comments.