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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Betcha" -- he won't call! (And...Happy Birthday, Mom!)

Lillian Koroschetz (Gartz) 1918 ~ 6 months
Before we learn more about my Mom's incipient romance with Fred Gartz, let's take a pause to say "Happy Birthday, Mom!" Lil would have turned ninety-four today. Here's her cute baby picture, and below her Waller High School Graduation photo.

Last week we learned that my mom, Lillian, was pondering in February, 1941, whether or not Fred Gartz, whom she'd met November 19, 1940, would call her. She clearly liked him from the start. Then nearly three months passed from her February, 1941 musings ("My biggest concern is whether Fred Gartz will phone to ask me for a date") to another chance meeting with Fred.
Lillian Koroschetz 1935 age 18

A bit of character background:  Esther Schultz, mentioned here in Lil's diary, was Dad's "buddy," not really a girlfriend, which explains her generous sharing of Fred at this dance. She became a life-long friend of the family. Here's Lil's next diary entry on the subject of "Fred Gartz."

Sunday a.m. 3:15 May 11, 1941 

Well of all things--I just returned from a dance...at the Moose Hall, 130 N. Dearborn, and by a curious coincidence this diary entry is again caused by meeting Fred Gartz again.

There’s no doubt about it; I’m in love with him after meeting him thrice. He was at the dance with his two brothers and some other friends, each with a girl friend. However, shortly after he saw me there (Fred) he asked me to dance, and we had quite a few numbers together. The first time I met him, (Nov. 19, 1940), I taught him the Polish hop and tonight I taught him the Rhumba. He catches on to all dances miraculously fast. We have so much fun together.

He’s really the first man I’ve met that I think I’d like to marry--intelligent, crazy, fun, and we have no end of things to talk about. In fact, when he first came to me this evening, we started to talk and had so much fun together and were so engrossed, we didn’t even start to dance immediately.

He apparently goes out with quite a number of girls, and this one, viz., Esther Schultz liked me very well and kept urging Fred to dance with me so that she could watch us. I sat at their table practically all evening and we all had a beer and sandwich together.

Hell, I have the worst luck, though. The previous time I met him we seemed to have such a wonderful time too -- and not a phone call from him.

So difficult as it might be, I might just as well put him out of my mind once and for all because he undoubtedly will not call me up and I’m just crazy about him! I’ll probably be a “business woman" all my life or else marry just "lukewarm-about,” who won’t go in for dancing, sports, and all the things I love. The luck of some women! Amen.   And now to forget Friedrich Gartz!!

What will have happened by June 1, 1942? With whom will I go out New Year's Eve, 1941? Only time will tell, but I'll "betcha" no more word from Fred. Betcha $5.00 to put in the bank by Sept. 1, 1942.

Just when will Fred get a clue and ask Lil out!  "Quite a thrill awaited me...."  Coming up!

Please note: for those of you who've had trouble leaving comments in the past, I changed some settings to make it easier. Just click below on the word "comments," and it should take you immediately to a separate comments page.  Please email me at lindagartz@gmail.com if that doesn't work.


Anonymous said...

Love alwyas prevails....



Adrienne said...

I love her giggly hope tinged with fatalistic pessimism. It's touching to get to know your young parents and experience their growing infatuation.

Anonymous said...

I love how you build suspense and anticipation as you introduce these pages of your Mom's diary. And your mom's innocence, transparency and vulnerability is so moving. I feel as if I can see right into her heart. Katy

Debi Austen said...

Well he must have called since your last name is Gartz - I wonder who she paid the $5.00 to :-)

What a treasure to be able to know what went on behind the scenes as your parents approached marriage and a lifetime together.

Debi Austen said...

Oh, and my ancestors were named Waller. Wonder if there is any connection with the high school? What state was it in?

Cherie Cayemberg said...

She was an adorable little baby and a beautiful woman!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Love it. She's is so full of spirit!