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, November 1, 2011

Love is dancing by ourselves

Lil and Fred-8/27/1941  This is the
first photo of the two of them together,
and this diary entry confirms the date.
North Ave. Beach, Chicago
Charles Schultz wrote two memorable square-shaped little "Peanuts" books in which each page expressed a single, simple thought about love or happiness. You can click to see these classics on Amazon:  Love is Walking Hand in Hand and Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Well, I think my mom's following diary entries of falling for my dad could add something to those books: 

Love is swimming in the lake together.
Love is dancing by ourselves.  
Happiness is a farm wagon under the full moon. 

Read on to see how Lil and Fred's romance is progressing. 

To see my first post about LIl's diary about falling for Fred, see Falling in Love 70 Years Ago, and read on from there. (All past posts can be found on the right -- just scroll down past the Twitter Icon to Blog Archive, and click on the one you want to read.)
Wed., Aug 27, 1941

Went swimming at North Ave. Beach However the water was extremely choppy and we had to stay close to the pier. (I picked up Fred at his place). We had a man take a picture of us after getting our street clothes on again against the lake. (see left) Then I drove Fred to meet his Mom, Pop, and Bill at a real estate office where they are trying to consummate a deal for an apartment.

Then we went to their house for supper and Fred showed me pictures and slides of their vacation. Fred and I fenced in the front room for a few moments too. Then he drove home with me and another nice evening was at a close.

Wed., Sept 3, 1941

Went swimming again, although it seemed very cold out. However, this time the water was just delightful. We swam a great distance and really enjoyed it immensely. Then we drove out to Hapsburg.

Fred is just like me--he can’t resist a polka or a waltz. So whenever the juke box played a number we just left our food and up and danced - a solo. We are quite immune to dancing by ourselves. After our chicken dinner and a few beers we went outside and went for a walk.

Oh, this was just about the most beautiful and gorgeous night we’ve had together. There was a full moon so bright it illuminated the entrire landscape.

We walked arm-in-arm down a side road, then saw a wagon in a farmer’s field and decided this was made to order. Oh boy!

Hapsburg Inn-- Des Plaines, Illinois
Then we walked back to Essie and Freddie fell asleep while I drove home.

Coming up:  A little jealousy can't hurt!

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melvin said...

Hello Linda, which fascinating testimony which is read as a real novel.
Have an excellent day.

Adrienne said...

I particularly relish the way your mom said it: We are quite immune to dancing by ourselves." Ah, love!

Marian Kurz said...

Where is Hapsburg? is it a street or a part of Chicagoland? The romance continues, makes my day start off happy.

ine jansen said...

There is nothing sweeter and beautiful then learning that your parents have so much love for each other.

Linda Gartz said...

Melvin, thanks for turning me on to your beautiful voice at your site. I hope you croon some 40s tunes sometime as that was the music my parents danced to. Adrienne, I got a kick out of the “immuned” expression too. An interesting way of expressing they just didn’t care what others thought if they danced alone! Marian, Hapsburg Inn was in DesPlaines and was a decades-long favorite destination for my family’s special events. I'll add a picture to the post. Ine, yes, I was impressed by my mother’s romanticism and full-out immersion in the joys of falling in love. Interestingly, my 25-year-old son thinks she sounds like a 14-year old. It was such a more innocent time -- and it’s also a commentary on today’s more jaded youth. They’re exposed to so much at such a young age.

Candace said...

Those are pretty fancy clothes for the beach! Where do you suppose they changed? Definitely sounds like true love. Candace

Candace said...

Linda, have you noticed that the time stamp on your blog is 2 hours earlier than the actual time?

Sandy Arnone said...

It's all about love. The memories shared are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy Reed said...

I know I've said this before, but you are so lucky to have this diary written in her own hand. You know I'll be here for the next chapter.

melvin said...

Hello Linda, I'm glad to hear from you, I got your message and I would like to tell you how much it make me happy.
Has I saw, you get a wonderful carrer and I think this give you happiness.
I wish you the best.
Sorry for my bad english.

thehootingmind said...

that's a lovely thought :) ur parents are so into each other :)

Linda Gartz said...

Kathy, I just recently "re-discovered" these diaries as they were stored in the wrong box (letters vs. Journals), so it was a treat to read them -- and be able to share in their (the letters') 70th anniversary year.Melvin -- thanks for the comments -- no worries about English. You're working in a foreign language (as my grandparents did their entire lives). Few Americans know ANY other language! Candace - thanks -fixed the date stamp -- and I guess they just packed the clothes to wear after the swim. And Sandy -- hard to find expressions of love like this. I agree!

electra said...

I came across this blog on a google search for Hapsburg. Nice stuff and it reminds me of my own parent's diaries and letters about their courtship and young married life in Chicago area.

We also went to the Hapsburg Inn every Sunday after church, the extended family, and while the adults lingered over dark beer and cigarettes and talked to Bill, the owner, my sister and I ran out to look at the 2 horses and give them sugar cubes at St. Mary's orphanage (which bordered the Hapsburg parking lot.

Linda Gartz said...


You just jogged my memory! Now I remember those horses too. We went to Hapsburg so often, but I had forgotten about those horses. Hapsburg Inn created lots of family memories. Glad you dropped by!

Anonymous said...

Your piece brought me back to working at the Hapsburg Inn in the late 60's. My father was a part time bartender as well. I had forgotten about the horses; nice touch. Bill Bohnmier (sp?) was my first boss, and often like a second father. Great memories of nice people and good food, especially the pan fried chicken.

Robbie said...

I believe it is spelled Bahnmaier. I used to date Rosemary Bahnmaier in higher, William was her father.

Robbie said...

I meant high school, sorry.

Linda Gartz said...

Wow! That's amazing that you dated Rosemary--related to the Hapsburg Inn family. Thanks for commenting.

Robbie said...

Do you, or did you know Rosemary? We're both 64 now, and we went our separate ways.Haven't seen her since our graduation in '66 from Maine West.

BryanG said...

I am replying to the comments here about The Hapsburg Inn, or "Bahnmeier's" in Des Plaines on River Road. We used to go there when I was a kid probably in 1959 and 1960. It was a place filled with energy and good food. We had just lost my sister to heart disease, and so I know there was just me, my Dad and Mom and sometimes my Grandpa who was born in Germany. The owner, Willi Bahnmeier, used to come by each table to visit with the customers. He was a big man, who wore an apron stretched round his wide waist. He would lean in and say, "Iss EveryTing all right, Volks?" He would smile with a mouthful of teeth and thank us very heartily for coming to his restaurant. I thought he was a very nice man and we got good food. I told him, "Ja, danke schön, alles ist fein!" (I memorized what to say.)

linda Gartz said...

Hi, Bryan, Thanks for that lovely memory. We used to go there often to celebrate birthdays (usually of the older set--my grandparents or great uncle). I'm so sorry to hear of your sister's death. Your parents must have been devastated, but to be greeted by the smiling, outgoing Willi -- well, it was probably a pleasure.

Unknown said...

Hapsburg Inn, brought back great memories of my uncles restaurant. It was nice to read all the great stories that people had there. Not many people mentioned the wishing well that all the kids loved.