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 22, 2011

Hello, Darling. Hello, Sweetheart.

Fred & Lil Nov. 9, 1941
Lil and Fred are at it again--this time it’s a date to go horseback riding--if rain doesn’t interfere. These two knew how to party--Lots of kissin’, a good deal of drinking, out till 4 a.m -- and an ambiguous “snack” described near the end. 

Sunday, October 5, 1941

Here I am again!

Fred phoned my home yesterday afternoon....Mom relayed on to me the message about Fred so I phoned his house at once and Bill [Fred's older brother] answered the phone. Fred was out so Bill asked me for him to go riding that night with a gang. Of course I said yes, although I’m not very good at it yet.

Further it was raining cats and dogs, but he mentioned we would all go to a house party if it was still raining. I always get such a thrill when Fred calls me!

I did a little shopping, dashed home and was ready when Fred called for me. It was raining all evening so we all went to a house party on the South Side. All the gals were in riding breeches, and, for that matter, so were the men.

Had a simply wonderful time. We had about seven Scotch and sodas, sang many songs to the accompaniment of Hank, who is a wonderful popular-style pianist. Fred and I played billiards, and he won (my first time playing that game.)

Fred and I also danced the Beer Barrel Polka, our theme song, then sank exhausted on the bed they have in the basement for lounging use, by way of explanation. Later someone turned out the lights, so Freddie and I took advantage of the situation. He’s so darned sweet!

We had a lovely “snack” later and got home at 4:00 a.m. Freddie and I kissed just about all the way home. I never seem to tire of kissing that lad. (If I don’t marry him, this sure would make mighty interesting reading to some other spouse. It had better be he --for me!!) If not, this goes in solitary confinement.

Friday,  Oct. 10, 1941  [Fred's Birthday]  

So having already reported on the eve of October 4, I shall now write about Fred’s birthday celebration.

I had caught another terrific cold Sunday, which took til Tuesday to come out full force. Freddie phoned me last night fo the date. I met him at Lewis Institute - Damen and Madison - and ran into his brother, Bill, in front of the school, who was there to take care of Fred’s books.

We went with Kenny Eggen and his gal friend, Arlyne Hennings - a lovely tall blonde model. Went to the “Glass Hat” cocktail lounge in the Hotel Graemere. Had about six scotch and sodas and really had a grand time. Fred and I soloed again as usual. Danced a waltz and the Beer Barrel [Polka] to the organ music interlude between band sessions.

Fred had their precious car tonite - took a taxi to his house.

When kissing me goodnight, he paused and said, “Hello Darling,” and I for the first time in my life - said “Hello Sweetheart” to a man.

To drop me a note, please click on the red word, "comments" below. Thanks!


Marian Kurz said...

Wow, what a romance...thanks for sharing for the past year, it's a weekly treat I enjoy very much. You have much to be thankful for this holiday season. What do you think your mom would say about your 'sharing' with your readers, I bet she would get a real kick out of it!

Adrienne said...

Your teasers are terrific, Linda. And I love experiencing this burgeoning romance in "real" time.

Debi Austen said...

What a lovely romance and how special that you (and now us) are able to share in it.

Anonymous said...

True romance, not to be confused with "True Romance," the movie.

Sandy Arnone said...

Your parents knew how to live life and make the most of every moment--literally. I have a feeling that your mother wouldn't mind sharing her journal. I'll say this again--your family history is amazing. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

LInda Gartz said...

Hey Marian, I do think (as Sandy does) that my mom would be pleased as punch to see that this lovely romance was shared with so many. She died before the internet was popularized, so no one in my family, who all went to such great pains to save all this stuff, could have ever imagined how the whole world could share in their great love story! Adrienne -- glad those teasers get ya here. Yes, they really knew how to have fun in their youth. So much of unexpected life and fate lay ahead. None of us know what's in store and love makes everything seem possible.

Kathy Reed said...

I'm curious about that late night "snack", too. I'm sitting hear with a glass of wine getting ready to watch the national news. Reading this is so much more entertaining. I'm smiling.

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogaversary! Thank you for your blog-it is so well written, meticulously researched and infinitely entertaining on so many levels! There are always interesting tidbits. For instance, I found it fascinating that people would all wear riding apparel to a party! Katy

Anonymous said...

How lucky is it to have access to real time diaries? Too much to ask. Lucky

Candace said...

Such romantics your parents were and they sure knew how to have a good time! I feel like I'm reading over your mother's shoulder. Candace

Linda Gartz said...

Thanks for the Blogiversary congrats, Katy, and so glad I can share all this such a dear, long-time friend. Kathy, you're always there for me, cheering me on. Glad you are entertained! I am too! Yes, I'm very lucky to have all this. It's really like having my parents back with me. I'm reading their 1950s letters now too! And Candace- such a pleasure, as always, to get your input. Mom's writing does feel like a personal conversation, I must agree.