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, December 13, 2011

New Year's Eve, 1941 "Damn mad at Fred"

Lil Koroschetz's diary entry, 12/31/1941
Last week I posted Lil's entries into the new diary she had started on the eve of 1942, three weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War II. If you'd like to see how the war had already begun to affect every-day Americans, see Lil's ruminations at Pearl Harbor Day-A diarists response to war. If you'd like to start reading Lil's entries of falling hard for Fred Gartz from the get-go,  start at Falling in Love 70 Years Ago and just scroll through to the present.

Lil had met a "grand young man", the "Burt" of this entry, in late October, 1941, on a Saturday night when Fred had failed to ask her out (See Trouble in Paradise). Now Fred's got some serious competition, and Burt has stepped in to take out  Lil for New Year's Eve.

December 31, 1941 (continued)

I've been damn mad at Fred for not phoning me for a New Year's Eve date which seems very low-down. He has $65.00 saved, so surely he could have spared the few dollars necessary for New Year's Eve. He's so darnn tight he squeaks. Of course, maybe he took out another gal, but somehow I doubt [it]....

Burt, however, came through for me. (Something always turns up so that I go out Halloween and New Year's Eve). He said...he would be in Indianapolis Tuesday and Wednesday and possibly wouldn't get back in time. But at 7:00 he phoned [and] said he made it back. I'm waiting for him now and hope he comes soon for I want to be some place when 1941 leaves us to take its place in history.

He's a grand guy, sort of on the bashful side when it comes to romancing. He didn't kiss me until our last date, Monday, and even then he doesn't put any feeling into it. But it's kinda nice when someone goes with you for your "delightful" company. He's a swell dancer too.

I'm particularly fed up with Fred now and think it's damn cheap he didn't call me up for New Year's....Perhaps this is the end of my "story book" romance with "old stingy" Fred. Too bad. It started out so fortuitously too. But this neglect has killed something in me. I don't care now whether he's drafted or not and whether or not he calls me again. 

(Hope Burt comes soon--it's 10:45.) I want to get out in a crowd on New Year's. Well, now to put on my gorgeous green rhumba dress––hand made by Koroschetz [not sure if she means she made it or her mother], with black felt hat and green leaves thereon to match.

Sounds like Lil is lookin' good this first New Year's Eve after America officially entered World War II. She's mad, but I think more hurt, that Fred didn't ask her out. I doubt he went out with another girl. Did he have the money? Were his savings "untouchable?" If he didn't have the money, I know he would have been embarrassed to say so. 

Will Burt's attitude that she's "delightful company," but puts "no feeling" into his kisses take precedence over Fred, who knows "all the little innuendos of kissing?" 

Whatever prevented the New Year's Eve date, Lil's peevish attitude didn't last too long. 

Her next entry: March, 1942, when she's deep into a quandary:  Fred or Burt?

To comment, just click on the red word "comments" or "post a comment" below. Thanks for reading. 


Kathy Reed said...

Why am I feeling all of this tension about whether or not it's Burt or Fred when I know the answer? I'm mad at Fred, too, but don't know who to root for. I can't wait for Fred's explanation of this obvious neglect. Lil deserves better.

Marian Kurz said...

Fun and wouldn't you love to have seen and touched that gorgeous dress?

Anonymous said...

I too would like to know Fred's reason(s) for not asking her out on New Year's Eve.

Nancy C said...

I have been confused by Fred's behavior in not asking Lil out well ahead of New Year's Eve. And I'm glad, but not at all surprised, that Lil goes out for a fun evening anyway. I wish there was a photo of her wearing the green dress/black hat outfit! I'll bet she looked quite chic!

Linda Gartz said...

Well, folks, it's hard to know why Fred didn't ask Lil out. Despite his gregarious and fun-loving nature,underneath it all, Fred wasn't always sure of himself. He had an insecure side. My guess is he really didn't have the money and didn't know how to tell Lil without embarrassing himself--so he just did nothing. I don't know for sure. I don't have a diary entry on this, but I think they actually then went out on New Year's Day--and had another "marvelous" time, as Mom often wrote. Nancy -- wish I had a photo of her outfit too. She was quite stylish.

Candace said...

Sounds like Fred is going to have to come through strong to overcome this slight! And just what does a "rumba dress" look like?

Adrienne said...

I love it! This romantic entry brings me back to the winter of 1958, when I was 13, in the eighth grade, and had just met Syd Lieberman, a handsome young half-back on the Roosevelt High School football team. Would he or wouldn't he invite me to the New Year's eve party at Judy Immergluck's house? And would I accept? He did, I did, and we celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary last July.

LInda Gartz said...

44 years! And a New Year's Eve that played into it. Congrats and great tie-in to this New Year's Eve tale.