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 6, 2011
Trouble in Paradise-- Love and War
Tuesday October 28, 1941
At the moment I’m plenty mad at Fred. Didn’t take me out Saturday so I went to the Chateau where I met a grand young man named Burt. He wanted to take me to a party next Saturday. Said no thinking Fred would call for that nite. No call yet. He always waits till the last min, damn him. If he doesn’t call, I won’t refuse other dates for him any more, and that’s for sure.
Lil doesn't write in her diary again for a couple months, but then she catches up with what had occurred just after this last entry.
Halloween week I was really a "belle." Managed to go out with Burt Wehlte Saturday, 11-1-41, for he phoned me that day wondering whether I still couldn't go out with him. I said, yes, I could, since the previous "engagement" I told him I had for that evening turned out to be the previous evening. The truth, of course, was that Fred didn't call to take me out as I had expected. I had a lovely time with Burt at a house party.
Friday, Halloween Eve, I went to the Chateau and met Johnny Lynn, a young soldier (draftee) on leave. We went bowling and to some night clubs and had a grand time. He took me out, too, Sunday November 2, and Burt wanted to take me out that Sunday. Fred, too, phoned Saturday evening for a Sunday horseback riding date, and I was so annoyed I couldn't make it. Apparently he was broke for Halloween. So three possible dates for one day ain't bad!
The world had changed by the time Lil caught up in her diary! I'm thinking of today's date, seventy years ago: December 6, 1941. It was the last day that American mothers (and fathers) of young men could rest easy for the next three and a half years. The next day, December 7, 1941, they would never forget just where they were when they heard the shocking news: the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor at 8 a.m. Hawaii time, and America was now destined to enter the war.
Tomorrow, on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I'll post Lil's ruminations on how the war had already affected every-day life by December 31, 1941, three weeks after the Japanese attacked, and her thoughts about the future.
Then next Tuesday, we'll view her harsh opinions of Fred for not asking her out for New Year's Eve, 1941! I'm keeping my posts within about 300 words to make them a fast read--just a nugget of history in your busy days.
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