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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I pray hard for you

My grandmother placed two lights with green beaded shades flanking Ebner's high school graduation picture, as my father mentioned in his 2/21-23 letter. Here my grandmother tells her son how she keeps "in touch" with him through this home shrine she had erected.

I've edited difficult-to-understand language and taken out confusing parts. Original at end.


Dear Ebner,

20 minute [ago] I talk[ed] with you, so I [tell you now]  what I forgot [to say] we did. We was in church today. So many askt about you. [Fred] and Papa made the collection today in church. 

Will at Harlem Airport
Will is flying at Harlem Airport. Father went to his Work. Today is cold. As soon as I finish the letter, I send it airmail and American Express money order so you have it as soon as possible.

The lights are burning steady by your picture in the living room after the sun is sinking until I go to bed. Then I say “Good night, Ebner.”

Page 2

Dear Ebner my Son,

At 5 or 5:30 in the morning the 2 green light by your photo from Ebert [photo studio] go on with a “Goot morning and God bless you today, Ebner.” Then I go to work as allways. I forgot not one evening or Morning [to greet his photo] since you left us. So you see, you be with us steady. I pray hard for you that all will be with you well. Now I hope you can read this letter. Try hard to please leave me know if you have understood.

On 23 Feb. 1943 I was working as clerk at the poll [for voting]. I [did] goot so Father teases me [that I am a] Politichen). I like it well. We had to buy a washing machine. It is so much troubel with the Laundry. I got a Maytag and it is swell. You call again (next Sunday). Will tells you the time in his letter when we are all together.

So please don’t forget to pray to God, morning and Night. God be allways with you. As allways, Your loving Pops and praying for you.

Lots of love,

Mother with 1,000 kisses. God bless you.


Marian Kurz said...

How full her heart must have been for her beloved son. May God strengthen all those who wait today for those lovely words, "He's coming home!"

Adrienne said...

Poignant to read this lovely missive and see it, too.