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, March 7, 2013

I'd hate for you to go haywire.

Austin High School, Chicago, Il
Frank's former science and division teacher at Austin High School, Miss Hartley, was a regular correspondent, not only to Frank Ebner, but to many of his buddies from his high school class. Harvey Duck was in Frank's same division (see photo above), and his name comes up in this letter as Miss Hartley is keeping all the boys apprised of their classmates doings and whereabouts  (See 3/3 posted letter from Frank's Mom.) Miss Hartley also mentions that Cookie, Frank's girlfriend, took over Duck's job. 

I'm not transcribing this letter. A teacher's handwriting is pretty easy to read. It's an example of how everyone on the home front rallied behind the boys in training and kept their spirits up with a regular flow of correspondence. Frank's teacher adds a few notes of chastisement for some of Frank's apparently not so "mature" behavior in high school, but, like all good teachers, also leavens her critique with guidance and encouragement.
Miss Catherine Hartley's Division #451 Austin High School, 1942Miss Hartley, center 2nd Row. Frank Ebner Gartz, top row second from right.
Friend, Harvey Duck, top row-3rd from left

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