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 14, 2013

Radio Days Devotion

A radio similar to theone on which my 
grand mother set Ebner's photo to 
greetMorning and Night

My grandmother explains how she and Grandpa say "Goot Morning, Ebner" and "Goot Night, Ebner" twice daily my uncle's photo, set up as a small shrine atop a radio the the one posted here. It's kinda sweet, picturing them trying to keep a connection through a picture. A refresher on names: Will is my grandparents' oldest son, then Fred, my dad (whom the family called "Sam." I changed it in the letter to [Fred] in brackets, to avoid confusion. Lil is my mom. She and Dad had married just two months, on November 8, 1942, before Ebner's draft date.

Chicago, Ill 3/14 1943

My Dear Ebner,

I was waiting till 7 minutes before 10 pm Sunday for maybe you would call me on the telefon. But it was for nothing. Were you so busy or have you got school on Sunday. I hope and pray for you in our church that God should bless you everywhere you go and in everything you do. He should be with you, my loving son. The letter you send to [Fred] I heard about two days after and wish to help you.

As soon as [Fred] read me the news I send you 1/2 salami, a little bread [and want to find out if] everyting reach you. Was the bread dry out or is it o.k.?

[I sent you dill pickel and some fruit and nut candy Will bought, so I packt it tight, hoping [it] reach you good.

[Fred] and Lil send you a package. Sam mail mine with his on Sat 5pm time. Send me a few lines so I kan know and keep going [to send you] the next one.

How is it with the money? You have still or do you need a littel more. As much as I can I will do. Write me more about yourself. Please don’t get discourage. Read some time the verse I give you [from] the Bible or hymn book. I am sure God will be with you if you think on him.

Page 2

My Dear Ebner,

Your watch you were sending home is not here--or did you change your mind? Your dad is busy. Same [with] Will. Both working so hard, often we have our meal [supper] at 9:00 or 9:30

[At the six flat, a contractor [put in] new front steps to the basement. All the tenants’ leases begin on May 1, 1943, so I was going with the painter and contractor for all the cleaning [of the apartments] and [paid] the last bill of the income tax, and paid the painter, so [that’s the reason] I was not writing.

I don’t know if you can read all. I try very hard with a dictionarie.

Every morning [first thing] I say “Goot Morning, Ebner” to your picture on the radio, and Father, he says it as soon as he comes home...and prays for your blessings for the day. Then [again I say good night to the picture] the last thing before I go to bed.

Those two lights [flanking Ebner’s photo] burn as soon as it gets dark. Often our living room is [lit] only by those green lights.

So chin high. God will be with you all the time and [will] always bless you. It is now 12 o’clock Sunday the 14th. So good night on paper. Before I go to bed, I stand by your picture two times.

With loving and more loving from your Mother and Dad and Will

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