Brooklyn in Love and at War

History of World War Two Told Through Letters

It’s not as classy

Darling Sweetheart,

This the stationery I mentioned I had ordered for myself and your mother about three or four months ago. It was delivered just the other day. It’s not as classy as the advertisement stated it would be. But one gets used to anything.

Anyway, Cookie and I are just fine – especially Cookie. She HAS A NEW TOOTH! THE FIRST. To me it looks like a little hole in her lower gum, but Mom says that that’s because the tooth has pushed through finally. She isn’t too cranky or feverish. She has only one disturbance, and that is that she won’t go to sleep until about eight in the evening. I’ll have to continue this in pencil as Cookie isn’t quite asleep and I don’t want to disturb her.

This is just a very short note, but I’ll write you at greater length tomorrow. Did I tell you that Leon’s on a weeks furlough? I think I did. Betty Lampel is coming to dinner tomorrow Bertie Schneider wrote asking what happened to me?

I received your pictures and they’re wonderful. You’re beautiful on all of them. Especially the large one which is tinted. It’s framed and stands on our table! I sent 4 of them to your mother. One for her, 1 for Pauline, 1 for Anna and 1 for Serena. Haven’t heard from her so far, but probably will tomorrow. I’ll send you a long air mail letter tomorrow. Did you receive the package I sent you? Baby darling, there wasn’t too much in the package, as I mailed it before I received the check which came today. I’m going to insert an ad with the NYTimes for work. I also wrote to Jimmy G., A. (?) -, and Nila – a short friendly note and mentioning that I was looking for manuscript work or any typing. Hope you haven’t any objections? Please forgive my haste, but Cookie is stirring and I have to shush her. Please hurry home, and don’t worry about any gifts – this is war and people don’t expect any. All my love, my darling,



This is a short and simple letter that serves mostly to give us a glimpse into the daily life of Sylvia.  I’m sorry I don’t have the photos that Sylvia mentions here. Money continues to be a prominent theme in these letters.  I really like the line, “Please hurry home, and don’t worry about any gifts – this is war and people don’t expect any” because it so succinctly links the personal lives of everyone on the home front with the war. Sylvia wavers between expressing her wishes for new furniture or a new item of clothing and her pragmatic fiscal responsibility. Did she just ask if Alex had objections to her looking for manuscript typing work? I suppose any smart independent woman knows not to bruise a man’s ego by taking too much initiative!


2 comments on “It’s not as classy

  1. Rene
    February 10, 2011

    Hi Molly, in a similar way my great grandmother feared bruising her man’s ego. She claimed to “sell some antiques to friends” in the early 1900’s, when in reality she worked full time managing and operating an her own antique shop, running around on nights and weekends to try to find good deals on merchandise she could sell. Guess that was not what a refined lady of the day aspired to… I think it sounds fun though.

    • Molly
      February 11, 2011

      That’s amazing Rene! I imagine that women all over the country were secretly doing things like that, though maybe not to quite such an entrepreneurial extent. Maybe you should secretly stop with this whole doctorate thing and go into antiquing. Just a thought.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2011 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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