A Token of Affection

May 26, 1939

Dear Thelma –

Last Tuesday Dr. Cuaco got back to Troy after a prolonged absence.  When we heard of his arrival in town we called him in to take care of Mom’s toe.  He certainly is a very good doctor and an excellent psychologist.  His treatment of mom and his bedside manner pepped up the entire family.  First thing he said was that mother’s toe was not gangrinous because there was warmth in the toe and the toe wasn’t malodorous.  Gangrine is usually accompanied by coldness (no circulation of blood) and malodor.  The other doctor instilled a fear in the whole family that we would have to witness an amputation.  Dr. Cuacou lifted a cloud (plenty dark) and now, we, (all of us) breathe more freely.

Pop is holding up as usual but he was disturbed greatly by Mom’s condition.  He was so worried about her that it retarded his own progress.  Now, however, he feels more assured because of his implicit confidence in Dr. Cuaca.

Rose is all prepared to take over my job.  She is going to take advantage of the country to improve her own condition while out there.  And Pop says he is damned glad to get rid of me!!  The moment I get into N.Y. I will wire you the hour of my arrival in Wash.

Dave Levinson will start for N.Y. Saturday sometimes after dinner.  So I don’t know exactly what time we will get into N.Y.  Then, Pop wants me to visit Mrs. Toretsky because she is sick in bed and wants me to inform him about her.  This visit will most likely take a couple of hours, so if my wire to you says a late arrival in Wash. you will know the reason.

Sweetheart, any delay no matter how short in getting near you is very annoying to say the least, but, under the circumstance, how can I refuse my Pop his request?  If Mrs. Toretsky wasn’t ill I could call her on the phone and let it go at that.

You can bet your last car-token that I’ll hurry as soon as it is humanly possible.  In all probability I’ll take a train for Wash. Saturday nite and arrive in Wash late the same night or very early Sunday morning.  Under no circumstance however must you come to the depot.  Wait home for me.

The rest of the family is OK and send their best regards.  Dave likes that picture of you (the last one you sent me) so much that he took it away from me and is going to put it in his album.

For the umpteenth time I repeat that I am madly in love with you and I’m holding my breath until I get a glimpse of you.


P.S. Regards to the family + comrades.


Editor’s Notes: He’s almost home to Thelma in Washington, D.C., just a couple of train rides and interruptions to get through. Mrs. Toretsky housed Izzy when he lived in NYC, trying to make it as a young musician. It will be an incredible feat to delay the reunion a couple of hours but Izzy is the saint of the elderly and ill.

Boy oh boy did I butcher that doctor’s name. Dr. Mario Cuoco, originally from Italy, had a private practice in Troy and became president of the medical staff at Leonard Hospital in 1956. He passed away only 7 years later, in 1963. He was a well respected doctor by the Bickweats and many others. Leonard hospital is an abandoned site now, though several developers are interested it’s only currently occupied by urban explorers.


Etymology Corner: “car-token” – Though the NYC subway system didn’t use tokens until the 1950s, railroad lines were using them in place of tickets since the late 19th century.


1939 May 22

May 22, 1939

Dear Thelma –

I didn’t mail the inclosed letter because I didn’t get the money until Sunday morning.

Well since Sam + Celia aren’t going to N.Y.C. (and I think they are doing the sensible thing by not going) I will arrive in Washington Saturday night or Sunday morning.  It depends on wether I get a ride to N.Y.C. with Dave Levinstein and what time he arrives in New York.  If they can’t make room for me I’ll get in Washington earlier.

So I sure will spend Sunday with you, my treasure.  Wait a minute – please don’t expect to hansome a specimen of a man because you’ll be letting yourself in for a big let-down.  I have already lost weight and I expect to lose more before you see me.

My tan is almost as perfect as Lizzy’s – if you know what ah mean?

Don’t you ever worry your little head about me and any other woman or women.  In that sense no other one exists for me and you should know it by this time, monkey.


P.S. I love you. Write me sooner than soon.

Editor’s Notes: A hastily written note to share logistics of Izzy’s return is, of course, still peppered with love. Always a bit self-deprecating, though. 

It’s only Monday and Izzy is hoping for another letter from Thelma before his departure the following weekend.

Monkey – classic nickname for a loved one. This post about pet names is an overview of studies that have focused on how we talk to our partners in “Lovese”.


The Kindler Confab Continues – 1939 May 20

May 20, 1939

Dear Thelma,

We were forced to come in to town to-day again.  Mom’s toe didn’t look so good to Pop so he thought the best thing to do was to have a doctor’s inspection.  Rose made an appointment with the doctor for one o’clock.  If it isn’t one thing it’s another.  Pop, however is still doing pretty good.  Now he is more worried over Mom than anything else.

Yesterday when we got back to Grafton I swept + washed the both floors, that is upstairs and downstairs. Cleaned up the entire poarch, chopped wood, prepaired the evening meal and cleaned up the dishes.  Meanwhile I acted the clown to keep them cheered up.  After Ma went to bed, I read the paper for Pop until he fell asleep.  I mention these things to give you an idea of how I keep busy.

What’s news regarding Leo’s confab with Killer I mean Kindler?  Did he succeed in convincing the bastard of Lee’s innocence?  Pugatsky has been asking me if Leo signed up for next season.  Evidently Dave Levinson must have “shot off” his mouth re the difficulties of Leo’s.  Also Spiak when he called me up asked me regarding the same matter.  I answered both Pugatsky and Spiak that I don’t know a thing about it at all and cut the subject with both of them as soon as I could.

Listen to this.  I may get a ride to N.Y.C. next Saturday (sometimes in the afternoon) with Dave Levinstein.  He is driving down to buy a cello.  I just called him up and he says he may squeeze me in.  By the way, if Sam does decide to come to N.Y for the Decoration Day week-end tell him to be careful not to get picked up in Maryland.  Dave Levinstein got fined $10.00 just outside of Baltimore.  He paid this under protest and his shyster-brother is trying to get it back.  So let this $10.00 that Dave paid be a lesson to Sam.

Well another day has passed and it’s a day less until I have you in my arms, Darling.

It’s now almost five months that I’ve been away from Washington and four weeks since I saw you last and it all seems as though ages have passed.

Sweetheart, I’m so darned lonesome for a glimpse of you that I don’t know if I can wait till Saturday or Sunday.  There’s no further need to proclaim my love.  It has been so firmly established that it seems superfluous to mention it and yet I can’t help but shouting that I’m crazy about you.

Darling we are now going up to the doctor’s office, so take good care of yourself and remember me to all.


P.S. Inclosed please find $7.00 let me know if you receive it.


Editor’s Notes: Thelma’s brother Leo is playing violin in the National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. led by Hans Kindler.  For the past few months there has been a feud, or perhaps a one-sided complaint, about Kindler’s leadership.  We don’t have many details, only what we can glean from these letters.  I believe Lee is another man in the symphony, not a nickname for Leo. Rumors are now floating amongst their friends and concern about Leo continuing with the symphony has surfaced. Will he continue to play under the “Dutch Dictator”?? Stay tuned! Or maybe we won’t find out. *shrug*


Decoration Day was the original name of our Memorial Day.  In this instance, and in many current conversations, it is just referenced as a long weekend. Originally, it was established after the Civil War as a day to literally decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers.

Etymology Corner: “To shoot off one’s mouth” – To boast or talk too much; to tell secrets  The Tumblr “Rolls off the Tongue” takes a “shot” at its original meaning

Shyster – From the German word scheisser ‘worthless person’ refers to someone unethical, disreputable. Someone who uses questionable methods to get what they want – broken kneecaps, perhaps?


Happy Mother’s Day – 1939 May 19

May 19, 1939

Dear Thelma –

It’s Friday so we came in to buy up supplies for the week and take mother up to the doctor.  Her toe looks terrible!  Pop says he has seen it much worse and it healed up so we are consoled by his words.  We are keeping her sugar free and being out in the mountains we hope her condition will improve much sooner than otherwise.  She just tried on the beautiful sweater you sent her and it fits and looks marvelous!  Mom wants me to extend you her thanks for your kind thought of her on Mother’s Day.

Pop is coming along surprisingly well.  He had a couple of bad days this week but all in all he is doing so good that he surprises all of us and himself.  For the last three weeks he has had little need of me.  He does quite a few things for himself.  He drives the car. Climbed a ladder last Sunday to instruct the boys how to paint the house, and goes fishing almost everyday.  So there will positively be no change in my plans.  I will leave Troy Saturday morning for N.Y.C.  If Sam + Celia decide to make that trip to N.Y. I will see you then and we will have a marvelous time on the 27th.  If however they can’t make it I will take a train either Sat or Sunday.  There might be a delay for a few hours because I have some very important business to attend to in N.Y.C. on my way down.  Make sure to let me know what the plans are from your end and if – when and where we will meet.

As for my health all that I can say now is wait till you see me!  I hate to brag so you just wait………

In my next letter to you which I will send either to-morrow or Monday you will receive some cash [$8.00] so don’t worry on that account.

“Danks” a whole lot for taking care of my employment compensation cards.  You get an extra kiss for that.

Early this morning I dug a garden for flowers.  It took me about three hours of steady work.  Pop is going to plant a whole “flock of flowers” and he promised to send me some when they are full grown.  You can hardly imagine how we all feel about Pop’s improvement.  It’s a miracle that’s all.

Sweetheart, darling I’m counting the seconds until I hold you in my arms.  Next week is going to be one of the longest in my life.

It is needless to repeat that I love you so much that there’s nobody in the whole world who can come near you in my affections.

Extend my best wishes to the whole trible – comrades and friends.


P.S. Love you? Yep

Editor’s Notes: Happy Mother’s Day! Thelma thinks of her mother-in-law up in Grafton with her husband and sweetly sends her a sweater.

Plans are on track to reunite.  Thelma will either meet Izzy in NYC or wait for him to take the train to D.C. First Izzy must attend to some cryptic business in the city – to collect unpaid wages (?) to see to a friend (?). Trains in 1939 had dining cars and look how lovely they were!

Metro-North 20th Century Limited (famous people and politicians took this train between NYC and Chicago – Izzy would not have taken this train), New York Transit Musuem, ID: 2001.31.182

Below is cool cross section poster of Grand Central Terminal in 1939.

Izzy’s got muscles to show Thelma, the better to squeeze her with.  He’s got money in his pocket, compensation cards taken care of, and flowers to look forward to. Everything is coming up roses for the two lovebirds to reunite.

Grand Central Promotional Poster, 1939, from Ephemeral New York

Wanted: Powerful Mamma

May 16, 1939

Dear Thelma –

We just “blew” in from Grafton on an emergency call.  This morning when my father went to examine my mother’s toe he discovered a tremendous blister on the big toe of the foot which was infected.  The infection itself had opened up again and was bleeding.  After drawing off the “water” from the blister and dressing up the infected toe, we hastened in to the city and now we are awaiting the doctor.  Pop says it isn’t serious but he thought it best to consult our physician.

Pop has been doing quite well lately.  He has been quite active and has gained considerable strength.  To-day however, he isn’t feeling so well.

Unless something unusual occurs my plans for coming home is as per my last letter to you which is on the 28th of May.  I have things organized now and it will be no hardship for anybody here when I leave.

Your picture is positively a knock-out!!! Everybody who has seen it likes it very much.  I’m taking it out to Grafton with me to keep up my courage until I see you.

Thelma, darling please look in the inside pocket of the coat of the suit which Sam gave me and see if there is a letter of yours to me.  In it should be my employment compensation card.  In fact there should be two cards. One should be red and the other yellow.  If it isn’t there, then go thru that box of letters of yours to me which I brought back the last time I was in Washington.  If you find it put it some place where I will be sure to get it.  Make sure, darling to do this for me and let me know about it by return mail.

Well, Sweetheart, you going to have another week to get in some work on the piano.  Also get in good shape physically because I’m good to hug and kiss you so much to it will take a “powerful mamma” to withstand my attack.  Picture if you can, a love-starved husband finally encountering his most loveable wife after a prolonged absence.  Wow!!!  The next thirteen days are going to be like thirteen years.  But the joy of seeing you gives my renewed energies.  Sweetheart, darling, I’m dreaming day and night of our encounter from now on.  I love you madly.


P.S. Extend my best wishes to the entire family, comrades and friends.

P.S.S. Let me hear from you by return mail.  What’s new with Leo?

P.S.S.S. Tell Esther that Ruth Kur eloped with a theatre usher in New York City.  Just heard Rose and Irene Sheftel talking about it.  It might interest Esther.

Editor’s Notes: Hmmm, Izzy was no less sentimental than Thelma.  He also kept a box of all her letters to him, but it seems it was lost to time.

As part of the Social Security Act of 1935, unemployment insurance was issued in several states (NY being one) for those out of work through no fault of their own.  This was in reaction to the Great Depression and the weekly stipend was meant to be spent on necessities in their own community to stimulate the economy. DC followed suit in 1937.

Workers had 1:1 interviews before receiving unemployment compensation. I’m still looking for an image of the employment compensation cards that Izzy asks Thelma to look for.

The interview for unemployment compensation. San Francisco, California, LOC fsa2000001831/PP

Izzy’s always got a bit of gossip from Troy to send to the Stein girls.  This time it’s an elopement.  

Some of Izzy’s slang (in this case “powerful mamma”) makes me believe that he was listening to the jazz and blues of the 1930s. He was a classical musician but being young and radical would certainly draw him towards the Harlem Renaissance.  He’s more removed from it being in upstate New York but don’t forget he was a struggling musician in NYC before his marriage and likely still had connections to his life down there.

Thelma has to get in good shape now, not for Izzy’s viewing pleasure but so she can withstand all of his hugs and kisses. 

Mad, Morbid Love – 1939 May 14

Sunday, May 14, 1939

Dear Thelma,

It’s now 6:30 a.m. and these lines are being penned in Albany.  Last night Dave, Marion and Sam drove out in a big green truck and brought two new mattresses for two beds in Grafton.  One for my father’s room and one for my mother.  While Sam was there I got him to relieve me and I came in with Dave + Marion.  You see they tempted me because they were going to see Wuthering Heights.  I had just completed reading this morbid novel and was anxious to see it on film.  So that explains why I’m here in Albany.  I got up early because I had a very pleasant dream about you.  When I reached for you you vanished.  So I decided to get up and write you before we leave for Grafton.

As for the picture all that can be said for it is that it gives one a very faint, mild and deluded notion of the novel itself.  However it was quite interesting and with an excellent cast who in my opinion could have done the real job if Hollywood didn’t “doctor-up” the text.

Thelma, darling from the looks of things I fear I will be detained here for one additional week.  So I will get in to Washington on the 28th instead of the 21st of the month.  My father is doing much better than even I expected out in the country.  He has put on some weight and looks surprisingly well considering what he has and has gone thru.  The additional week of me being out there with him will I think complete a job where I can feel (when I get back) that he has regained sufficient strength to help himself.  So, Sweetheart, I want you to be sweet and patient despite the delay.

The mad love portrayed by the villain of Wuthering Heights will give you an inkling of my love for you.  If you can get to read this novel do and keep the above in mind.  If not see the movie.  You will realize then what would happen to me if anything happened to you.

Extend my love to the entire family and tell them I’ll be seeing them all in two weeks.  Also my best wishes and regards to the comrades and friends.


P.S. I’m still madly in love with you.

P.S.S. Let me know if you received the inclosed money.

P.S.S.S. Write me soon, darling your letters brace up my spirit and help me pass the time.

Editor’s Notes: Yet another delay in Izzy’s plan to return to D.C. He estimates an additional week just two days after his last letter proclaiming the 21st to be his homecoming day. He’s buoyed on by his connection to the novel and film Wuthering Heights. The book is absolutely morbid with family illnesses, ghosts of lost loves, and the awful Heathcliff. Izzy can identify with Heathcliff’s “mad love” for Catherine
whbookand even alludes to how he would be sent into a great depression and ultimately die without Thelma. Two days earlier Izzy told her not to read the novel, it’s too morbid, too depressing.  But the book stays with him; grows and changes in his mind.  Now he tells Thelma she should read the book and think of his love for her.


The 1939 film adaptation of Wuthering Heights starwhred Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff and “Cathy” is played by Merle Oberon. It is considered a classic and preserved by the US National Film Registry. However, it differs from the book and Izzy agrees the book is better.

To dream about a loved one disappearing can indicate a feeling that the dreamer has neglected a part of their life. The physical distance between the couple could obviously make it feel like the relationship has disappeared. Just as likely, the image of the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy walking across the screen impacted Izzy’s subconscious life.

“You know that the stimulus for a dream always lies among the experiences of the preceding day.” – Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams


1939 May 12

May 12, 1939

Dear Thelma,

It is now early Friday morning and I just read your most welcome letter.  It was a great joy to learn that you have gotten a new hold on yourself in regards to your work on the piano.  When I get back you are going to play for a full hour for me.

As for my plans regarding coming back they are still the same as when I wrote you last.  That is if everything runs off as I can see them from this angle.  This coming Sunday makes it one week that the folk will have been out the country and they have benefited from it considerably.  I’ve taken my father out on the reservoir fishing everyday.  The air and sun plus the joy of doing something he never expected to live to do has given him a new grip on himself.  He tanned up a little and if I’m not mistaken he also put on a little weight.  I have a peach of a sun-tan.  You should see me now.  You’d think that James and I were twins!  As for my health, if I could only see you I’d be feeling better than at any other time that I could remember.

My mother loves it out there.  She has been feeling excellent.  Her toe is perfectly normal.  Yesterday she picked a peck or more of dandelion greens and we ate it for supper last night.  It is a marvelous food.

I brought my violin out expecting to do some work but it simply didn’t pan out that way.  There is more work out there takeing care of all the duties than I anticipated.

Just completed reading Wuthering Heights.  It’s a morbid piece.  Don’t ever read it, unless you want to feel depressed.

If within the next two weeks my father continues to improve I will be back in Washington on or about the 21st of this month.  Please don’t set your heart on this date as I have.  I may be delayed another week.  If I should be detained I will inform you of it in due time.  Should things take a turn for the worse which is possible but not probably naturally I will be detained much longer.  But as things stand right now it is my ardent hope and desire to have you in my arms on the 21st.  Sweetheart, I can hardly wait.  It’s been so long that it seems like ages have past.  Darling we are going to be very happy when this nightmare is over.

What the hell is wrong with me?  Just took a glance on the callender.  It’s not two weeks off but only 1 week practically.  Wow!  My heart is beating like 60!!!  If only nothing occurs to spoil it I see you in nine days.  I’m going to take every precaution to see that nothing will interfere.  If I die in the meantime the cause will be impatience.

I hope some good will result from Leo’s visit to Kindler.  If it does I’ll consider Leo the world’s best salesman and luckiest guy.

You don’t write anything of the rest of the family.  What’s news?

Well I’ve rambled along for a while and it’s now time to buy up supplies for the coming week.  We must hurry because my mother must get a shot of insulin by noon so I’ll close this note with all the love and kisses that you can bear.


P.S. Regards to the entire family friends and comrades.


Apologies for poor quality photos – the original scans went missing.

Editor’s Notes: 

-Izzy has his parents up at their lake house in Grafton and says the clean air and sun are doing them well.  His father was not doing well months ago, seemingly on his last days but he has made it through and on the upswing.  Izzy determines that his sister Rose will be able to care for his parents in a week’s time and he will be able to return to his love in 9 days.  His heart is beating like 60?  Which I assume means very fast.  He calls their prolonged separation a “nightmare” and soon he will be able to return to his dream girl.

-Izzy has discussed light therapy in previous letters and its benefits to many ailments.  Sunbathing was considered good for your health, later a beauty standard, and finally the public recognized the connection to skin cancer en masse in the 1990s.  Scientists were actually aware of the connection in the 1940s.  Tan skin is still considered an ideal but the way we achieve this look has changed dramatically.  

video below from British Pathé

-A peck of dandelion greens would be a quarter of a bushel!  Or two gallons.  They are edible and good source of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium and iron.  They can be bitter and are usually either blanched to remove this taste or sauteed similar to spinach.

-Thelma’s piano work is progressing well, Izzy has not had much time to work at the violin, and Leo is confronting his orchestra conductor.  Hans Kindler of the National Symphony Orchestra.

To Read: 

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – Published 100 years before this letter Brontë wrote the novel about Heathcliff, the Linton family, and the Earnshaw family under the pseudonym Ellis Bell.  It was considered well-written but was denounced for not having a single sympathetic character.  The characters were described as “depraved”, “contemptible”, “savage”.  Read at your own risk, according to Izzy.

1939 May 8

May 8, 1939

Dear Thelma –

Yesterday the whole clan of Bickweats gathered out in the Grafton to start the season right.  The weather was all that anyone could ask for so a good time was had by all but yours truly.  I was so lonesome and blue that in order to hide my innermost feeling I started to clean, sweep, wash the entire first floor and rearrange the furniture.  Dave, Marion and Benny and Jerry Seigal fell right in with me and in three hours of real thorough work we got things looking ship shape.

To-day I’m sweeping and washing all the floors upstairs.  The rest of the week will be devoted to wood chopping.  In the late afternoon (yesterday) Sam and I got out in the rowboat in the middle of the reservoir and took an excellent sun-bath.  After the gang left for Troy and the folks went to sleep I had an acute attacks of the blues.  I finally cried myself to sleep.  Only the extreme necessity of me being here stops me from leaving right now.  Remember if you miss me (and I know you do) just think of what in this whole world could keep me from you but a situation like this.

Most likely you received my last letter with the 10.00.  From now on you will receive money regularly without delay.

I decided that it would be best for you to continue to write me at this address because I would have to walk to the State road to get mail thus leaving my folks alone.  We are having the phone connected to-day out in Grafton so I will be informed when your letter gets here.

What’s news down in Washington?  How is the entire family?  I’m expecting a long newsy letter from you.

Everything and everyone up here is quite the same as when I wrote you last.  My driving is coming along slowly but surely.  If our car wasn’t so junky I’m sure I’d do much better.

Say, by the way, what’s news regarding Dave.  He was going to move the last I heard.  Or has he changed his mind?  Have Milton take a flock of “shots” of you and send me some.  This will be a great aid for me to make the best of my absence from you.

Darling, I love you more than anything and anyone in this whole universe, always remember that.


P.S. Regards to the whole family, comrades and friends.

Editor’s Notes: Grafton is only a half hour drive from Troy, NY – it’s a small town with lots of lakes that are mostly now all part of Grafton Lakes State Park.  The town was, and still is, a Summer tourist destination.  Izzy and Sam rowed out in the Dunham Reservoir but other than that relaxation Izzy is unable to enjoy himself.  He misses Thelma and their life together.

I do not know enough about the history of the post office to understand how Izzy would get a phone call when Thelma’s letter arrived.  He was hesitant to leave his parents alone for any amount of time so trips to the State Road (Route 2) to check for undelivered mail was considered wasteful.  Since Milton is the only one with a camera Izzy asks Thelma to have Milton take photographs of her and send them to him to ease the loneliness.

1939 May 5

May 5, 1939

Dear Thelma –

To-day is the first decent day we’ve had in over a week and even then it wasn’t too warm.  After lunch Pop, Mom and I drove out to Grafton where we spent the afternoon getting things ready for our coming out there to stay for the summer months.  It’s certainly surprising how much better Pop feels out in the mountain air.  He doesn’t cough half as much and he is “on the go” from the moment he gets there until he leaves.  Most likely the climate out there is going to help him considerably.

As I told you in my last letter my plans are (if nothing unforeseen occurs) to get my father + mother established out there and then I will try to get Rose to take over.  If she will be able to handle the job satisfactorily then I will be enabled to return.

Thelma, sweetheart, please continue to be considerate and patient with me.  Under the present circumstances there’s nothing else that can be done but what I’m doing.  Believe me, this whole business is the most trying experience in all my long life.  Your patience, darling is quite a consolation, which I will never forget.

With all the war propaganda and national hysteria being wooped up by the capitalist class thru its various agencies little wonder is it that Albaugh was heckled.  The time is not far off when it will be actually dangerous to open one’s mouth in opposition to the current of Democratic Totalitarianism.  While this treatment is nothing new to the S.L.P. it’s my opinion that our section should confine our outdoor meetings in a city other than a capitol city.  Incidentally the party’s experience bears me out or to put it properly it’s vice-versa.

That collection of $45.00 was sensational!  Keep up the good work.

Do I love my terribly lonesome sweetheart?  Well all I can say is if I were given to writing as I am to talking or love-making you would a receive a love letter so big you’d be an old lady before you finished reading it.

Darling, please write me more often and more details about yourself.

I will send you some cash Monday which you will most likely receive Tuesday or the following day.

Here’s the latest news from Troy.  Frank Kur the guy who married the Buckey girl and the brother of Kur the fender repair man who live on Division St., was slugged and killed in Philadelphia Wednesday.

How’s everyone in the family?  Anything new on the symphony matter? I’m holding my breath til I hear from you, you monkey.


P.S. Regards and best wishes to all from all. I’m crazy about you!!

Editor’s Notes: Thelma attended or maybe even helped facilitate a local Socialist Labor Party meeting and has relayed the details to Izzy in her previous letter.  The Albaugh that was heckled was probably Arla A. Albaugh, who ran for Vice President alongside Teichert on the SLP ticket in 1944 against FDR.  Is Izzy suggesting that the meetings move somewhere less visible to the opposition?  Meanwhile, the government was concerned with propaganda from Germany and Japan but also from our own countrymen; Communists and groups supposedly espousing the benefits of Totalitarianism.  People were fearful and an enemy you know is less daunting than an unknown.

The only other bit of news in this letter is about the death, or murder, of a local man.  On May 2, 1939 Frank Kur was found beaten to death in his new green coup in West Fairview, across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg, not in the city of Philadelphia.  On May 6th, the Harrisburg Telegraph published more details.  Kur was on a business trip, he’d set up meetings with potential clients for the Exhibit Sales Company which he had an interest in.  He’d checked into the Alva Hotel and then had dinner at 8pm, after dinner he headed to a bar on the West Shore, of which there were many, though the coroner said there was no alcohol in his stomach.  Details between then and 1AM when he was killed were unclear and a motive was not discovered.  Most likely he was an easy target as a lone traveler and was robbed and dumped since no money was found on his body.  His wife Lilly Kur nee Buckey identified his body.  She hadn’t seen him since September but they were keeping in touch through letters.


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