Jan 12 1939

Thursday, January 12, 1939

Dear Thelma,

Just as soon as I got back home after taking you to the station last Friday, I wrote you a letter in which I enclosed a few items.  First there was a letter from Leo and Marion and a card from Milton.  Then I sent you Lester’s write-up and my unemployment insurance card.  I gave this letter to Mrs. Rothstein to mail for me.  When I saw her again Sunday evening over here I asked her if she mailed my letter to you.  She said she did.  It is now pretty near one week and I haven’t received a reply to that letter.  Write me on this matter.

The reason I didn’t answer your last letter was that I expected a reply to my letter to you so that I could reply to both at once.  It was pleasing to hear that you had a pleasant trip home, also that the S.L.P. lecture came off in such fine condition.  By the way, Rose took care of those blanks for Marion.  Did she receive them?

Tuesday Sam and Dave decided to go over to Pittsfield to buy a couple of suits at a place which was going out of business.  They wanted me to go along.  It was a very fine sunny day so we dressed up my father very warm and took him along also.  At Lebanon, Dave took us to a very famous warm spring where we all drank water which is considered to have curative elements.  All in all it was the only good day my father has had in a week.  He is constantly getting weaker from loss of weight and there is nothing to be done about it.  Everything he eats comes back up when he coughs.  I got him to cut down on smoking but he refuses to quit altogether.  I haven’t given up the hope of convincing him to quite smoking.

Sweetheart, I am so lonesome for you that I can hardly find words to express it.  There’s positively nothing I can do but to do what I am doing, tho my heart is in Washington.  When I have seen that my father is taken care of, then my mother + Rose are next.  I am getting better results with them.  As much as I would like to be by your side, hugging + kissing you, my duty here will keep me here for sometimes yet.  Please take good care of yourself.  All this trouble must pass over eventually then I will be your shadow.

Please extend my best regards to the whole family and the comrades.

Issy

P.S. Write me soon.

Editor’s Notes: When Izzy says he went “home” after dropping Thelma off at the station, he’s referring to his family’s home in Troy.  He is still there taking care of his aging father and expects to be there a while longer.  Once his father is stable he plans to then take care of his mother and Rose, whom I believe is his younger sister.  Thelma must have come to Troy to visit and is now back in D.C.  

lebsprings.jpgSam and David are Izzy’s brothers and they all take the father along on a shopping trip to Pittsfield, MA.  Along the way they stop in New Lebanon, NY, home to the supposed founder of hydrotherapy and his therapeutic baths and health center.  The Lebanon Springs Mohican Blessing Fountain was erected in 1940 but the water has been consumed and bathed in since 1756.  The Shaker Swamp Conservancy has more articles about the native history of the area.

Cigarette use did not peak until the 1950s but was on a quick incline after the Great Depression and during World War II.  In the 1930s there were academic articles on the health effects of smoking (ie: fatigue, addiction, allergic reactions) but it was not until the 1940s that cigarette use was more prominently linked to respiratory and circulatory effects. (citation)

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