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.


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