Monday, March 28, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Filling up the Mediterranean, Axis to Grind, and Greta Garbo

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I transcribe a letter my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, received during the war from his brother, Ted. My grandfather was stationed in Africa. Ted worked for a Chicago newspaper, and used what was handy on which to type his letter.

MARCH 8. 1943.

Dear Martin:

Well, here I am again with the old column from the world's best newspaper. Idon't know whether or not you got the last one but I'll keep sending them outh there as long as I have some spare time on my hands. I guess I'll do like the majority of people and start out by talking about the weather. It's the tipical March variey with the winds howling and snow flying all over. I't plenty of cold too and the going is icy and slippery. I can hardly wait until Summer. We really had about five Winters all in one this year and I am plenty tired of it.

The other day Frances received the bottle of perfume you sent and boy, you really made a hit that time. She wouldn't part with it for a million bucks. She has been feeling much better lately and is her old self again full of pep and ginger. Last week they had a registration day for rationing canned food and she put in twelve hours daily for four days. That's really going some for her!

The income tax season is keeping me plenty busy. I have hade out at least a hundred of them so far and still have ten days left before the dead line. They run pretty high this year 13% surtax and 6% normal. A fellow earning around $3,000 must pay as much as three and four hundred dollars to Uncle Sam. They pay it without a squak because they know how important it is to keep the coffers filled up so that you fellows over there can keep the Mediterranean filled up with dead Nazis.

Ed is still in camp in California. He is still troubled with his flat feet and has applied for discharge under the over thirty eight age limit. I believe he will be released by the end of this month. He will be welcomed home by mother who has been all by herself since Jean got married. Newspaper work is considered essential to war work and he should not have any trouble getting his discharge.

Allen is still in Virginia and is attending Washington and Lee U. He expectes to complete his course there soon and hopes to be home for a short furlough. He has been sending me $100 every month out of his pay with which to buy war bonds. He says he will keep this up until the thing is over and there are no more axis to grind.

Wally is also in camp. He has left last December and is in training at Fort Sheridan. He makes trips home quite often end says he likes it very much. _____, his sister went to California and is living there with her husband. She does not write very often as she is working all day and between work and taking care of her husband she is kept plenty busy. This being all the scandal up to this time I will have to close as it is also near quitting time for me and I am tired and sleepy and I want to go home as Greta Garbo used to say.



1) All the typographical errors have been left as they appear.  However, for the most part it appears that is what they were.  This was in a day before electronic typewriters gave you the option of easily correcting what you had just typed.  You either left it as is, or started over again.

2) Ted gives updates on a lot of family members.  Ed and Allen were both additional brothers, and Jean was their sister.  Wally was Jean's son, and Jean's daughter is still living in California.


Anonymous said...

This was a delightful find.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I found the comments about taxes very interesting.