We’re following along in the diary of Lillian Koroschetz as she dates two guys: Fred and Burt. Her present quandary is whom she will marry. To start at the beginning of her amorous adventure, click on Falling in Love––70 Years Ago and scroll forward. After being “damn mad” at Fred for not asking her out New Year’s Eve, he’s back in her good graces–and they’ve dated just about every Saturday night since February, 1942.
Tuesday, March 17, 1942
Fred called me at 5:00 p.m. at work tonite and said he was coming over at 6:30. He certainly had loads of news for me.
He bought a $50.00 Ford—1930 model—from a young draftee. Five brand new tires and in very good condition. He has a new job—in Kingsbury, Indiana, as a blasting powder blender, at $57.50 per week compared to $30 per week at Lanteen.
[The new tires are worth mentioning. Rubber is rationed during the war and tires are hard to come by.]
Played piano and sang. We had loads of fun. Then went to the Marbro to see “Corsican Bros.” with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.—a marvelous picture. Didn’t get in till two.
[Mom changes to writing in Pitman shorthand again! CENSORED!]
I pray nothing will happen to him on his new job. He’ll come in every weekend.
Sunday March 22, 1942
Burt phoned at 6:00 and asked me out.
[Lil and Burt went to a friend’s house where she drank whiskey highballs. They all went together to a club called “El Rancho,” where Lil drank two Cuba Libres and danced the night away. But the drink combos made her so sleepy, Burt drove her home. She was wracked with indecision about her two beaus.]
Got in at 4:30 a.m. Terrible, isn’t it? Burt is so grand—such a gentleman, and I do enjoy being with him and also kissing him. I feel like a hussy, kissing both Burt and Fred, and here I am trying to decide—Burt or Fred? It is awful.
I love that! She feels like “such a hussy” KISSING two guys. A different era–for sure!
I pick up on something in Mom’s entries of which she herself seems to be unaware. Burt may be a “gentleman” and a “wonderful dancer,” but he seems like a cardboard cut-out compared to Fred, who’s worthy of detail! She’s never given Burt the ink she devoted Fred during their glorious summer and fall of dating in 1941. Then there’s her concern for Fred’s safety as a “blasting powder blender.”
On a subsequent date, Lil and Fred take turns making up funny couplets about their lives, and Dad throws out one related to this risky work:
If he ain’t careful, he won’t be
In the next post: “It came to me like a bolt out of the blue…”
(To start at the beginning of Lil’s adventures with Fred, see Falling In Love 70 Years Ago and scroll forward in time.)
7-17-17 ADDENDUM TO NOTE BELOW: This entry was originally posted Dec. 27th, 2011 – six years ago. This coming December 2017, will be the 107th anniversary of what follows in note below.
NOTE: This week marks the 101st anniversary Fred’s father, Josef Gärtz, began his harrowing trip to America at the age of twenty-one. He left from Transylvania by train on Christmas Eve, 1911. Destination: the port of Bremen. To read a first hand account of one immigrant’s travels click: Terror Atop the Train Threats to the Dream, Out to Sea, and Atlantic Crossing in Winter. Or just scroll forward in time.
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