LaVerne “Cookie” Karbach and Frank (“Ebner”). Probably Austin High School prom, 1942

For Memorial Day weekend, I dedicate these letters to our soldiers in arms, our veterans, and all the mothers and dads and families who yearn for their safe return. This letter is from my grandmother, Lisi Gartz, responding to her son, Frank’s (“Ebner”) previous letter. Either scroll down to previous post or click here to read the few sentences Ebner shared with his mom about visiting the doctor for his eyes and sharing some bad news about thievery.

As always, I’ve kept as much of my grandmother’s original spelling and syntax, changing it only when necessary to make it understandable.


Chicago, Ill 5-26-43

My Dear Ebner

God be with you. I was very glad to get your letter (although I hope you be all right but 9 day[s] is long time for me—you know it. I hope and pray for you going to the Docter in town that everyting come out for your best. Just be brave and convinced it is the best you want.

My Dear Ebner, I feel sorry [about] how much your helmet cost [Ebner wrote in the last letter that his helmet had been stolen.]

You didn’t say one word about when you got the $10 I sent you through the telepostgram—even if you got it in the mail. I paid $1.00. Did you get all? Send me only “ok $10” and “ok $1.00). You don’t have to explain in detail about the receiving. It is better for me.

My dear Ebner, we have so [many expenses]. The fire insurance, the church, the Ebert party. [Eberts were West-siders who owned a photograph studio where most of the Gartz family photos were taken]. Allways $5.00.

I be thankful that Dad feel goot so far. You know what I try to say. You know father—he is goot, but if one expense comes after the other that is hard. [It was very hard for my grandfather to spend money when he worked sixteen or more hours a day for his earnings.]

Just now LaVerne [aka Cookie—Ebner’s Chicago girlfriend. See photo] called on the tele[phone] to ask what I [hear] from you. She send you a box with a cake for your May 14 birthday. She was worried if you got the box.

I will send your birth certificate with this letter. Please send me a cart that you recieved it.

Dear Ebner, do you know which date you be through wit your school. Father will take a 2 day vacation [and we will visit you.] So it is very important that we know when you be free to visit. Duck [this is Harvey Duck, one of Ebner’s high school best friends] is on his 7 day furlough so he was here with his friend from St. Mel’s. [St. Mel’s was on Washington Blvd. at Kildare and the Catholic Parish in our neighborhood]. He looks very good. Ebner, Please trust God. He will be with you.

All the time I be praying for you, nite and morning.


Your Ma and Pa

Original Letter