A vintage postcard Lil sent to Fred from her visit to Milwaukee, in August, 1941—when she and Fred were in the throes of falling in love.

A vintage postcard Lil sent to Fred from her visit to Milwaukee, in August, 1941—when she and Fred were in the throes of falling in love.

After being  “Damn Mad at Fred” for not taking her out on New Year’s Eve, Lil doesn’t write in her diary for a couple months. I’ll tell you a little secret that she doesn’t write about, but I happen to know from family lore.

I’m quite sure her “damn mad” really translates to “damn hurt.” After all those wonderful dates, all that kissing, all the passionate feelings she had for Fred, I think she just couldn’t believe he’d let her down. Isn’t anger so often “hurt” by another name, the two emotions so closely intertwined?

So when Fred called the next day, to take her out to Math Igler’s, a Chicago German restaurant, she said yes. After they had danced for a while an older couple came up to them and said that every year when they went out to celebrate the New Year, they looked for a couple that they wish they could be if they were young again. That night, they wished they could be Fred and Lil.

Mom picks up her diary again in March, and opens it with a little French and Latin (she had studied French in high school and enjoyed the sound of the language.) Burt, who rescued her on New Year’s Eve, is giving Fred some competition. But maybe not as much as even Lil thinks.

Monday – March 16, 1942

Tempus Fugit, n’est ce pas? Here 2 1/2 months have flow by before I got a chance to write in my little diary again.

March 1 (Sunday) Burt took me to El Rancho Grande. We had just a wonderful time rhumba-ing. Stayed out till 3:30—we just didn’t want to go home. Had 6 Cuba Libras and they didn’t faze me a bit.

For a while I just couldn’t decide—did I like Burt or Fred better. Never thought there’d be the faintest doubt about my ever preferring Fred. I still think now that Freddie is my #1 boy. There for about a month (February) Freddie and I went out each Saturday and always had a marvelous time. Never yet had a dull time with him….

I got to feel kind of retrospective tonite. Friendships seems such a temporary thing, even the most permanent ones. You cling to many for the sake of old times, drifting into new groups who have the same interests you do, but I guess that’s life. I’d hate to be without friends….

I wonder whom I shall marry. I’m sure some day I shall for I would not like to be single forever. Up to now I certainly am glad I was single. Have had just wonderful times.

I wouldn’t want to marry Burt. I have always vowed never to marry a traveling man; life would be just too lonesome. Fred would be fine for me, I’m sure. I love him [and] am sure he loves me (although never has he said so). Still, I’d hate never to see Burt again. Some day I shall have to give up one—or perhaps they both will give me up. Who knows? Then I’ll be lonesome.

Her vow to “never marry a traveling man,” will come to have a sadly ironic ring in the next decade—an outcome she couldn’t possibly have predicted when she was dating and looking for Mr. Right.

Next week: “Explosive” News from Fred as he gets a new job and makes an exciting new purchase!