February 1945
Click on the calendar for a specific date
Highlights:
Chased-out of Parnell's
Valentine's Day
Stan returns
Dot and Sis meet Vert
George Geis

(Entries on this page were updated during July, 2017)

-

Reckless Age concerns a department store magnate's daughter who wants to make it big on her own. Laura is a film noir classic about two men's obsessions over a beautiful woman, played by Gene Tierney.


Ad from the Feb. 1, 1945 Chicago Tribune

.

Thursday
Feb. 1
1945

“Today after school, Sis and I went down 63rd and met Sunny. Then went to the Englewood and saw Laura, Reckless Age, and 5 acts of vaudeville. It was a swell show.

63rd [Street] was all blacked-out by government order.

We went and had a Coke and saw Doty and Pat. Came in about 10:15. Mom said Jim called about our party.”

Sis comments:

“We always got our money's worth at the Englewood and the vaudeville acts weren't that bad. Usually they had some comedian and a juggling act—often Chinese.

I remember the ‘blackouts’ for all the outside signs were shut off. It made the walk down 63rd Street pretty eerie. But still it was a fun experience, if you know what I mean.

And, I wanted to mention that when Dot says we had a Coke, that it was always a Cherry Coke—made from the soda fountain, fizz and all. Loved it!”

Today's News:

  • Bright Lights Dimmed Out to Save Coal
    The change in Chicago's traditional night time appearance was pronounced. The west side's brightest thorofare, Madison st., was darkened, as was the south side's “mile of brightness”—63rd st. between Cottage Grove av. and Stony Island av.
  • Hawks Meet Champions on Montreal Ice
    The Blackhawks are in Montreal this morning, dreaming what a remarkalbe thing it would be if they were able to beat the world chamption Canadiens tonight. Such a triumph wouldn't get the Hawks out of the cellar, but it certainly would make hockey history.

Notes:

  • “Blackouts” were common events in Chicago—even at this relatively late stage of the war. A resident of the Grand Crossing neighborhood (adjacent to Englewood) recalls those times in a book, The Old Chicago Neighborhood, by Neal Samors and Michael Williams: "

“I remember being a Junior Air Raid Captain—I assisted an air raid warden. Those were intriguing and eerie times because we would have to go around at night and check that people had covered their windows during the mock air raids. We would have to report people who had light showing from their windows. And planes would drop bags of white flour. If they hit anywhere on your block, then your area was considered destroyed...”

More about wartime blackouts. Information on the history of vaudeville.

“[M]any diners and drugstore soda fountains dispensed an unofficial version of Cherry Coke by adding cherry-flavored syrup to the Coca-Cola mix; Coca-Cola itself did not produce Cherry Coke until 1982, when it introduced its version to a test audience at the 1982 World's Fair. The drink then entered mainstream production in 1985.”

  • The Englewood movie theater, like the Ace, didn't publish regular ads in the Chicago Tribune that said what was currently playing.

The Englewood Theater, at 726 West 63rd Street. Today the site is a parking area for the adjacent Kennedy-King College.

.

--

.

Merle Lodding, Dot, and Sis, in 1939; Kelly High School (present day)

.

Friday
Feb. 2
1945

“Today was Friday, and was really a nice day - weather and atmosphere too. Ralph didn't call today either, but what the h---.

Sis and I went by Aggie's before we went to the dance today, and sat around til about 9:00, then headed for old Kelly Hi. Had a swell time just dancing with girls, but still I liked it. Merle and El were swell too. Came home about 12:30.

Sis comments:

Aggie was our Aunt Ag, who lived near 38th and California Avenue, with her hubby, Uncle Joe, and six kids. She was a favorite of ours, and very friendly—even to these pesty teenagers.

Merle Lodding and El, or Eleanor, were from our old, Brighton Place neighborhood.”

Notes:

  • “Old Kelly Hi” was Kelly High School at 41st & California Ave., was close to Dot's former address on Brighton Place, near 40th & Archer. Sis and Dot's younger brother, “Son” (Louis, Jr.) later attended Kelly High after Dot and Sis got married and the family had moved back to the Brighton Park neighborhood.

Today's news:

  • Hilton Deals to Buy Stevens Hotel
    The 3,000 room Stevens is known as the world's largest hotel.
  • WGN Applies for Television Station Permit
  • Supply of Pork May Be Cut in Half This Year
  • Blackhawks Tie Canadiens, 1-1
  • Weather: Partly cloudy and a high of 24 degrees.

Hit Parade this week:

  • I Dream of You - Tommy Dorsey Orchestra [listen]
  • I’m Losing My Mind Over You - Al Dexter [listen]

.

--

.


Feb. 5, 1945 TIME magazine. On the cover: Joseph Stalin. The caption reads “Facts are stubborn things”. From the article:

"A U.S. diplomat questioned a Soviet general at a recent dinner party:
U.S.: "What is Russia's present aim?"
Russian General: "To defeat our enemy."
U.S.: "What are you going to do with Poland?"
RG: "Liberate her."
U.S.: "And with Germany?"
RG: "Conquer her."
U.S.: "What will you do when you get to the Rhine?"
RG: "Take a swim."

.

Saturday
Feb. 3
1945

“Today was a busy and sickening day.

All day I was busy getting prepared for my date with Ralph, although he hadn't called. About 8:00, Helen came over, and still he didn't come.

At 9:30, Helen, Sis, Marge and I went to Parnell, had 2 Cokes and then went home. No phone call or anything.

Gosh, if he has got another girl, the least he could have done was call me and say he couldn't make it. But what did he do but spoil my whole Sat. nite including my date with Jim*. That gets me SO mad—the rat.”

Notes:
  • *Jim had asked Dot for a date, but she turned him down, because she was supposed to go out with Ralph, who'd said he wanted Dot to meet his folks.

Today's news:

  • Allied Forces Clear Rhine on 30 Mile Front
    Artillery, Planes Blast Enemy
  • London: There was every indication tonight that the fate of Germany was being decided by the Big Three somewhere east of London
  • Hollywood: Walt Disney's feature-length animated film, The Three Caballeros, has its premiere.

.

--

.


Tossed-out of Parnell on this Sunday evening were Dot, Sis, Chuck, and a “sarcastic Doty” (photo.)


Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin

Yalta Conference: Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Marshal Joseph Stalin arrive for a summit meeting on Sunday, Feb. 4th, 1945.

.

Sunday
Feb. 4
1945

Another dull day.

Got up at 10:30 and sat at home till 5:30 when Sis and I went to Parnell for a Coke. Met Doty and Chuck and talked with them for about 2 hrs.

Finally Jim [the owner of Parnell] chased us out and gosh was I ever embarrassed.

[Jim] told Sis and I not to ever come back again.

Don and Chuck said they'd come Saturday. I then went by Hal's house and stayed there for a good hour dancing.

We called up Bob P. and Jim. They both said they'd come So far so good. (Jim was kind of sarcastic.)”

Sis comments:

Boy, I sure remember this day and wonder why Dot called it a ‘dull day’. It was the first and only time I was ever chased out of a place of business.

The way I remember it, we were there so long sitting around with a couple of Cokes in a booth (they only had about four or five of them), that Jim—the owner of Parnell's—asked all of us to move out. Doty and Chuck, too, I guess, got a little sarcastic, and so Jim told us all to leave.

Dot and I were so embarrassed. I don't think the guys cared one way or another. But—we would come back to Parnell's, as you will see, and nothing more was said. I couldn't really blame Jim!”

Today's news:

  • Heart of Berlin Blasted by 1,000 U.S. Fortresses
  • Two American Columns Race to Enter Manila
    Philippine Capital hears Yanks' Big Guns
  • Reveal Yanks' Epic Hike Thru Burma Jungle
    Jap Retreat Harassed in Surprise Maneuver
  • January's Best Movies, by Mae Tinee: Hollywood Canteen, Hail the Conquering Hero, The Doughgirls, Together Again, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, Keys of the Kingdom.
  • Best-Selling Books, Fiction: The Green Years, Forever Amber, Immortal Wife, Green Dolphin Street.

.

-
.


.Ginny and Helen


LIFE magazine, Feb. 5, 1945 issue.

.

Monday
Feb. 5
1945

Today after school Sis, Ginny, Helen and I went downtown and really had a roaring time. Never laughed as much as today. Got home at 9:30.

At 10:30, Ralph called from Michael Reese Hospital. He said he had pneumonia and that he was taken to the hospital Friday morning. He was awfully sweet to me. Sometimes I wonder...”

Notes:

  • Dot had a date with Ralph for Saturday night, but he didn't show up or phone Dot until Monday night.

Today's news:

  • U.S. Army in Manila!
  • FDR, Churchill, Stalin Meet in Russia, Report
  • Bills for Slum Clearance in Legislature
  • “Since mid-December, when the first of a series of blizzards and icy gales lashed at their overloaded lines, the [rail]roads had done more than their usual best to clear the tracks. But main-line trains slowed to a crawl: the crack Twentieth Century Limited was ten and a half hours late on one scheduled run of 17 hours from Chicago to New York City.” —TIME magazine, Feb. 5, 1945

Birthdays:

  • Hank Aaron is 11 years old today


Ralph called Dot today from Michael Reese Hospital, 29th St. near the lakefront, telling her he had pneumonia.

.

-
.


This may not be the one Dot says she painted on this day. But in any case, it's my mother's, and it hangs in my hallway.


Whelan's Drug Store, at 63rd & Halsted


Dot's aunt Marge worked at the Morrison, which in 1945 was the world's tallest hotel, at 45 stories. It was also the first building outside New York City to have 40 floors. The Chase Bank (formerly First National Bank) building occupies the site today.

.

Tuesday
Feb. 6
1945

Today after school, I put on my slacks and checked shirt and did the stairs for Mom. Then after supper, Sis, Marge and I went to the drug store for some Coke, then came home. Betty came over and I painted quite a bit.

About 9:30, Ralph called and we talked awhile. He still is as sweet as ever—I think...”

Sis comments:

Dot probably wore a flannel, plaid shirt, which was not usually part of our wardrobe.

Betty lived next door in the same duplex building where Hal lived. Her maiden name was Callahan—I can't remember her married name. Her hubby was in the Air Force, and she had a little boy about the same age as Lee (Aunt Marge's boy).

Marge and Betty were inseparable and even worked together at the Morrison Hotel, downtown. Betty was real short and Marge was about 5'9" with the high heels she usually wore. Mom used to say they looked like Mutt and Jeff. (And who are they? you might ask!)”

Notes:

  • My mother was an artist at heart (as was Sis). She continued painting after I was born. She even took up Japanese brush painting, via a course on TV, in the late 1950s.
  • The drug store where the gang went for Coke was quite possibly Whelan Drugs, at the corner of 63rd and Halsted, next door to the Ace theatre.

Today's news:

  • Dirt Mixture Helps to Clear Streets of Ice
    This made it possible for the glaze of ice covering the city to melt as the temperature rose to 32 degrees.
  • 37th American Submarine is Reported Lost
  • Major [Leagues] Map Game Plan to Check Gambling

Birthdays:

  • Bob Marley was born in Jamaica today; Screenwriter/director George Romero is five years old; feminist Betty Friedan is 24.

-
.
Marge

.

Wednesday
Feb. 7
1945

Today, Wednesday, was a very dull day.

I washed my hair and did most of my homework. Mom's club ladies came over, so Marge, Sis and I stayed in the kitchen gabbing. Went to bed at 2:00.”

Notes:
  • My mother saying she did “most” of her homework gave me a laugh.
  • Dot's mom (my grandmother, Pauline) obviously was part of a women's group of some kind, although I don't know what. Dot never mentions it again in her diaries.

Today's news:

  • Germany Reports Russians 30 Milles from [Berlin.]
  • American Bombs Blast Corregidor
  • Prices Going Up for 5 Items in OPA Food List
    Increases include spinach, up 2 cents a pound to 13-1/2 cents; California-Arizona oranges at 11 cents a pound.

-
.
Dot's friend, Helen Romanelli, celebrated her 16th birthday today.

.

Thursday
Feb. 8
1945

Helen's birthday was today, so Ginny, Lillie, Sunny and I went together to the party. We really had a swell time. Pete and Mickey were there, and a couple of her aunts and uncles, too. We danced, etc., and I really acted very slap-happy—reason unknown. Mickey and Pete took us home. Mickey kissed me twice, very nice.”

Sis comments:

I remember the party for Helen, but not Mickey and Pete.”

Notes:

  • Helen turns 16 today. I'm guessing the party was held at her house, at 508 W. 56th Street.
  • No information about Mickey and Pete, other than that Mickey kissed my mother twice.

Today's News:

  • Big Three Map Hitler's Finish
  • Washington: Gen. MacArthur's ‘on to Tokyo’ cry has given rise to speculation … that he may well get from president Roosevelt the assignment to invade Japan.
  • London: Five million Jews who came under axis domination in Europe have perished, [said the] president of the newly formed Jewish Dominion of Palestine league.
  • Fine Portrayal of Family Life: If you may suspect you're getting to be what we call a little ‘stuffy’ as a parent—go to see ‘National Velvet,’ the recently released movie.
  • Babe Ruth Hits 51st: The big guy is creepoing up on the record of 60 he set in 1927, but this time the measuring stick is years, not home runs.
  • Robinson Just Another Boxer, Says [George] Costner
    Will meet [Sugar Ray] Robinson next Wednesday night in Chicago Stadium

Birthday:

  • Actor Nick Nolte is four years old.

 

-
Dad (Louis)

.

Friday
Feb. 9
1945

“Friday. Sunny came over and we sat around listening to the radio and had a gay old time. She stayed overnight. Also asked Dad about our party, and he answered with a weak ok.”

Sis comments:

How could Dad ever give a "weak ok" with his booming voice??"

Notes:

  • My mom's Valentine's Day party is tomorrow, Saturday, but she isn't asking her dad about it until now, on Friday?
  • Louis, Dot's dad and my grandfather, did have a booming, gravelly voice (maybe due to his cigar smoking.) “Grampa” was always cheery and jovial with us kids... I can't remember him ever getting angry.

Today's news:

  • Washington: Creation of an all powerful intelligence service to spy on the postwar world… is under consideration. Ostensibly the purpose of the super-intelligence unit is to spy on America's neighbors thruout the world.
  • Phone as You Ride! It's New Chicago Step: Several cars equipped with telephones are touring Chicago streets getting perfect service with the dial system.
  • Auditorium [theater's] Owners Eager to Help Save It
  • Jack Benny Recovers: Jane Wyman will join the troupe…tomorrow night at the servicemen's center No. 3, 49th st. and Wabash; Sunday they will broadcast from the Glenview Naval Air Station.

On the Radio:

  • 7pm: The Aldrich Family; 7:30pm: Duffy's Tavern, The Thin Man; 8pm: It Pays to Be Ignorant; 8:30pm: People Are Funny; 9pm: Amos n' Andy; 9:30pm: Stage Door Canteen.

Birthday:

  • Actress Mia Farrow, born to director John Farrow and actress Maureen O'Sullivan; actor Joe Pesci is two years old.

-


In front are Sis (left) and Ginny Merigold. Behind them, left to right, Lil Strutzenberg, Jim Parks, Dot, Hal Totten, and Helen Romanelli.


Bob Dusold came to Dot's Valentines party at 11:30 pm.

.

Saturday
Feb. 10
1945

“Today was Saturday and the day of our Valentine party. Sis, Sunny and I were kept quite busy.

At 8:00, Ginny came and then Chuck and Doty and then Totten and Jim. Helen came later, then Sunny, and at 11:30, Bob Dusold. We had a swell time dancing, eating and playing games and pool.

Jim gripes me. The pool table was more important than me.

Party broke up at 2:30 a.m.”

Notes:

  • This confirms that there was a pool table in the house, probably down in the unfinished basement.

Today's News:

  • London: A mighty force of 1,300 American heavy bombers…faced the greatest challenge of German jet planes today. Germans… sent up jet propelled Messerschmitt 262s which flashed in and out of the bomber formations.
  • Haymarket Riot Survivor: Herman Kruger, 86, one of the last two survivors of [Chicago's] Haymarket riot of 1886, died yesterday.
  • Wise Parents Tolerant with Adolescents: They must try to take all that happens without hurt feelings… altho that does not mean that all mannerliness on the part of teenagers should ‘go by the board.’

This week's Hit Parade:

-


Hal Totten, Dot's good friend and next door neighbor


This evening, Dot and Sis went to the Olympia to see Sing, Neighbor, Sing, and Death Valley Man Hunt.


.

Sunday
Feb. 11
1945

Today, Sunny and I got up at 11:00 and dressed and ate as we were eating. Totten came over and I gabbed with him awhile. He asked me to go skating with him next Saturday.

About 7:30, Ginny came over. She was going skating with Pete, and she asked if I'd go along, with Mickey. I told her I couldn't cause Sis and I were going to go to the Olympia, and then by Sunny's house. I wanted to, though.

We went to the show and then came home and ate. Had a long talk concerning males. Mainly Ralph.

Today's News:

  • Germans Fear Occupation to Last Until 2000
  • Big B-29 Fleet Drops Bombs on Tokyo for Hour
  • Reds Will Keep Yanks Abroad, Shafer Warns: A wave of communism that will engulf most of the nations of Europe will keep American soldiers on duty long after the close of hostilities with Germany [said] Rep. Shafer [R., Mich.] at the Hotel Sherman.
  • Meat to Vanish By Midsummer, Officials Warn

Notes:

-




In And Now Tomorrow, a doctor invents a cure for deafness. Romantic complications ensue.

.

Monday
Feb. 12
1945

Today we got up at 10:30, got dressed, and went downtown. When we got there, we didn't know what to do, so we just looked around and then went to Hillman's Cafeteria and ate a spread. Sunny treated.

We took an L and went to the Southtown and saw And Now Tomorrow and 3 is a Family. After that, Sunny, Sis and I went for a Coke at Parnell's and then Sis and I went home, ate supper, and sat around”

Notes:

  • The Lincoln's birthday national holiday was celebrated on Feb. 12 at this time, rather than on Presidents Day, as it is now.

Today's news:

  • Railways Study Modernization of Terminals
    Escalators are planned for at least one termnal, the La Salle st. station, in connection with the west side subway, a post-war project.
  • 15,982 Watch Hawks' Rally Beat Leafs, 2-1
    First Two Game Winning Streak

Birthday:

  • Basketball star Bill Russell's 11th birthday

-

Dot had two phone calls from two guys while she was out, said Dot's mom, Pauline (pictured.)

.

Tuesday
Feb. 13
1945

After school, Helen came home with me and we sat around discussing Doty. I led her up to 59th and came home.

Sis and I went to the library. Marge, Sis and I went for stationery down 63rd at about 8:15. Also went to Parnell's for a Coke.

Got home at about 9:00. Mom said Leonard called and also someone who said he was Mickey's brother. Oh well, leave it to me not to be home.”

Notes:

  • Sis could not recall who “Leonard” was, and he doesn't appear again in Dot's diaries.

Today's news:

  • Big Three Set Terms-Give Slice of East Poland to Russia: Powers Will Occupy Separate Zones of Conquered Land
  • Transit Plans Show Signs of New Life: One plan is for the city to purchase the lines and operate them as a municipal property.
  • Phone Waiting List in Chicago Exceeds 35,000

-


St. Martin's Catholic Church

Photo via Chicago's Englewood Neighborhood
by Maria Lettiere Roberts and Richard Stamz


.

Wednesday
Feb. 14
1945

Dear diary: I guess today must have been the goofiest day in the year. I was bored to tears.

Today was Ash Wednesday, so Ginny and I went to church after school for benediction.

Later in the evening, I put on my chartreuse blouse with the black ribbon thru it. Marge, Sis and I went for a walk and came home shortly.

Got two letters from George Geis.

Notes:

  • Dot and Ginny may have visited St. Martin's Catholic Church, 59th & Princeton, for benedictions on this Ash Wednesday. Opened in 1894, and now known as Chicago Embassy Church.

Today's News:

  • Budapest Won By Reds After 49 Day Battle
    110,000 Nazis Seized, 49,000 Killed: Russians
  • Arab Leaders Meet Today to Shape League
    Observers in the middle east believe the possibility of the European war ending soon has spurred the movement toward an Arab renaissance.
  • Army Will Build WAC Barracks in Burnham Park

Birthday:

  • Actress Florence Henderson, 11 years old

 

-


Stan Jennings; the Sullivan brothers, and scenes from the movie, The Fighting Sullivans.

U.S. Navy photo

.

Thursday
Feb. 15
1945

Well, today was quite a day.

At school, Helen said she'd come over in the evening. I washed my hair and put it up at about 4:00. Then I got dressed and combed it out at 6:15.

About 7:00, the doorbell rang and who should be there but Stan, my god! I just about fainted. He had a gorgeous, brown pencil-striped suit on and oh, he looked swell. But we didn't have very much to say to each other. I guess I should have started apologizing for my actions of '44, but he left shortly and said he would write me a few lines.”

Sis comments:

‘Stan’ was Stan Jennings, one of Dot's first, serious boyfriends. He was a Merchant Marine when she dated him. He came from Waterloo, Iowa.

I remember him telling us about the Sullivan brothers, who also lived in Waterloo, and were his neighbors. The brothers, all five, were on the same ship when it sanked. A movie was made about their lives and I believe a ship was named in their honor. As you may already know, after this event, they did not put brothers together on any ship.”

Notes:

  • I talked with Stan Jennings on the phone, in about 1998. He actually remembered the dress Dot wore as she answered the knock on the door on this long-ago Thursday..
  • What Dot's “actions of '44” might have been, I don't know. My guess is that she broke up with Stan, and that perhaps Stan took it badly. I didn't ask him about it.
  • The Sullivan brothers' ship, the Juneau, was struck by a Japanese torpedo, and quickly sank. Eight days later, ten crew members were rescued at sea. These survivors reported that Frank, Joe, and Matt Sullivan died instantly, Al drowned the next day, and George survived for four or five days. (More information here and here.)

Today's News:

  • Army to Hang Two Nazi Spies: Before the sentences can be carried out, they will be reviewed.
  • 10 Nazi Centers of Industry Hit By 8,000 Planes: This around the clock bombardment, one fo the greatest of the war, was aimed at the vital fuel and communications target of Dresden.
  • Ray Robinson K.O.'s Costner in 1st Round: 20,193 spectators—Chicago's largest professional boxing crowd in 13 years—saw the veteran Robinson knock out Costner in 2 minutes and 55 seconds.

-

Dot and Bob Karpus

.

Friday
Feb. 16
1945

“Got a card from Bob K. today. I didn't go to school. Felt lousy all day.

At about 7:30, Helen came over. We went to Parnell, but didn't see Doty.

Then we went to Kelly Hi. We danced, and two fellows cut-in. One was Vic, from St. Rita's. Very nice.

A little while later, I danced with a guy named Jack. Discharged from the army, and can he dance. Taught me how to jitterbug a little. But he's 20.”

Sis comments:

“Bob K. [Karpus] and Dot were an item a couple of years ago when we lived on Brighton Place. He was a brother to our Uncle Joe and Aunt Ag. Bob lived upstairs of them.

When we baby-sat for their kids, Bob hoped to make a “hit” with Dot. She really liked his older brother, Tom, a lot but Tom paid no attention to Dot or any younger gal at that time. So I think Dot might have strung Bob along for awhile, hoping Tom would notice! But no such luck!

Bob later married Sunny, but that's another story...

The guys really all got shifted-around from one gal to another, and they eventually became Mr. & Mrs.! There was Dot & Bob, Bob Plant & Louise, Bob Plant & Ginny, Vert & Dot, Vert & Louise, Sunny & Bob...”

Notes:

  • Bob Karpus was serving in the Merchant Marine.
  • Dot, Sis, Merle and Eleanor had previously gone to Kelly High School for a dance on Feb. 2.
  • Looks like my mom was feeling a lot better by the time of the dance. But even tho she liked dancing with Jack, at 20, he was a little too old for her.

Today's news:

  • U.S. Fleet Attacks Japan; 1,500 Planes Smash Tokyo
  • West Suburbs Vote 2 to 1 for Prisoner Camp
  • New York: A new flying instrument robot brain… figures out longitude and latitude mile by mile as a plane flies and shows them on the pilot's instrument board.

-

Marge

Just one idea of how Dot's “Three Graces” sundae may have looked to her.

.

Saturday
Feb. 17
1945

“Got up at noon and went down 63rd with Sis. Came home, dressed and sat around til late, then went to Parnell with Sis and Marge and had a 3 Graces. Luscious, ummm... Got home, read the papers, ate, and listened to the radio. Went to bed about 1:45.”

Sis comments:

The 3 Graces was a special banana split we didn't indulge in too often, for it was kind of rough on our limited budget. But the fact that we were with Aunt Marge means she probably treated. She was always glad to get a break from "the kid" (Mom watched him), and liked to hang out with us once in awhile. We had fun, too, being with her. She was like our older sister.

Back to the 3 Graces. I think it got its name because of the three scoops of ice cream. Boy, it was piled-high with all kinds of fattening goodies. What a delicious memory!”

Notes:

  • The “Three Graces” ice cream creation might have gotten its name from any one of a number of historic works of art.

Today's news:

  • Planes Smash Tokyo Again
  • Fresno, Calif.: Unidentified assailants fired into the home of a recently returned Japanese-American family.
  • Bombers Blast Jap Bridges in Burma as Allied Troops Gain
  • Hitler, Himmler Decree Martial Law for Reich
  • 10 Degrees Forecast in Cold Wave Expected Today
  • On the radio: Danny Kaye Show (7pm); Truth or Consequences (7:30pm); Your Hit Parade (8pm); National Barn Dance (10pm.)

Above photo from today's Chicago Tribune: Pupils of Kelly High school, after having brought waste paper to school in conveyances ranging from horse-drawn wagons to baby carriages, load a large truck with the proceeds of their campaign.

 

-

Pauline (Dot's mom), with Smitty, in about 1934

On this Sunday evening, Sis and Dot visited Ginny, who Dot says is still “quite sick.”

 

.

Sunday
Feb. 18
1945

Sunday, and very quiet. Wrote George [Geis] a letter.

Later in the evening, Helen came over and also Ceil and Smitty and kids. Later on, Helen, Sis and I went to Parnell's, then went to Ginny's. She is still quite sick.

We then went back to Parnell's. Came home about 10:00. The folks went out and we watched the kids. Went to bed at 2:30. Ceil and Smitty stayed all nite.”

Sis comments:

Ceil and Smitty were related, in a distant fashion, to Dad's belated sister Elizabeth. They originally were from New Jersey and later moved to the [Chicago] North Side. They and their two kids usually stayed overnight when they visited us.

Ceil was a lot of fun and friendly. But Smitty ate everything in sight and had the most annoying laugh you ever heard!

I could write a book about their visits. In fact, I wrote a paper in my 8th grade English class about them. I called it ‘The Nuisance Family’. It received an "E" [Excellent] as a mark. My teacher thought it was pure fiction!”

Best-selling books in Chicago this week:

  • Fiction:
    Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor
    The Green Years, A.J. Cronin
    Immortal Wife, Irving Stone
    Green Dolphin Street, Elizabeth Goudge
    The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas
  • General:
    American's Guide to the Peace, Sumner Welles
    Dear Sir, Juliet Lowell
    Caesar and Christ, Will Durant
    Time for Decision, S. Welles
    Try and Stop Me, Bennet Cerf

Today's news:

  • U.S. Flag Over Corregidor!
  • [Mayor] Green and [Gov.] Kelly Agree On Public-Owned Transit Lines
  • Rome: An exhortation to discourage a movement in Italy to institutue divorce laws is contained in a sermon by Pope Pius XII
  • That Vacation in Chicago? This May Be Year Thoughts of thousands of Chicagoans [have] turned to vacation plans and to the problems which the gasoline and rubber restrictions and the official ban on unnecessary travel have created.
  • Party is Held for Somerset Maugham On His 70th Birthday

-

Dot's younger brother, Lou (Sonny), in 1944

Ad from the Feb. 19 issue of LIFE magazine for Chevrolet engine production, featuring two war workers who happen to be women.

.

Monday
Feb. 19
1945

Today I got up late, so couldn't go to school. Sis and I later on went all the way to Sunny's house, but she wasn't home. So we froze but good, and came home.

Later in the evening, Sis, Sonny and I went to Parnell's and then came home about 8:30. Marge said Snook's brother called, and he had asked if it would be ok if he came over tomorrow. Marge said sure—to come at 7:30.

Then, at 9:30, who should call but dear, old Ralph, sweeter than ever. He wanted to come over tomorrow. But I said I didn't know.”

Sis comments:

No idea who "Snook" or his brother could be.”

Notes:

  • “Sonny” is Dot and Sis' younger brother, Louis, or Lou. He was just 8 years old at this time.
  • Dot hadn't heard from “dear, old Ralph” for almost two weeks—since Friday, Feb. 6.

Today's news:

  • 30,000 U.S. Marines Invade Iwo Island; Bag 509 Planes at Tokyo!; Savage Battle Rages for Jap Base
  • Gandhi Warns of New War if India Isn't Free
  • Red Drive Brings Victory In Sight: Field Marshal Montgomery… asserted today, “We now have come to the last, and final round, and we want to go for a knockout blow.
  • 38 Percent Less Meat for Public This Quarter; More Cuts Due
  • Birthdays: Musician Smokey Robinson is five years old.
  • Weather: High today, 28; Low tonight, 18.

-

Vertus and Dot. They had their picture taken, and a souvenir coin stamped, on the night of Feb. 20, 1945

.

Tuesday
Feb. 20
1945

Today, Tuesday, got home from school and did my chores. Then about 4:30, Ralph called up and said it was ok about tonight. He said he'd call up Weds. and come over Thurs.

At 8:00, Vertus (Sailor S1/C) came over. He's 20, 6-ft., and very nice. We danced and talked, then went for a walk—a long one, and I just about met everyone: Janice, Red, Chuck, Don, etc. He acted awfully silly, tickling me and teasing. We had our pictures taken, came back home, danced, ate, and necked til 2:30 a.m. Wow!! He leaves for overseas again tomorrow. Nice life.

Sis comments:

Not much I can add to Dot's date with Vertus! I do remember when he came over and I answered the door. He even flirted with me—a 15-1/2-year-old, for shame! Typical sailor!”

The stamped, metal coin and the photo were probably from a place on 63rd Street that had all sorts of vending machines, a photo studio (instant), and even a recording studio. Aunt Marge used to go in there every so often to make a record to send overseas to her husband. Us girls recorded a few silly songs occasionally. Sure wish I still had them, they were a riot!”

Notes:

  • Vertus is Lillie's brother.
  • This is the day my aunt Louise met Vert, her future husband (and my future uncle), despite that it's my mother who has the first date with him.

Today's News:

  • Taking Iwo, Says Nimitz; 20,000 Marines Landed; Losses Considerable
  • Biggest B-29 Raid Hits Tokyo
  • Cubs Begin to Think About Spring Drills

-

.

.

Wednesday
Feb. 21
1945

Today was a customary dull Wednesday. I stayed around home and Helen came over about 7:30. So we went for a walk in the rain, came home and washed my hair. Then us girls sat around talking.”

-

A 1945 ad for Connie Casuals, "Fashioned of high quality gabardine", $5 per pair.

(from All American Ads-the 40s, edited by Jim Heimann. )

.

Thursday
Feb. 22
1945

We didn't have any school today, so Sis and I went downtown to try and get some shoes.

Came home at about 3:00. Sunny was over, so we had a swell time.

Marge said Ralph had called and said he'd be over at 7:30. Well, AGAIN I waited around. He called up at 7:30 and said he'd be a little late. He was late all right. In fact, he didn't show up at all. Big joke—ha ha. That MAN.”

Notes:

  • Today is Washington's birthday, a national holiday.
  • Dot's got the shoes... will Ralph get the boot?

Today's news:

  • Born today: Pop singer Oliver (Good Morning Starshine).

-

Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945




Top: In The Conspirators, a Dutch freedom fighter tries to escape Nazis; Above, Benny Goodman joins Lynn Bari to sing “Hey Bub” from Sweet and Low-Down.


1945 newsreel (9 min.) describing the battle for Iwo Jima.

.

Friday
Feb. 23
1945

Dear diary: Today, Sis and I decided not to go to the dance*, so instead went to the Englewood show and saw, The Conspirators and Sweet and Lowdown. We really had a swell time in the show, laughing at every little thing.”

Notes:

  • *Dot is probably referring to the regular Friday night dance at Kelly High School. She went there on Feb. 2nd & 16th.

Today's news:

  • During the battle for Iwo Jima, the United States Marines reach the top of Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the island. The photo of the U.S. flag being raised would later win a Pulitzer Prize. Over 25,000 American and Japanese will ultimately lose their lives in the fighting.
  • The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by American forces.
  • Pforzheim, Germany, is completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.

-

Sis and Dot, about 1933

.

Saturday
Feb. 24
1945

Today was a gorgeous Saturday. The ice is all melted and gosh, like Spring.

Helen and I went down 63rd. Came home and then about 7:00, Helen came over again and we started to go to Parnell's. We met Ginny and Lillie coming over my house with their dolls for our Christening.

We had a Coke in Parnell's and then came home and had a swell Christening. But we all giggled through the whole thing.

Sunny came over at 11:30 and we walked Ginny & Lil home.”

Sis comments:

Can you imagine girls our age having a doll Christening? I think it was originally Aunt Marge's idea. She was the "priest". She sprinkled water on the dolls as we named them. Mom thought we were nuts!! Had fun though, and this day is fresh in my mind even to this day.”

Today's news:

  • Egypt & Syria declare war on Nazi Germany.

-

Helen

.

Sunday
Feb. 25
1945

Today was another lovely day. Sis, Sunny and I went to Minuet's, then to Parnell's, and then I came home.

About 7:30, Helen came over and we went to Parnell's, and who should be there but Don, who completely ignored her.

Then Swims, Herb Roberts and a few others came in and sat near us talking as filthy as ever. Bill started asking about Stan. Herb told them he knew me, and how much I was worth. Bill told me Stan wasn't chummy because he's married to Evie.

I hate Bill for making a fool of me in front of everyone.”

Sis comments:

Helen... still carrying the torch for Don and she never hid the fact. Probably played their song over and over on the juke box, too.

I think 'Swims' was Bill Swims. I never liked any of that bunch—Swims, Herb Roberts, etc.”

Today's news:

  • Turkey declares war on Germany.

-

Lil, Sis, and Dot

.

Monday
Feb. 26
1945

Today was a nice Monday although it was pretty cold outside. After school, Sis and Lillie went to Spiegel's for a job.

About 6:30, Sunny came over and we went to the library. She joined up. Later on, Sis came home so we went to Parnell's and had a hot chocolate and a Coke. There wasn't anyone special in there. Sunny went home and so did Sis and I.”

Sis comments:

Lil and I started working at Spiegel's, near 35th and Halsted Streets. Later, Dot would work there, too, and then I had to lie about my age because Dot and I couldn't be sisters so close in age. I said I was 16, and that Dot and I were cousins living in the same house. However, they were so desperate for help that I really think they couldn't have cared less.”

Notes:

  • Lil is the sister of Vertus, who Dot had a date with—and who Sis met for the first time—last Tuesday, Feb. 20.
  • Spiegel's, with company headquarters on 35th Street, was one of the largest and most successful clothing mail-order businesses in the country at this time. (More information here and here.)

Today's news:

  • Born on this day in 1945: Mitch Ryder (Devil With a Blue Dress), race car driver Peter Brock.

-

This week's issue of Time magazine, featuring "Nimitz of the Pacific: Naval arithmetic has brought him to Japan's front yard."

The New Pictures: Objective, Burma! (Warners) is a practically book-length (2 hr. 22 min.) tribute to the U.S. paratroops. At the rate Errol Flynn & Co. knock off the Japanese, it may make you wonder why there is any good reason for the war to outlast next weekend. On the other hand, you may be too excited to bother with such thoughts. Some three dozen paratroopers, led by Major Flynn, are dropped in the jungle to find an enemy radar station whose destruction will aid the airborne reinvasion of Burma. They succeed almost too glibly, liquidating Japs so thoroughly that not one survives to shoot back, or even squirm.”

.

Tuesday
Feb. 27
1945

Dear diary: Helen got out after 8th period, so we came home together discussing Doty and George Geis. Then I took care of Baby Lee while Mom and Marge were out.

About 5:45, Totten came over with his school books intending to ditch Civics class and stay by my house. He did, and we had more fun playing records and looking at snapshots.

At 7;30, Helen came over, but Totten wouldn't go home. He just hung around. Helen and I went to Parnell's. No one was in.”

Sis comments:

Didn't I tell you before that Totten could be quite a pest?!!”

Notes:

  • Although my mother taped the newspaper clipping about George Geis to her March 1st diary page, she evidently knew what had happened to him by this time.
  • "Baby Lee" is Marge's 15 month-old son, and Dot's cousin. (Marge's husband, Lee, is in the military.)

Today's news:

  • Born on this day in 1945: actor Carl Anderson (stage and screen Jesus Christ Superstar)

-


1945 ad for Pepsodent toothpaste-with Irium. “Use Pepsodent twice a day; See your dentist twice a year.”

From All American Ads-the 40s,
edited by Jim Heimann.

.

Wednesday
Feb. 28
1945

Today I didn't go to school cause I suffered all night with the darndest toothache; in fact, still am.

Later in the day, Helen dropped in, so we chatted about different things.

There's no place like 63rd.”

Sis comments:

Dot seemed to have a lot of trouble with her teeth. I remember her having a swollen jaw several times. She wasn't too crazy about going to the dentist, but then who is?!”

Today's news:

  • Super Fortresses Burn Out 240 Tokyo Blocks
  • 55 Cents an Hour Pay Minimum Gets Approval
  • New Railroad Marvel Shown by the Tribune
    The Tribune today will place on public displa the first three aluminum box cars built in the United States.
  • Two From Chicago Recognized in Iwo Flag Photo
  • Washington: The state department was accused today of serving as a “propaganda agency” for Stalin


Illustration from the Chicago Tribune, Feb. 28, 1945

Today's diary entry

< Previous month | Next month >

Comments? Please send an email

contents of this diary © 2018 www.dhdd.net Reproductions and reprints by permission only