Saturday, January 3, 2015

Waltham High School's Yearbook, The Mirror

It's been a very long time since this blog has been updated, but we have an exciting development!

Several yearbooks from Waltham High School have been made available online, and we were able to locate two of our letter writers, Joyce and Joany (aka "Dusty").

Sadly, the 1950 yearbook is unavailable, so we couldn't get Joyce's Senior portrait. But before we get to the girls, we can't resist posting Sal's 1947 Senior photo:
According to someone in the family, Sal earned the nickname "Coog" from the sounds he made while imitating pigeons.

In 1948, Joyce Fucci can be found representing the Sophomore Nominating Committee:

Joyce makes an appearance in the 1949 yearbook as a member of the Junior Nominating Committee:

Next, from 1949 we have the charming and vivacious Joany Morin!

It's incredible to put faces to the names and their words, and to see them exactly at the time when these letters were penned! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Letter 21, from Rosie

Ok, dear readers. Here it is. It's THE letter. Books are written in this letter. I'm not going to lie: this letter is the reason I started this blog. If you read none of the other letters, read this one. It has everything in it -- lies, truth, love, desperation, selfishness, and so much more. This letter may be the human condition. And if you read it like a monologue in an old movie, the effect is more dramatic!

137 Hancock

Well Sal I finally got up enough guts to write you and tell the truth about myself.

Hon I'm no good. I have been lying to you in every letter I wrote, giving you different reasons of why I haven't been writing –
The truth is I haven't had time because I have had to much to do during the day to get myself ready to go out at night, on dates with my girlfriends and going in town to pick up. Get that pick up sailors. And all the time I was writing to you and telling you I was staying in the house nights. Sal ever since you left I have been out every night with a different guy. I been going out with gangs to night clubs, drinking, smoking, telling every guy how much we love them.

Yes I'm that sweet little girl from Boston. Thats what they all think I am. A kid thats out only tonight, to be a queen. But actually Sal I'm a terror a no good terror. Sal I never did anything to be ashamed of yet, but if I don't settle down and keep away from these girls I go with I'll be completely no good.
Hon I never trough myself down, to any guy, I should say I don't know why I am telling you. But I won't because I do know why, Because honey it took me up until last night to realize I was really in love with you. Honey you've got to help me. I don't want to do bad and go wrong. That's the last thing in the world I want to happen to me.

Sal I know what your going to write, How am I going to help you away out here in Washington. Honey write me every day and I'll write you the same give me something to do to keep me in the house.

Sal I meant it when I said I love you. Honey I really do believe me or I wouldn't have told you all this. Baby your the only one that can advise me and set me right. Hon if you love me you'll write me every day and advise me on what to do to keep my self busy until you come home.

Well honey now I have told you all and I feel like a million dollars , free as a bird.

So honey please write soon,
I love
you, miss
you, and I'm
dying to hear from

Please excuse the spelling and writing. I'm so upset from crying and nerved up over the things I did I'm just not myself and I won't be until I hear from you.


p.s. Please love me and forgive me.

Poor Rosie! She sure has flare. What's your favorite quote from this letter?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letter 20, from Rosie

[no envelope, no date]

Hi Honey
I'm sorry for not writing sooner but I've been quite busy as my mother has been ill, and I have been staying with her. And my house work + family have kept me pretty busy, I haven't even had time to get dressed and go out.

Well honey I'm all right now and can go back to work anytime I get ready, but I have intentions of staying home for a couple of months and collect social security.

Gee Honey there isn't anything to say because I haven't been out any place to tell you about.
Hon I'll have to send you Joe's address in my next letter because it is up in my aunts house, so by the time I receive a letter from you I ought to be back there, O'K' Baby? It will have to be.

I received a bottle of Chanel perfume from one of my lover's who hasn't forgotten me on Valintines Day, He says when he gets home its going to be him and I for keeps, What have you got to say about that? I say he's crazy. I'am right an't I?

Oh honey do I miss you if you only knew. I know you thing I'm giving you a line but I'm not Sal I never knew how to be true until I met you, but I do now.
Well honey I was going too write you a comical poem but I am so tired I have all I can do too keep my eyes open so I'll save it for later.

So Honey till I hear from you
I remain Yours Until Hell
Freezes Over

p.s. Don't write anything out of the way in your letters, like having babys because my girl friends my like to read your letters if there here.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Letter 19, from Rosie

23 March 1950
Well I tried to write every day but Sat. I went to Waltham and I came home wed which was yesterday. I didn't have much time to write so I figured I'd wait until I came home. I hope your not mad + you don't think I am not keeping my word because I am. I'm going to write every day as I said.

Nothing much has happened since I wrote you last except that my cousin Tiny got married Sunday. She had a very large reception. Glo came out there with me she only stood until monday + left she hates Waltham she said its like a morgue. I agree with her the place sure is dead. Baby you said you were going to write every day and yet I haven't received one letter not one whats happened.

What's happened don't you care anymore do you want to call it quites or what? There isn't much more to say except that I hope you believe that I've changed.

Well I'll sign off now hoping to hear from you. Rosie

p.s. Have you heard from Joyce?
Write sooner than soon

Here's where I admit that the letters from Rosie are the main reason I started this blog. She is so scattered and, well, kind of crazy! But I bet she was a beauty! Here's a couple of photos from Waltham in the 1950s, so you can see the "morgue."

Monday, December 12, 2011

A letter to Sal from his mother, translated from Italian: Letter 18

           Waltham Mass 29 March 1949
Dearest son I answer immediately your letter that tells me that you are well. Greetings and I can reassure you that Gioseppina said that I wanted news from you: sure I want them, because a mother that longs for her son far away is always eager to get news. So I was happy about this letter in Italian that I read with my eyes and I thank the person who wrote it for you. I see that you go to the cinema and the boys do all those evil things but you are a good boy and I hope it is really so: do not look at the girls that do wrong things, but only to good and honest boys, understanding that honesty always prevails. Bad boys one day or the other find themselves in bad troubles and you have to be watchful [inintelligible words]. I seem unable to write correctly, instead of Antonia I write Antonio as if I was a man instead of a woman, if afterwards you wrote Antonio not them but your brother but if the name is amended write A not O is it clear? Enough now. Please let me know about your health: are you always nervous or are you better? I would like to see you always in good health, because when you were here you were quite weak, and I worry that you may not be well. You should know that we have a new Corricolo*. Your father bought it and he goes to school and now I am happy that he has the Corricolo. Please let me know whether you are coming for Easter. Let us cut now, this has been too long. I send you my very best wishes and kisses. Best regards from your brothers and sisters, from your father and again from myself. I am your mother Antonia Coraccio. Please send my very best regards to whoever wrote your nice letter. See you soon. (Hope to get) good news and a timely answer.

*A Corricolo is a kind of tilbury: a small, light horse-drawn two-wheeled carriage designed to seat a single person.

This letter, which is the background image for the Letters to Sal blog, was also received in the stack with the other letters. I have been trying to find someone to translate it, and finally that goal has been accomplished. I am happy to discover that the letter is affectionate and amusing to read. Antonia was wise to the ways of the world! Her personality shines through this letter, which is filled with news, worry, advice, and love.

Antonia was always worried about Sal's health -- he described himself as "the runt of the litter." She often fed him a medicinal elixer that Sal later realized was mostly alcohol, much to his amusement. "She sent me to school half drunk!" he used to joke. As it turns out, he listened to her advice to look after his health, and was able to live until the age of 80. Too young for those who loved him, but still much older than many sickly children. After his time in the US Navy, Sal returned to live with his mother until the age of 32. He never once said a negative word of her, and I don't think a son could love a mother more.
Antonia with her husband Salvatore Sr.

Special thanks to Claudio Di Veroli for kindly translating this family treasure!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Letter 17, from Rosie

[no envelope]
Monday 23, 50
Hi Honey
I hope you will forgive me for not writing sooner. But you see it happened like this. Our mail was being kept at the post office. Because we had no lock on our mail box + they will not leave any mail in a box unless it has a lock on it, for there have been too many checks, and other mail stolen, from mail boxes in this neighborhood.

So Sal not knowing this until this morning when we received a notice from the post office letting us know we had mail + the reason it was being kept at post office I taught you weren't writing.

So honey thats why you haven't been receiving any mail from me + all the time I taught you weren't goneing to write. Gee hon I hope you believe me because its the gods honest truth. Gosh Sal but I miss you something awful.

This town has gotten to be just like Waltham dead, thats as far as I'm concerned. There was lots to do before, such as, going dancing, skating, to the show, aboard different ships, swimming down the Y + so many other things. But none of them interest me now that I've met you. And now to top things off the doctor gave me a nice long rest, six months to be exacte, now I'll really go crazy nothing to do all day no money to go any place. I guess next time I'll know better and stay in the house and I won't keep such late hours + get all the rest I need. Now it's me and my radio if you ever hear that song think of me.

Hon since you left I have been out only four times, to the show twice and once out with the girls to the c.y.o. Bowling club and once with Sonny Hayes.

I still get phone calls to go out but I don't Eleanor will tell you when you get home.

Well hon enough about me. How are you? And how is the pencil pushing coming allong.

The pome was very cute. And about that good offer, I had plenty, but they don't interest me. There is only one I love and thats the way it will stand unless you want it any other way.

Your dream was a lula and about another picture with freckles I don't have any, But I'll see as soon as I get some money what I can do.

By the way what dose I.S.L.Y.F.E.A.A.D. stand for?
Well Honey I have to go to the store now for Eleanor.

So until I hear from you I'll be Yours Until Hell
Freezes Over

What does I.S.L.Y.F.E.A.A.D. stand for, anyway? I'd like to hear your best guesses! And what do you all make of our new letter writer, Rosie? 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Letter 16, from Rosie

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of Letters to Sal, and say that the best letters are yet to come. This letter will introduce you to Rosie, and I have to say that these are some dramatic writings. For maximum effect, read Rosie's letters aloud in the most enthusiastic Acting 101 voice you can muster!

[no envelope. Rose stationary.]
16 March 1950
Hello Kind Hearted,
Received your letter this morning and I was a bit shocked at some of the things you wrote, not that I blame you. I guess I never did do anything respectful to expect any respect from you. Honey what did you mean when you said my mom + dad had troubles when I was a kid + I was shipped out? And Hon I never let anyone take liberty of me, that's one thing I can control. When I did go out and met fellows, Sure they called again, but just too go out and have a swell time in a desent way. As far as Frankie is concerned he has made plenty of pass's but it never got him anywhere I just couldn't take to him.

And then there is Sonny I went steady with him for over 7 months he never laid a hand on me. He'll always be around to admit it too. I also have met plenty of other guys that were swell + I met guys that did try to make me put out, but they never did succeed. Sal I wouldn't put out for anyone unless I loved him + he loved me + I never met anyone I loved enough. Yes Sal I have one half decent girl chum that doesn't go in town or out with other guys she's going steady with a solder, who's away until June of 1951, so she and I are going to novena on Monday nights to the show Wed, Fri + Sun,. Monday after novena we come home to my house and watch telly, that's T.V. Tuse. Thurs. + Sat. the same. From now on I want to be a one man's girl

that's if you'll have me? Honey please send me a picture of yourself? So I can show her. By the way her name is Gloria. + she lives three streets down from me.

Tell me something Hon did you really mean it when you said as far as you were concerned it was me that was being fooled? + when you said you half expected to hear what I wrote you. Hon you say that all the guys in the navy are out for one thing, and you said you were the same, if so Sal why didn't you make a try at me? I know why because your not like the rest of them and there all not alike, am I not right?

Sal it seems as though I'm always the one who ever says how much I miss you and how I feel about you. You never once wrote telling me how you felt about me. Please Hon do in your next letter so's that I know where I stand + don't say on my feet.

Honey Eleanor received some coupons in the mail from Kays, its to have pictures taken, if you still want one. I'll send it but its a large one 9x5. Well Hon that's just about all I can think of right now so until tomorrow when I write my second dayly letter I remain.

I love you
p.s. Please write every day this is my first letter