Monday, March 7, 2011
Letter 5, from Joan
[post marked Boston, Mass. Mar 19, 1949 9:30pm to Sal Coraccio S.M., M.S. Naval Barracks, West Potomac Park, Washington D. C. Group of letters in envelopes with days of the week inside. Also inside: one small leaf.]
[1 of 5. Written March 13, 1949]
Hi You all,
This is sort of a bad news letter. Waltham lost the finals of the Tech Tourney last night. They won they're first two games, East Boston and Quincy, and then dubbed out to Sommerville. They felt pretty bad about it.
Enough of the crying over spilled milk. I just went to the movies tonight. I saw “Enchantment.” It was wonderful. Have you seen it? Of course, practically any movie is good to me. Going to the shows is one of my favorite pastimes (next to walking
Aha! Woke up with strawberry lipstick did you? It must have been someone else you dreamed about because I don't wear strawberry. (double sirup)
It's really beautiful out tonight. The stars are shining in their full glory. (quite poetic eh. What?)
Glad my letter pepped you up, bet you say that to all your pen pals.
Gee, Sal, I'm awfully sorry I lost your rubbers, but I'll look real hard for them. They must be around here someplace.
By the way, my hair is in its full glory now (100 stroked every night.) It shines like a light. So does my nose. As long as you're sitting there doing simply nothing wanna brush it for me? (my hair that is). If me falls asleep just slap me and me will wake up soon nuff.
Don't worry bunnykins I haven't forgotten your picture. I'll send it out soon. I've been so busy, why do you know I had a big colored one made for my Dad and I haven't even sent it to him? My Dad is in California you know in case you're
wondering why on earth I'm sending him a picture.
Easter will soon be here. Got myself a new zoot suit with a reet pleat. It's really sharp. (Even though it has no pleat and is'nt zooty.)
Me is getting tired now and when me gets tired me gets silly so I better say so long for now? Besides gotta get up and go to Mass early tomorry.
This is one of the letters my sister Tina and I read aloud to Sal. However, as you can imagine, we had not had much sleep and were, let's say, not ourselves. So, when I got to the word "rubbers," I stopped, and considered it to mean quite a different thing than Joan meant in her letter. Mortified, I handed the letter to my sister, and said, "You read it!" But she, too, stopped, and awkwardly avoided the word, replacing it with "prophylactic." I don't think she finished reading the entire letter, and moved on to another one. Now, if we had just read the word "rubber," we could have all had a good laugh at the fact that Joan of course meant "rubber rain boots" (aka galoshes), and not a form of birth control.
Our temporary amnesia as to the alternate meaning of the word "rubber" only occurred to me weeks later, after Sal had passed away, but I had a good chuckle nonetheless, knowing that it's just the sort of comedy of errors he would have appreciated.
Now, onto the letter! We still are not sure who Joan is. Perhaps someone reading this knows a Joan Marin from Waltham who would be nearly 78 years old now. Hopefully she still has the same playful sense of humor as she did then. What else do we know about her? Let's see, her father lived in California, so perhaps her parents were divorced. She must have had long hair, and she went to church on Sundays.
I had to look up the Tech Tournament, and could only find out that it was the high school basketball tournament.
Enchantment was released in 1948, starring David Niven (later from Pink Panther), Teresa Wright, and Evelyn Keyes. It's about an old guy who retires to his childhood home and reevaluates his life. But it sounds like it's more about a love triangle and jealousy between the old guy's nephews and two women.
Mostly, I'm sure anyone reading this loves the tone of the letter as much as I do. And one can only imagine the flirtatious letter from Sal about a dream and lipstick -- how suave! It was at least suave enough to earn the term "bunnykins," which is about as rich as it gets.
What is your favorite line from Letter #5?