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The Saulson Family in World War II: Letters

“Barrett’s of Wimpole Street” play & cast in Foggia, Italy (1944)

Siesta time in Foggia, Italy (Summer 1944)

Excerpt, Letter from Lila to William (September 3, 1944)

My dinner party was a success. All during the meal I was dreaming of the day when all my cooking would be done for you alone. How proud I will be to fix things the way you like it. Bob, Elaine, Claire and myself ate the dinner. I had—tomato juice, liver on crackers, salad, olives and radishes, cranberry sauce, fried chicken, corn on the cob, string beans, rolls, iced tea and lemon cheese pie. Everyone said it was good. They didn’t know that I was practicing on them so that you won’t have to suffer when you come home.

Went to the beach for a little while but it was so hot that I couldn’t stay there. Maybe it’s all because I don’t really enjoy swimming unless it’s with you. Anyway the ocean this time of year is so full of seaweed lice. I always get bitten so I’m better off not going in. I know it will be wonderful when we go lake swimming together. “We’ll hang our clothes on a hickory limb and then go near the water.”

Crew Beach Party in Clearwater, Florida (May 20, 1944)

Excerpt, Letter from Lila to William (September 11, 1944)

Aunt Sylvia and the gang came in on the train from Asheville today. They couldn’t get over how hot it was but all in all they are glad to be home. We went up there this evening and talked about you mostly and how wonderful you are. It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks you are perfection itself.

I take my exercises morning and night but they don’t seem to be helping me. I do all the ones you tell me to. Maybe you can suggest some more, sugar. I went to have a nice figure for you but at this rate it doesn’t look like I will.

Excerpt, Letter from William to Lila (March 10, 1945)

I spent a great deal of time listening to the radio. Heard a new song “My Heart Sings,” discovered that “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here” music is from Gilbert & Sullivan, laughed at comedian Jackie Gleason, and thoroughly enjoyed Lawrence Tibbett’s Hit Parade rendition of “Sweet Dreams, Sweetheart,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin,” and “Don’t Fence Me In.”  He’s the best thing that ever happened to that program.

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