Folder 21: Shirley Minker, January - December, 1944

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Shirley and Ralph L. "Lee' Minker, Jr.


Date: January 2, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley describes Christmas with the family, as well as her winter break from college.  She is not ready to go back to school yet, has hardly seen any of her friends, due to being busy. She mentions getting five As on her report card.


Date: January 7, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley describes her train ride back to campus.  She injured her foot at the gym recently, which had to be taped. Their friend Allen is still in Sicily, but is okay.  

 

Date: January 13, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about going to a graduation ceremony of air cadets.  Three of her housemates were engaged over the Christmas break.  There was a car accident of A.I.[du Pont High School] boys in Unionville.

 

Date: January 17, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley discusses going to the graduation dance, as well as the man that she went with.  She went to see Higher and Higher with Frank Sinatra which she adored. 

 

Date: January 26, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley complains about classes, especially biology and English.  When visiting Bucknell she met some girls from Wilmington. 

 

Date: February 2, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley is concerned about the lack of correspondence from Lee recently.  She talks about the air cadets on campus moving to a different college in May.  She talks with Lee about his upcoming graduation from flight school, asks what he wants as a present and whether he will go overseas immediately.

 

Date: February 8, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley discusses classes, taking exams, and starting a new class about bible study.  She mentions that their father knew the teacher of the class, as he preached in Williamsport at one point.  She will attend another graduation of air cadets on campus.  

 

Date: February 12, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about a show that the cadets put on for the college and a transatlantic broadcast which Bernice will be in. 

 

Date: February 21, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley brings college life to her brother with complaints about the hellish week she had, including a terrible student council meeting, and Admiral Dewey.  Her friend Fred is starting flight school, he envies Lee being almost done with training.  

 

Date: February 28, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley tells Lee about Frank and his flight training, as well as reminding him that today is the anniversary of Lee joining the Army.  She talks about her monthly tests which were more difficult than usual.  

 

Date: March 5, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley is disappointed that she cannot go see Lee get his wings at his graduation ceremony [Pecos, TX] and expresses her sisterly pride in his commission. She compares Fred's training to Lee's and Shirley realizes how stressful Lee's training must have been, even more than originally.  She lets him know how successful her play was.

 

Date: [March 10?, 1944] - view telegram
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley sent a telegram to her brother telling him she wished she could be at his graduation [from pilot training

 

Date: March 26, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place:Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley was glad she was able to see Lee [on leave in Wilmington, DE the week of March 12] and misses him already, but is happy to be back in Williamsport.  The ever-present news of friends in the service: Allen, who is still in Italy and seeing alot of action, Frank will be eventually going to Santa Ana, where Lee did some of his training as well.
Names: Allen Cavender

 

Date: April 16, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley tells Lee that Fred, along with his entire squadron, is out of the air corps due to an issue with the psychological test.  She talks about her Easter break at home.  She is procrastinating on an English paper, which she and everyone else are now rushing to finish.

 

Date: April 28, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley visited her housemate's town of Roaring Springs, near Altoona.  She talks about having a lot of rehearsals for upcoming performances.  There are only two squadrons on campus left, and those that are left have nothing to do.  She is surprised that her freshman year is almost over.  She then finds out that Fred is now in the Army infantry.

 

Date: May 8, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Bernice coming to visit, the play Shirley was in was a big success.  She describes Greet Day, which is where the students dress up for the prospective students to show off the college.

 

Date: May 31, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley is finishing her finals, the students leaving campus for summer break.  She is getting a small prize for scholarship in the freshman class.  She mentions her trip back home, as well as what she has been doing for the beginning of her break.

 

Date: July 14, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley has a new job which she really enjoys, despite being busy and singing with the Brandywiners.  She mentions Dey White who is in the Navy now.  
Names: Dey White

 

Date: July 30, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley talks about Brandywiners and how demanding it is.  She mentions another friend in the service, Gordon, who was home recently.  Shirley discusses her hesitation of going back to school and is thinking about focusing on her music instead.  

 

Date: August 7, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Her performances of the operetta with the Brandywiners was successful.  Ginger's puppies are growing fast.

 

Date: August 27, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, DE
Shirley talks about going to Rehoboth and the growing puppy, they are having difficulties trying to think of a good name for him.  She  mentions a Mr. Gassaway who was killed in action and Harry Wilson who was listed as missing in action. 
Names: [Fred] Gassaway [killed in action, August 25, 1944], Harry Wilson, Clarence Deakyne (KIA)  

 

Date: September 14, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, DE
Shirley talks about her trip to the shore, which she enjoyed.  She talks about her final days of vacation until she goes back to Williamsport.  She mentions Raymond Harding was released from a German prison camp. 
Names: Raymond Harding

 

Lee Minker left for combat duty in England on October 6, 1944. 

Date: October 8, 1944 - view V-Mail
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Sorry that she missed seeing him [when he flew over the house on the way to England], talked with mother and Bernice.  Sympathizes with him over his original co-pilot getting sick. Teases about how young the cadets are who are on campus in training. Going home for a music lesson. 
Names: Johnny Corbett

 

Date: October 11, 1944 - view V-Mail
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley reports on her classes at school. There is a serious outbreak of polio with 11 new cases. Not certain how the campus will handle it.  Asks for a present from Oxford [England] for her room. As always, lovingly signs her letter “good night and good luck.” 

 

Date: October 22, 1944 - view 2 V-Mails
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
The dramatic club put on a play to raise money. There is a formal reception at the President’s this weekend. She brings the fun of college life to her brother with a description of going to the lake on their day off for the annual chestnut hunt.  There were problems with the boat so it turned into quite an adventure. Everyone on shore was laughing.

 

Date: October 30, 1944 - view V-Mail
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
She got a letter from mother with the change in his address, hopes her earlier letters have reached him. Shirley is annoyed that she had to get dressed up in evening clothes to go to a formal reception for the president when there was no dancing.

 

Date: November 7, 1944 - view V-Mail
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Her greeting, “Dear Looie” is a tease for her brother who is a Lieutenant.  She has not been able to do any homework as she is listening to the election returns. Wished she had been able to vote. She is taking a friend home for the Thanksgiving break.  Went to hear Carmen, her very first opera, and loved it. Tells Lee how much she misses him. 

 

Date: November 20, 1944 - view V-Mail
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Has not written to him because of her tests, was quite surprised that she got in A on her psychology exam. The sextet she sings with sang at a dinner for the Masons, she was pleased that they received $2 each for their performance.  Glad he likes England, another sisterly tease calling Lee, “drip.” 

 

Date: December 1, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about her visit home, where she and some of her friends went out for the evening and shopping for Christmas gifts. The puppy is active, now 4 months old.  She will be the typing editor for the college yearbook

 

Date: December 9, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
This is a hectic time for Shirley with finals nearing and her Christmas play.  She celebrated her birthday [Dec. 7] on campus the previous week.  She mentions that Fred was at a talk by General Marshall.  She is getting ready to return to Wilmington for Christmas break.
Note: The handwritten comment at the top of the letter was added by Lee Minker sometime in the early 1990s. 

 

Date: December 14, 1944 - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Shirley talks about testing and getting a poor grade in psychology. She is continuing to practice for the Christmas play.

 

Date: Sunday afternoon [December 14, 1944] - view letter
Writer: Shirley Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Shirley describes getting ready for Christmas, she has finished shopping and wrapping presents.  She is getting ready for the play, doing mostly final preparations.
Note: continuation of previous letter dated December 14, 1944

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