Folder 23: Bernice Minker, March - December, 1943

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


Date: Saturday, [March] 13, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Sisterly tease, she is feeling slighted because he wrote to Shirley and didn’t mention her letters.  Mother splurged and got tickets to see Claudia at the Playhouse. The impact of rationing: mother used 20 coupons for a box of raisins, then the number dropped today to 8 coupons. Took pictures of [their dog] Ginger to send to him.  Writes a “moron” joke to cheer him up.
Names: Dick Silver [Marines]

 

Date: March 18, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Went to a dress-up dinner at school with some interesting speakers. More reports of friends going overseas.
Names: Corporal Jarrett [teacher], Charles Gibson

 

Date: [week of March 15, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Comments on how nice their friends look in their [military] uniforms.  High school boys and girls are being recruited for farm work, she jokes about working on a farm. Bernice has been writing limericks for every member of the senior class for the Echo, the A.I. duPont High School newspaper.
Names: Frannie MacAllister [Marine], Mr. Mexiger [Navy Air Corps], Allan Cavender's sister [WAAC]

 

Date: Saturday, [March] 27, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
The sisterly affection is seen in the tease of the opening, a response to the photo he had sent with his GI haircut. Report on going to the movies. Mother and Dad’s 20th anniversary is coming up [March 31]. Shirley’s favorite teacher, Miss Lamb, has joined the Red Cross and will be sent to China.  Adds a “moron” joke. 
Names: Tony Fararar, Jack Schmidt, [Walt] Biddle, Miss Lamb [teacher]

 

Date: Sunday, [April 4, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Sorry she missed his call home, went to a good movie, Keeper of the Flame.  Describes their parents’ wedding anniversary and teasingly was shocked that they came home late.  A “moron” joke.  She is captain of the intramural team, they beat the senior girls. 

 

Date: [April 9 or 10, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Typed account of Lee’s phone call home.   Tells of his trip to training at U. of Nebraska.  Things he wants them to send him.

 

Date: Wednesday, [April 14, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Got his card today [dated April 10]. Uncle of her friend [Walt From] received the Purple Heart. Saw a French movie with subtitles in school today.  Makes a joke about Shirley as a singer in the family.

 

Date: Friday night,  [April 23, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Attended prayer communion last night, Dr. Johns [minister at Grace Methodist] had the first table for all the boys in service. A choir member cried, her brother had been wounded.  They found Hershey’s chocolate bars downtown which are impossible to find.  Bernice connects the home front in a new way, she tells her brother that the dog, Ginger, is  thumping his tail, asking for him. 
Names: Allan Cavender [Army], Ed Carey [Navy]

 

Date: [May 14, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Waiting for Walt to bring her ice cream.  Shirley went to the prom. Received report cards this afternoon.  As usual her grades did not compare well with Shirley’s grades. Report on the Blue Rocks. 

 

Date: [May 17, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
She has been busy working on the school newspaper, an issue with all the soldiers’ pictures in it. Compliments Lee on sending money to granny [Jones] to buy his mother a birthday present.  Ginger had a bath and then rolled in a mud hole. Two “moron” jokes.

 

Date: July 8, 1943 &  July 13, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Taught Bible school this morning, went to see the musical Coney Island last night.  Miss Horner [who had been Dad’s secretary] stopped by, is being shipped out. 

 

Date: [probably week of July 20, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Taught a beginners class in Bible School this morning and then volunteered at the Delaware Hospital with the AWVS. Dad bought tickets for the circus. Lee had once asked for any good jokes, Bernice sends a corny “moron” joke. 
Names: Irvin Bodycott

 

Date: July 27, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Bible School ended last night, children did a nice performance. She and Shirley are going to have their picture taken as an early Christmas present. Walt is going to go to Tower Hill, Bernice hates going back to A.I. [duPont].  Going to the hospital to volunteer.  Taking pictures to send to him. 
Names: Chas McRever, SeaBees

 

Date: August 4, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Family news.  Jr. AWVS having a dance and carnival.  Excited that Walt is taking her to see the Yankees play the Blue Rocks. Shirley has applied to Boston University. Bernice wishes she could get to California for his graduation.  Teases her brother about being out there with movie stars.  Proofs came for the pictures.

 

Date: Monday  September 6, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Bernice and Shirley sent Lee a snapshot wallet 2 weeks ago, did he get it?  Sent a package with lots of items on Saturday, wants to know when it arrives so they can determine how long shipping takes. She is in charge of recruiting for an AWVS march. 

 

Date: Friday night, [September 10, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
She and Shirley marched in uniform in the 3rd War Loan parade. Has started school, gives Lee her schedule of classes. Sports are undecided. The homefront support for the war is seen in that 1,000 people marched in the parade, 15,000 watched.
Names: Peter Dunlop

 

Date: Monday night,  [September 20, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Terribly disappointed his phone call did not get through yesterday. Report on a friend in the service and his wife [Meredith and Jane Ballard].  Asks for an insignia [from Thunderbird Field] to put on her notebook. 

 

Date: 7:00 Friday, [October 1, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Bernice is behind on her school work as she missed school on Monday when they took Shirley to college in Williamsport.  She and Walt are going dancing tonight.  Thanks for the insignia he sent. 

 

Date: Tuesday night,  [October 19, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Lively report of the family’s surprise visit to see Shirley at school in Williamsport.  She has seen lots of their friends who are home on leave.
Names: Donald Kirby, Merchant Marines, Taylor Edler, Marines, Gordon [unknown last name] leave for the Air Corps, Carl Miller, Dick Dautel, Bill Smith [a William Irving Smith of Wilmington, DE died of wounds on August 8, 1944 and a William George Smith of Wilmington, DE was killed in action, September 12, 1944]

 

Date: Thursday night,  [November 18, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Report on a birthday shopping trip with her mother.  Bernice sang in front of all the parents at school.  Going to see For Whom the Bell Tolls

 

Date: November 24, 1943 - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Bernice shares her 16th birthday with her brother, frustrated that she has not grown any taller. Asks about his wisdom teeth being pulled. The whole family was there on for Ralph Sr.’s birthday dinner [Nov. 22].  The trip they took to NYC was quite wonderful! Pleads with Lee to let them know right away what he needs for Christmas. 

 

Date: Sunday, [either December 5 or 12, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Bernice is a varsity cheerleader and on the JV basketball team, taking two music lessons a week. Walt is taking her to the Tower Hill Christmas Ball.  The Christmas rush makes it difficult to get presents to Lee on time.

 

Date: [mid December 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Weather is really cold.  There was an air raid evacuation in school today, she had to go out to get the “Ag” students from the chicken house. Reports on sports at school.

 

Date: [December 21, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
She is sick again, but doesn’t want to be in bed for another Christmas.  Ben was home from school [probably Ben Johns, son of Dr. Johns the minister at Grace Methodist Church].  Reminds Lee that they are thinking of him at Christmas and hopes he is not too lonesome.  Love and kisses. 

 

Date: Sunday, [December 26, 1943] - view letter
Writer: Bernice Minker
Recipient: Lee Minker
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Report on Christmas presents. Bernice has had laryngitis since the dance at Tower Hill.  Bad weather kept everyone home today. Asks if he got their Christmas box. 
Names: Buster Tisdale [Navy]

 

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