"Have Faith"––Mom's advice to WWII soldier son

"Have Faith"––Mom's advice to WWII soldier son
Frank's Austin H.S. Grad photo, Jan., 1942. My grandmother prayed for his safety in front of this photo and used it as proxy to greet her son morning and night.

Money is still an issue in this letter. It seems that some of the $10 my grandmother sent to Frank Ebner has gone missing. Even though she only went to school through the fourth grade, my grandmother had a good business head and kept careful track of everything she sent--not only the dates, but the time she mailed. Working as hard as they did for their earnings, missing money was not something to be taken lightly. Yet she never hesitates to promise to send her son "all he needs." She continues her vigilant praying for him at the small "shrine" she set up with his high school Sr. picture (see photo) where she and my grandfather spoke to their son at the start and end of every day: "Goot morning, Ebner," and "Goot night, Ebner."  Read on to feel this mother's devotion.

Chicago, ILL

September 2, 1943

My Dear Ebner,

I received your airmail from August 31 with all the pictures. They are very goot. I pray hart for your wish [to come] true.

I have plenty of bobby pins for my own use, but what is that 1.5" diameter stick? [Ebner must have asked for these items, but that letter is missing.] Tell me more about it and we take care [of it].

As God wish it, we try to do and pray for sure, often 3 times [a day] by your picture. [My grandmother had set up a sort of shrine, with Ebner’s high school photo flanked by two green lights. My dad, Fred, will write about this in a future letter).

[We pray] for you in studying, in basic training, in patience, in saving all of yourself in all your work and duty. God will be with you, if you think on Him. I am happy for you taking Communion [The Lord’s Supper at church]. Proudly you be my son. God hearing my steady praying for you. Have faith, as I have in sorrow and in happy hours too.

Now about the $40 I sent you. Send me a telegram as soon as you receive this letter about the $10 you not got. Then I have all the receipts. It’s good if I got word from you about which [money]  you not got.

[Here she lays out all the details of the money she sent Ebner, including the dates and time of each mailing!]

So please send me a telegram. Otherwise it’s too long delayed. I hope you will be saving your pay in your money belt for the coming month so that you not have to wait always till we send you [money]. Be careful of it. But any time [you are] in need, we, Dad and I, be here to help. So I send this right off with airmail.

Please give me an answer right away if you can. Vera [whose bratty son, Chuckie, wrecked the nice weekend my grandparents planned for Vera and son. See post here.] sends you soon a letter so she tole me in her letter [to me.] I hope you got all the news from here.

Loads of love from your Mom. Best wishes for everything you begin… With love from Dad, Will, [Fred] Lil

And more love,


Original Letter below:

Ebner LTRs 1943-09-02 from Mom-1

Ebner LTRs 1943-09-02 from Mom 2-2

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    Linda Gartz

    I was born and raised on Chicago's West Side, where the Gartz family lived and worked for most of the 20th century. After my mom died in 1994, my brothers and I poked around the the attic of my parents' home and discovered a trove of letters, diaries, documents, and photos that had been saved for almost a century. Taken as a whole, they focus a lens on the history of our city and life in another era, as seen through the eyes of regular folks. Go to Lindagartz.com where you'll find my blog, Family Archaeologist (a clickable link is on the "About Letters of a World War II Airman" page). There you can explore this historical treasure trove that illuminates history and our shared humanity. I started my blog, "Letters of a World War II Airman," on the 70th anniversary of the date my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, was drafted into World War II military service. You can see that first post and the first three months of 1943 letters at my website, Lindagartz.com. All future letters will be posted on this blog. I'm an author, archivist and television producer. Please visit my website, LindaGartz.com, to see my published articles and an overview of my television productions.

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