“Please, Frances, write and tell me why the silence.” Ghosting…1918 Style

Detail of card. Sent from Hempstead in June of 1918.

Tonight I found the saddest letter, addressed to my grandma Francie in Chicago. The writer was “sorely puzzled by [my grandmother’s] continued silence and implored her to “think of me at least once while I am Over There.”

It was signed by a heartbroken “Addie — Only a Private.”  Grandma Francie portrait repaired

I’ll never know if Addie genuinely deserved grandma Francie’s cold shoulder as he headed off to war in the summer of 1918 (reading between the lines, he may have). What I do know is that she married my grandfather the following year – and on a hot September night in a new century, I pulled Addie’s letter from  a grey cardboard box. I hope he went on to have a good life.

Click image to read transcribed letter :

Transcribed. Click on this thumbnail to read the letter.
Click to read the letter.

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