Sunday, October 28, 2012


Photo by MarcelGermain

My grandparents are now officially engaged and letters of congratulations started rolling in.  As I've sorted through things, I've been lucky enough to have run across a few very special letters of congratulations!


Dear Sig:

You are going to be my nephew, gol darn ye, and you deserve congratulation - not for that, but because you are going to marry my niece, no, not for that either but because you are going to marry Loraine who happens to be my niece. Anyway, old top, sincere felicitations and welcome, twice welcome, to our little bunch.

Of course, the engagement was a tremendous surprise to us - had no idea of it in the world. But the more we get used to it the better we like it. You have our earnest wishes for a speedy marriage, a happy settling down into a normal civilian life and a long, long life of perfect bliss and comfort with your little frau.

Much success to you, likewise, in your military career and the best I can hope for you both is that it will be short and sweet.

Your "Aunt" Charlotte joins me heartily in everything I say and everything I have left unsaid.

Sincerely, Milton

And then "Aunt" Charlotte included her own message:

Your Aunt Charlotte wishes to say for herself that she would like very much to see you before you depart, but if that is impossible she wishes you God-speed and a quick return.  I will try and comfort your little sweetheart if she stays around here but guess she will go home for a time.  I think that is best myself and I know it will make both her mother and you happier.

Sincerely yours, Aunt Charlotte

Milton Schwartz (1878-1958) was the younger brother of Loraine's mother, Birdie, and Charlotte Haley was his first wife.  Sadly, Charlotte died about two months after this letter was written.

Milton Harry Schwartz

And another letter of congratulations to Sig!

Dear Sig,

Are we negligent in not offering congrats sooner?  Did not know address nor could we get Lorraine.  Anyhow we are all more than delighted, little chap, & wish you both everything you wish youselves.  Let us hope there won't be much delay in tying the knot.

Sort of looked for mother today but guess the elements frightened her.  I know Lorraine was distressed. 

She has news of Lionel's fortune - which is a little doubtful as we haven't had it from official quarters.  We were surprised that mother was not at the funeral.

The male portion of the house is out working on the garage.  May it some day get finished!  We herewith sign our names and send love.

Aunt Bella
Uncle Morris
Cousin Lionel

Aunt Bella was Bella Steen, Loraine's first cousin, and Uncle Morris was her husband, Morris Benas.  Morris was Sig's uncle, his mother's brother.  The first incidence, but not the last, of the families being intertwined!  If I had to guess, I'd guess that Bella and Morris were instrumental in introducting Sig and Loraine.

And then a very special letter found it's way to Loraine's mailbox.

From Granada Hotel S.F.

San Francisco Oct. 30/18

Dear Loraine:

Accept my congratulation.  I was very happy to hear the good news, and will be happy to welcome another daughter in the family.  I was glad to hear Sig is feeling better and hope he will continue to improve and if God spares him in good health you are a very lucky girl.  He has always proven a good son, always attentive to his family, especially to his Mother, and I know will make a good husband.

We hope this cruel war will soon end, and all come back safe and sound, and wil we will have nothing but joy.  Hoping to see you soon, with love.

Mrs. Herman Levy

So look at that - another letter of congratulations from one of my great grandparents!  Herman Levy died in March, 1918 so Goldie must have been staying in the Granada Hotel during her time of mourning.  Sig was the second of her four sons to marry - it must have been exciting for her to add new daughters to the family.

It's official - my grandparents are going to be married!


  1. Wow -- do people even send letters of congratulations anymore? These are wonderful -- love the language and the love enclosed in all the good wishes. "Old chap" -- how cute is that!

    1. I love how Aunt Charlotte started her note talking in the 3rd person.

  2. What treasures! The messages in these letters are positively adorable.

    1. I honestly can't believe I found any of these letters!