Friday, May 5, 2017

March 4, 1943: I'm OK, Yeah OK, Fine OK

Red Cross Letter from Opa to Ella


Mother, I'm still at College, have part-time job teaching. I saw Mrs. Herz; have good news from Patti. Cheer up till reunion in peace-time!

These letters are sort of hollow. The 25 words or less with only family news has become a means of bringing hope and reassurance with very little substance. Opa is simply sending a sheet of paper with the words to show he cares, that someone in America is paying attention, and that he is doing well and mama doesn't need to worry. His nearly nonchalant sentence for Ella to cheer up until reunion in peace time serves to almost make it sound inevitable. I know he and Ella both know that there are myriad forces at work to try to keep that sentence from happening. 

There is a singer/songwriter I used to listen to (still pull out her albums from time to time) named Sarah Masen. In one of her songs there is a line where she sings "I'm OK, Yeah OK, Fine OK." That's sort of what comes to mind when I read Opa and Ella's letters to each other. They are struggling, but for the sake of each other they are OK, Yeah OK, fine OK.

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