Hettie (hettie_lz) wrote,

Абсолютно святочная история посреди чикагского лета!

И почитайте полный текст, если есть время, не пожалеете!

... Почтовая служба США обязана доставлять все, что попадает в почтовые ящики. Поэтому когда неизвестный "кто-то" нашел "где-то" неотправленные старые письма, с 8-центовыми марками, он... кинул их в почтовый ящик. И на адрес, по которому в 1945 году, в последние месяцы войны, моряк, находящийся на действительной службе, писал письма девушке Дороти Бартос... пришла пачка писем.

Читайте и смотрите, если доступа нет, я скопирую!

Entrusting deep feelings to a flimsy envelope and an 8-cent stamp is an act of faith. But that's exactly what A.L. Fragakis did in 1945 when he was in the Navy and mailed two letters to his sweetheart back home in Chicago.

Almost 70 years later, those letters arrived by mail in July at 2713 S. Kolin Ave. — but its intended recipient, Dorothy Bartos, is long gone. The current resident, Martha Rodriguez, has been diligently trying to get the correspondence back to the protagonists in this fledgling wartime romance — or at least their descendants.

"I know if these were my grandparents, I'd sure want to have these letters," said Rodriguez, 38, who lives at the same address in the Little Village neighborhood. "These are special ... and should go back to the rightful owners."

Rodriguez received the letters, already opened, taped back to back. One was dated July 24,1945; the other was postmarked a couple weeks later on Aug. 9. Both were mailed from the Navy's Coronado Heights Annex in San Diego by a wistful sailor, as World War II was winding down.

To Bartos, whom Fragakis affectionately called "Bugs," he wrote: "You were the last girl I had been with. ... I'm sort of disgusted with myself for not even trying to kiss you good night."

Then came lush descriptions of the landscape and "the rows of palm trees and sweet music coming from the officers' quarters," he wrote. "It's a beautiful picture — and it makes me so lonely. I hate it."

Other hopes and dreams poured out onto the page, as well, including applying for a patent for his invention: A special utensil for people "who like to drink coffee with a spoon in the cup, but don't want to poke their eye out."

But it was the romance that most touched Rodriguez.

"What if they were dating and going to get married?" she said, carefully folding the well-creased paper. "What if it didn't happen because she didn't get the letter? It's very emotional."

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the envelope appears to have been dropped into a collection box on July 14 this year from somewhere on the South Side or in the south suburbs. Because of the condition of the envelope, it was placed in a larger envelope at the Bedford Park mail processing facility, according to Mark Reynolds, Chicago district spokesman.

But as to where the letters spent the intervening decades, Reynolds could provide few clues.

A typical scenario, he said, is that someone runs across an old letter in a thrift or antiques store and will mail it, where it is then delivered, years after the fact, to some puzzled recipient.

Or sometimes a new homeowner will find it stashed in a nook and cranny and rather than throw it out, they'll throw it in a collection box. That's what happened in Charlotte, N.C., two years ago, when a man pried loose a bathroom floorboard and discovered a letter dated 1946.

"Unfortunately, letters can't talk and tell us where they've been," said Reynolds, adding that the Postal Service does not keep statistics on long-lost correspondence.

So, it falls to Rodriguez to solve the mystery. After a flurry of Googling, she located three Dorothy Bartoses in Illinois — one in Naperville and another in Orland Park, neither of whom had a beau in the Navy. The third prospect died in January.

She's reaching out to survivors listed in the obituary, hoping they once had a relative on Kolin Avenue.

The typed name on the envelope of one of the letters appears to read Fracakis, with a C, but the military said the service number on the envelope belonged to an Al Fragakis, with a G.

Military personnel records older than 60 years are moved from Washington to St. Louis and could take awhile to track down, according to a spokesman. But, there appears to be no death certificate, so "there is a good possibility this man is alive."

The Tribune searched for people with the names Bartos, Fragakis or Fracakis in Illinois and Wisconsin, but none of those reached said they had knowledge of the letters.

An unabashed romantic, Rodriguez is undeterred. "I'm not even close to giving up."

А через два дня...

Адресат писем нашлась! Она еще жива!

Читать и смотреть!

Relatives of Dorothy Bartos Carlberg say she is the intended recipient of love letters written by a sailor during World War II and have stepped forward to claim the long-lost correspondence.

"She always loved a guy in a uniform - and still does," said her daughter, Sandy Jacobson, who lives in Champaign.

The mystery of the letters, which arrived last month at a Little Village address almost 70 years after they were mailed, was chronicled by the Tribune this week.

Carlberg’s son, Tim Carlberg, heard about the story this morning, and he immediately called his older sister to inquire about the address of his mother’s girlhood home. Jacobson, the unofficial family archivist, confirmed that 2713 S. Kolin Ave. was a match.

"This is pretty amazing," said Carlberg, who lives in Hillside. "This is going to be nice for my mom."

Dorothy Bartos Carlberg is now 85, and lives in an assisted living facility in Whitewater, Wis. While her memory is sketchy today, asking about the letter-writer, Al Fragakis, brought the past sharply into focus.

"He was a really nice guy," she said, without a moment’s hesitation. "Not fast … my dad was very strict, but he liked boys in the military. He thought they were decent."

She believed Fragakis lived in the same Little Village neighborhood, but she couldn’t be sure. "I wrote to a lot of boys in the service. We did it to keep their spirits up."

Martha Rodriguez, the current resident at the Kolin Avenue address, was happy to know that she will be able to return the letters. "I’m excited about giving them to her," she said.

The Tribune, Rodriguez and others who have joined the hunt since the story was posted online Monday have not been able to find the Al Fragakis who sent the letters.

Rodriguez received the letters in mid-July, already opened, taped back to back. One was dated July 24, 1945; the other was postmarked a couple of weeks later on Aug. 9. Both were mailed from the Navy’s Coronado Heights Annex in San Diego by a sailor far from home, as World War II was winding down.

Bartos – whom Fragakis affectionately called "Bugs" in his letters – ended up marrying Victor Carlberg on Aug. 19, 1950. They met at DePaul University through a mutual friend. An industrial engineer for Campbell Soup, Victor Carlberg embraced everything from Cub Scouts to water skiing, Tim Carlberg said.

The Carlbergs had six children, five of whom survive and range from 52 to 62 years old.

She always loved a guy in a uniform - and still does
- Sandy Jacobson, daughter of long-lost love letters' intended recipient

Victor Carlberg died in April 2012 after almost 62 years of marriage. "Even with her dementia, and his own health failing, he cared for her," Tim Carlberg said. His father’s last goal, written on a board in his hospital: "To go home and love my wife," Tim Carlberg said.

But that didn’t stop his wife from talking about the old days, when Little Village was a Bohemian neighborhood, and no shortage of boys came calling.

"She was hot … she was a model … We wondered how she ended up with my dad," he joked.

Tags: history, life in these united states, media
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