This is the seventy-third of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.


April 27, 1945

Dear Elizabeth,

Well, my father called it – a perfect Cubs season – and so far he’s right. They beat St. Louis in the opener 3-2. Best news I heard all day.

Things feel differently around here lately, lighter. I hasten to use the word hope because it is used so much it doesn’t appear to have much meaning left in it. Just like “after the war.” We’ve said it so much that I can no longer feel it, even though it’s closer now than it’s ever been.

What’s the news on the ranch? If I had the money I’d buy it and tear it up for you. Better yet I’d give you the equipment and let you do it. There’s something glorious about cathartic destruction. When I would get so angry and frustrated that I worried I would burst I’d wander through the alleyways until I found something big someone was throwing away – it didn’t matter what it as long as it was no longer useful – and I’d smash it to pieces with whatever was around, my bare hands and feet if necessary. I’d stand back, sweating, and feel my entire body relax. If I had those alleyways of trash here I may never have ended up in the hospital. Everyone needs some outlet. If only they’d all find a positive outlet, think of what the world might look like.

Sure, smashing things up like I did wasn’t the best outlet, but I never hurt anyone doing it other than myself. How many people can say that?

The Cubs will come alive in 1945! (My Pop likes to make a rhyme up for them each year. My response was “The Cubs will strive but dive in 1945.” We’ll see who’s right. I hope I’m wrong. Oh, what I’d do to spend a sunny spring day at Wrigley. The fresh cut grass, the excitement of the crowd. It feels like a family there and each game is a family reunion. There’s a sense of intimacy to it – guess it’s the same with any group of shared sufferers.)

Be well,


Next letter – May 8, 1945