Missing Christmas Carols 1944

"Missing Home at Christmas Collage"

Christmas 1944 was my parents second Christmas together. My father, Albert B. Cleage Jr (Toddy) had taken a year off from the ministry to take classes in film making at UCLA.  He planned to use it later in the church.  My mother, Doris Graham, was working as a social worker and apparently taking a class too.  They were living in Los Angeles, Ca, missing Detroit and their families. In the montage we have in the top/center my mother, below her is my father.  The house my mother grew up in is the big photo of the house on Theodore, below is their Los Angeles apt.  The last photo is my mother’s parents Mershell (Poppy) and Fannie (Nannie) Graham.  This is a letter my mother wrote home Dec. 17, 1944.


December 17, 1944

Dear Folks,


Just a line to let you know we’re ok.  Hope you all are well

It’s almost midnight and we are both (as usual) trying to get some school work done that we left until the last minute.  Toddy has a paper due – and I have a book report.

Here it is – almost Christmas, but it doesn’t seem like it at all.  No snow – no cold weather – no nothing.  People out here don’t even sing Christmas carols on radio church services or anything.  We heard you all have lots of snow.  Well – guess I’d better go back to my book.  

Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year.

Toddy + Doris

Related Posts

Christmas Day 1944 – Part 1
Christmas Day 1944 – Part 2
Christmas Day 1944 – Part 3

9 thoughts on “Missing Christmas Carols 1944

  1. It must have been hard for them, considering the distance. And the fact that a war was going on. Your previous post, the photo of your mother had many comments, seems we all loved the photo.

  2. Makes me smile, Kristen. The more things change.

    My kids are having their first Christmas in California, missing Michigan, Missouri, snow and home. Those first Christmases away from home are brutal. I'm glad they and you were able to celebrate future Christmases at home.

    Merry Christmas, Kristin.

  3. I noticed that too Barbara. My mysterious mother.

    Yes, Nolichuky, the circle goes round and round, one day we're the babies, the young people moving away then it's our children. One of my daughter's told me recently she doesn't see how people can stand to see new generations go through the same things over and over. Her oldest is 12. I find it rather comforting most of the time.

    Merry Christmas to you too.

  4. Missy, thank you for the award. I am so glad you enjoy my blog. after the holidays I'm going to have to acknowledge my awards. I just find it hard to find anyone who doesn't already have the award to pass them on!

  5. I had a difficult time with that as well. In the end, I decided that those that get it more than once are truly deserving. As you are.

  6. I’m glad to see you feeling at home on your own personal website. I’m glad I’m not in Los Angeles, Miami or any other warm places during Christmas. It just wouldn’t feel right. I’m almost finished with my checklist. Merry Christmas!

  7. I have been “home” where other’s came for Christmas for many years now. Once we left Michigan we never traveled to Michigan for Christmas. It was too far and too dangerous to drive in the winter. Then we moved back to Michigan and my children grew up and went away to college and came home for Christmas. Now almost all of us live in the same city so it is just a drive across town to come home for the holidays. That is how it was for us growing up in Detroit too.

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