Chapter 06

Chapter 6 – 1: “A 1940s Postcard”

ch6-1Miguel signed up for the military at the Local Board of the Selective Service on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, and soon received a postcard in the mail, addressed to “Miguel Wasserstein, Class 1A-available for unrestricted service.” They list his year of birth as 1915, though Miguel claimed he was born in 1913.

Chapter 6 – 2: “Back of a 1940s Postcard”

ch6-2Miguel had his fair share of girls in Havana and his fair share of girls in Manhattan, and he didn’t want to lose steam with any of them. When in New York, he’d send notes to the ones in Havana; when in Havana he’d send reminders to the ones in New York.

Chapter 6 – 3: “Front of a 1940s Postcard”

ch6-3He sent reminders to the girls, even photos of himself so handsome and dapper.

Chapter 6 – 4: Jimmy Stewart, War Hero

Miguel explained the lure: “Jimmy Stewart gave up being a movie star to join the military and look what happened to him! Wherever he went, all the girls ran after him.”

Chapter 6 – 5: “On Account of Jimmy Stewart”

“By means of the military, Miguel could demonstrate his manly virility, and his eligibility as an American; the uniform would at once entice the girls and display his allegiance. He longed to be a part of a war effort that would also create his “path to citizenship.”

MW = Michael Waterston, AW = Alisse Waterston, author.”

Chapter 6 – 6: “From Miguel to Michael”

ch6-5In photographs, I can see my father metamorphize over the course of his life. The photos reflect his transformation, and suggest meanings both personal and historical. They embody the “truth” and the fictions of the type, of an atmosphere, of cultures, place and eras.

Chapter 6 – 7: “Miguel, his Buddy and the Girls, World War II”

ch6-6My father’s war stories are light-hearted, almost carefree. They are devoid of the horrors of war; instead, they center on flirtations, friendships, and small adventures, a surprising choice considering the time and the place for them. He does not mention the dead though they number between 65 and 75 million during World War II.