Dorothy Bartos Carlberg finally got the message, some 70 years after a World War II sailor sent her love letters that inexplicably got lost along the way.
Carlberg, 85, was the intended recipient of letters penned by Al Fragakis, whom affectionately called her “Bugs” in correspondence he sent from the Navy’s Coronado Heights Annex in San Diego in 1945. The letters, dated July 24 and Aug. 9, 1945, arrived last month at a Little Village address nearly seven decades later, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“I wrote to a lot of boys in the service,” she told the newspaper. “We did it to keep their spirits up.”
Carlberg’s son, Tim, confirmed the address of his mother’s childhood home through his sister, Sandy Jacobson, who said her mother “always loved a guy in uniform” — and still does.
Carlberg, who now lives in an assisted facility in Wisconsin, said Fragakis was a “really nice guy” when asked by a reporter.
“My Dad was very strict, but he liked boys in the military,” she said. “He thought they were decent.”
Carlberg’s husband, Victor, died in April 2012 after nearly 62 years of marriage. They had six children, five of whom survive, ranging in age from 53 to 62 years old.
Martha Rodriguez, who now lives at Carlberg’s former home on Kolin Avenue, received the opened letters last month, taped back to back. Attempts to reach Fragakis or his relatives have thus far been unsuccessful, the Tribune reports.