I am in Louisville in Kentucky! The train we are on stopped here for half of an hour so I got off it to quickly mail this.
Mr. Stein found me in that Georgia jail the day after he was left off that bus and paid money to get me out. I was sure glad he had some! He has been very nice and says he will put me on a Detroit train from Chicago as soon as we get there. It was too bad we went the wrong way on the bus but that is what happens when you don’t know directions in a new country.
A newspaper here said you hit two more home runs today and are up to 57 now! That is great news and I look forward to shaking your hand about it soon.
When I know when the train to Detroit happens I will write you again. Maybe even try a telephone call!
21 September 1938
I received your letter about helping you out, but unfortunately I am very busy with new classes and teachers and schoolwork here at Wayne so that would make it impossible at the moment. I wish you luck getting together with your little friend.
Also, I think I mentioned last time I am dating someone special, so having dinner out with you probably wouldn’t be the best idea either.
Best of luck catching the Babe and take care,
SEPT. 19, 1938
TO: H. GREENBERG, ℅ DETROIT TIGERS
FROM: S. GLASSMAN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, ATLANTA, GA
VISITED JAIL IN MARIETTA. “MARKIE” EDELSTEIN GONE. HAD ALREADY BEEN LET OUT IN CUSTODY OF A MR. STEIN. PUBLIC DISTURBANCE FINE PAID FOR IN FULL. RUMOR THEY WERE HEADED TO TRAIN STATION BUT CAN NOT CONFIRM. GLAD TO BE OF ASSISTANCE. GIVE REGARDS TO RABBI FRANK.
I’m guessing you are back at Wayne State by now. If so, I have a small favor I could use your help with if you have the time.
Maybe you’ve heard about the ten-year-old boy from Austria who I’ve been writing letters with. Anyway, he has finally made it to the States and I think he’s traveling up this way by train but until I hear from him it’s hard to know exactly where he’s going. If there’s any way you can meet him when he gets here and “take him under your wing” for a short time, that would be great. We’re still deep in this very long home stand all week against the Athletics and Indians, and as I’m sure you’re aware I’m going after the Babe’s homer record and I have reporters all over me every day.
Hope you’re doing well. I haven’t received any “home run cartoons” from you in a while. Remember that a fine dinner out is coming your way if you can help me. Or even if you can’t.
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I am in a jail in a small Georgia town on my way to Chicago. I am still not sure how this happened. Mr. Stein and me were taking a bus ride and going through many south towns and when we stopped in one to get more gasoline, Mr. Stein had to get out and go to the toilet room and the bus driver drove away without him! I screamed and yelled things in German at the driver but he would not stop and yelled back at me using bad words I am sure. Later when the bus was a few towns away from there I screamed and shouted some more and the driver pushed me out on the road and called me a heimer or a hymen or some other word like that. I walked into this town called Marietta and two police men picked me up for vagrating and put me in the jail. They fed me soup that had some bugs in it and let me mail this letter, but I do not have an idea what has happened to Mr. Stein. Can you do something to help?
14 September 1938
To Rabbi Leo Franklin:
My young pen pal Markus Edelstein is currently being held in a jail outside Atlanta. I am very concerned because as you know, there is quite a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment down there. It is where wrongly convicted Leo Frank, the man with the name so close to yours, was lynched for the murder of his 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan 25 years ago. Do you know of anyone prominent in Atlanta’s Jewish community who could maybe bail Markie out and get him on a train to Detroit? Obviously, I will foot any and all bills. There is also an elderly man named Stein who was supposed to be taking him to Chicago on a bus but must have boarded the wrong one because they were headed east instead of north, and I have no clue what has happened to him.
Please let me know if you can assist with this as soon as possible.
I think I am in America now. It is very poor and hot and strange and we saw some Italians here so I was not sure. It is a place called Biloxi in a state I cannot spell so I will not try.
Do not ask how I ended up here. The second fisherman boat we paid money to go to Florida on went off the course because of a tropic storm, and we sailed west instead for days to land off Biloxi Beach.
I am wet and hungry and seasicked now. The refugees I came with have been nice, and as strong as they can be, but they are all the same wet and hungry and seasicked and are now going to different ways. I am with an old man named Stein and he has a son who lives near Chicago which I think is near you, right? So when we get closer I will write again.
13 September 1938
He’s getting closer, just like me! Only seven homers to the Babe!
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I am in the Cuba country! You will not believe how it happened because I don’t either, but it did!
Just like in Florida, they wouldn’t let us into the Havana harbor either. Some big German named Himmler sent telegrams to the Cuba government warning them that all the refugees on the boat were criminals, and we should not be let in. The stupid Cuba people believed them! The boat was far too crowded and many of us were getting sick the whole time across the ocean, and now we couldn’t even get off!
The next day we were going to be sent back to Europe but a fisherman boat came out in the middle of night to maybe help. Two of the refugees who had more money paid to sneak down into the fish boat. When I acted to be sick and needing a hospital, I became one of them!
The ride to the island was even bouncier, and I really DID get sick. The fishermen helped us out on a dark beach, then made us pay more money to sleep in their shack building. Tomorrow they will get us to another boatman who will take even more money to bring us to America!
So I will mail another postal card from Florida soon I hope! Did you pass the Babeino in home runs yet?
7 September 1938
Wait till I show you the post cards I got today!