Aug 17, 2017

Sun, Aug 17, 1947: our first home

"In about a week and a half I will be moving into the apartment that will eventually become our first home.  From time to time I may need to buy equipment for it--e.g. kitchen ware.  Your advice will be sought before I make any purchases...
"[William Allen White] says 'These movers were from western Kansas--...which holds a charter from the state to officiate as the very worst, most desolate, God-forsaken, man-deserted spot on the sad old earth,' That's where we'll live, honey.  Still want to marry me?"

--Letter from my father, Leon, Kans., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Sunday, August 17, 1947.  My father was getting ready to move to Protection, Kans., to teach high school.  My mother planed to join him there after she finished college in the fall of 1947 and after they were married in January 1948.

Aug 14, 2017

Thu, Aug 14, 1947: the city by subway

"Overconfidence as to my ability to travel the city by subway caused me to end up in the middle of Harlem--some eight blocks from my destination.  I had climbed board the 7th Avenue local which entered the Harlem branch of the tunnel some blocks from 18th St where I started.  A white among thousands of bustling, hurrying blacks-- as well as leisurely, relaxed Negroes-- I know how it feels to be 'different.'...
"If you can cook sukiyaki to go along with the chopsticks I own -- you'll make a dandy wife.  Chopped up meat fried in grease - to which is added soy sauce, onions, bean sprouts, sugar, salt, soy bean cakes, etc. - there you have the recipe."
 --Letter from my father, Decatur, Ill., to my mother, Estes Park, Colo., Thursday, August 14, 1947 (writing about his recent stay in New York).

Aug 11, 2017

Mon, Aug 11, 1947: bad habit of daydreaming

"Patsy has caught me smiling broadly several times while I wrote this letter, and keeps asking me what's funny. I am developing a bad habit of daydreaming, too. a d I som times get lost  n my musings and she br ngs me back again by asking what's so funny."

--Letter from my mother, Estes Park, Colo., to my father, Bloomington, Kans., Monday, August 11, 1947.  This typewritten letters has several typos.

Aug 6, 2017

Wed, Aug 6, 1947: something of a dream

"I'm happy to hear that your father is engaged.  A man in his position is quite handicapped without a wife.  Perhaps she can slow him down sufficiently to prevent recurrence of those periods of nervousness. You describe her as a very nice lady, and I'll be anxious to meet her....
"You asked my opinion on a girl who would like to kiss me this minute.  She's something of a dream since we are 2000 miles apart, but I love such a dreamer and I'm one myself.  I'd like to kiss you my honey.  X.
"All my love,
DeVere."
--Letter from my father, off Rhode Island, to my mother, Estes Park, Colo., Wednesday, August 6, 1947. 

Aug 3, 2017

Sun, Aug 3, 1947: the married state

"Uncle Bill has been telling me all about how to treat you in the married state.  He says it's particularly important to have good meals on wash-day and ironing day.  It seems Aunt Clara doesn't always do that."

--Letter from my mother, Colby, Kans., to my father, aboard McCard, Sunday, August 3, 1947.

Aug 1, 2017

Fri, Aug 1, 1947: think about you


"I have decided maybe it's just as well I don't have a big picture of you, because when I stop & look at the ones I have, I really begin to think about you and wish you were here."

--Letter from my mother, Hutchinson, Kansas,, to my father, aboard USS McCard, off Rhode Island, Friday, August 1, 1947.

Jul 31, 2017

Thu, Jul 31, 1947: very nice together

"Well, let's get the big news off first.  This family is increasing by leaps and bounds.  One more and it will have doubled in the last few months.  Daddy and Marjorie Carey are engaged!  However, since I had been expecting it ever since she got here, I'm not greatly surprised....
"Yesterday she drove out with him to get me at Camp Carlisle....On the way home, they talked like people do who are pretty interested in each other.  In fact, I felt like a fifth wheel very often, so pretended to go to sleep in the back seat. They look very nice together. She's old enough not to look like a giddy girl, and yet nice-looking enough not to look middle-aged.  (Which she is, I guess)  She's forty today--life begins at forty, they say. He said he stayed long enough last night to wish her a Happy Birthday, and today he sent her a dozen roses and gave her a big handsome picture (ah-hem!) and took her to Wichita for dinner."

--Letter from my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., to my father, U.S.S. McCard, Thursday, July 31, 1947. My grandmother, Wilma Dorth Murray, had died in 1943.

Jul 30, 2017

Wed, Jul 30, 1947: miss you

"One week of our time apart has already passed.  The longer that we are separated the more I think about you--and miss you.  At first I was so busy that thoughts of you were crowded out of my mind by affairs of the moment. Now, however, when in my bunk or alone all sorts of pleasant conversations and activities together keep coming back.  I believe that August 23 will be among the happiest days of my life....
"At times I get amused at the spectacle of grown men chasing around the Atlantic for no particular reason. Their days are quite similar to days spent by small boys with rafts on the river or sailboats on a lake -- only the equipment is larger and more expensive.  Yet they're all so dead serious about it. Of course, preparedness for war is a grim business. But if we should blunder into some senseless international conflict, I can't help wondering if this destroyer won't be obsolete in the face of the atomic bomb--the Bikini tests to the contrary."

--Letter from my father, U.S.S. McCard, off Rhode Isand, to my mother, Estes Park, Colo., Wednesday, July 30, 1947.

Jul 27, 2017

Sun, Jul 27, 1947: landlubber

"So the landlubber goes to sea.  In Oct. 1944 I was commissioned a deck officer.  They told me I was reasonably well-prepared for duty afloat.  Now that I've come aboard in July 1947 nearly all the vital facts about seamanship crammed into me during four hectic months at Notre Dame have escaped my memory."

--Letter from my father, aboard U.S.S. McCard, at Providence, R.I.., to my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., Sunday, July 27, 1947. My father was on a naval voyage as a Navy reservist.

Jul 24, 2017

Thu, Jul 24, 1947: looking better

“WE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED THREE MONTHS-- (also a rainy Thursday night- remember?)
"The days are looking better-- explanation: 184 looks better than 185, 185 than 186, etc."

--Letter from my mother, Hutchinson, Kans., to my father, aboard U.S.S McCard, off Rhode Island, Thursday, July 24, 1947. My parents were keeping track of the numbers of days until their wedding.