Saturday, Sept. 12, 1942
Separated by half a continent since 1941, my parents-to-be had been corresponding for months about marriage. On August 11, my mother wrote:
“I believe I told you I’d come before Labor Day. It now seems less likely unless I were to stay only for two weeks. However, if I wait for Labor Day, I might stay six weeks or two months. If that isn’t enough time to help a gal make up her mind, then I’m a weak-minded so-and-so and a kindly veterinarian ought to put me out of my misery with a flit gun.
I’m not planning to marry you when or as [soon as] I get there. But – if I make up my mind I’ll let you know – whether it be the next day or the next week…. I’m as heartfully anxious as you to get started on the course of future happiness. It’s just that I’ve taken some pretty bad beatings and I live in terror of being trapped by unhappiness… So be patient. Let my love ripen, if it will, and flower into a worthwhile and deeply-rooted plant.”
Now, barely one day into the marriage, the “deeply-rooted plant” was threatened. When my parents called their parents, i.e. their respective in-laws, a problem surfaced immediately on my father’s side:
“I can’t write to mom,” my father wrote to his sister. “Her refusing to speak to my wife certainly made us feel bad for a while – but nothing in this world could have spoiled it for us. However, for a while I could have given my right arm to have cancelled that call… I was feeling in love with the world when I called.”
He ended the letter on a happier note: “We’re very happy and everything is going to be swell from now on.”