“I’d Rather Be Married”

Mary Welch Steinhoff telegramTucked away in an envelope in a nondescript Bible buried in a metal cabinet that hadn’t been opened in decades was this telegram to Mother that validates a story that she told for years. (Click on the photo to make it large enough to read.)

Washington would never have been the same

Mary Welch Steinhoff - Cape Rock c 1941Had this young college girl from Advance jumped at the War Department’s offer to become to junior clerk or typist in Washington, D.C., for the munificent salary of $1,440 per annum, D.C. would never had been the same.

“I’d rather be married than type”

Mary Welch Steinhoff wedding announcementWhen Mother told the story, she always said, “I’d rather be married than type.”

Dad and Mother were in a movie theater when the word about the attack on Pearl Harbor broke. When they came out, my grandfather said, “If you kids are going to get married, you’d better do it right away.”

And, they did, exactly one month later, on January 7, 1942.

The telegram has a time of day stamp – 3:23 p.m. – but it doesn’t have a date, so I don’t know when it was sent.

One of those things

We’ve had a long-standing family tradition of giving the car horn two short beep beeps when we pull out of the driveway. When I left Cape on Friday, I backed out onto Kingsway Drive, then, out of habit, went “BeepBeep.”

That’s when it hit me: there was nobody there to hear my good-bye beeps. Dammit, it’s those little things that sneak up on you.

7 Replies to ““I’d Rather Be Married””

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Coming to Cape is now an ‘effort’, not a ‘pleasure’, since there’s no one there for me.

  2. I don’t know what to say about the last good by except to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading about your incredible family. Your mother came through as resourceful, resilient and I’m certain she passed those traits on to you. I trust to hear many more stories such as the one above. I remember the G-girls going off to Washington to work -several from Advance did go.
    I ended up here many years ago with my husband whose career brought him here. 60 years later and I’m still here.

    I’ve discovered so many little scraps of paper with notes that at the time would have been thrown away and now they tell a story.

  3. I am an only child and was very close to both my parents. All my life I thought I don’t know if I can make it without my dad, but six years later I’m still going. Occasionally something will happen and I will say to myself, I need to tell mom about that and it has been sixteen months since I can’t tell her. Yes Ken, it is those little things.

  4. I did the same thing this morning . . . thought of something I was going to tell Mother but she died 20 years ago. I think it will never change.

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