Tucked 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
Had 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”
When 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.
I make it a point to call Mother every Sunday night at 7:30. Now that I’m retired, I have a hard time keeping track of the days of the week, let alone the time, so I have an alarm set in my cellphone to remind me that it’s Sunday. When I made the call this week, Mother casually mentioned that Monday would mark 71 years since she and Dad got married in Advance.
I remember her saying that she and Dad had gone to a movie. When they got out, my grandfather, Roy Welch, told them that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. “If you kids are planning to get married, you’d better do it right away.”
A month later, they were married and on their way to Florida for a honeymoon.
Dad was luckier than many men his age. He was working for a contractor who won defense contracts to build airfields and other essential projects, so he was deferred from the draft.
One of my favorite photos
This photo was part of a series I didn’t remember shooting. It’s one of my favorite shots of the two of them in our back yard in 1970. It’s obvious that they weathered well as a couple. I wrote about discovering the series just about this time last year.
You expect your parents to be there forever. When I shot this, none of us dreamed that Dad would be with us only another seven years. I guess that’s only partially true. He’ll live on forever in our memories.
Photo gallery of honeymoon
Here are some additional shots of the honeymoon from 71 years ago. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.