Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our Engagement via Letters...

Our Engagement via letters...miles apart.
Walt left for the second half of his sophomore year at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis on New Year's Day 1961.
It took 35-hours from Wendell, Idaho, going straight through, with a car load who took turns driving while the others could catch some sleep.

They got to St. Louis late afternoon January 2, and he wrote me two letters--one typed, as most of his letters were; one hand-written after we had talked a few minutes on the telephone (doesn't say if he called me or I called him to say he got there okay. I only remember one other time we talked on the phone during the 5 1/2 months before our wedding.) Long-distance in those days was mainly to call about a death in the family. It was considered an extreme expense to call to just "talk on the phone" long distance.
Letters from Walt to Eileen
Jan. 2, 1961 to May 25, 1961
January.....16 letters
February...14 letters
March.......13 letters
April.........13 letters
May.......... 8 letters
Then I think maybe we did call before he got home the week before our wedding on June 14.
"St. Louis, Mo., Jan. 2, 1961
Dear Eileen,
We just got in about 2 hours ago and I got all unpacked and took a shower and shaved, but I'm still not at all satisfied with being here. In fact, I'm very lonesome and I think that you are the main cause. I miss you very much and I wish that we were married and that you were here with me.

This vacation has really been one to remember! It has been the first one since I can remember that I haven't worked when I was home since I got back from my mission. But then, of course, there was something special that took place that happened with a "Miss Eileen Albertson" on Dec. 20 and 21, 1960. Do you know anything about that?

[Remember from the last blog I said we got engaged on Dec. 20. The Dec. 21 Walt refers to is that we went to Twin Falls with his mother and picked out the engagement and wedding rings. --I wasn't too comfortable having to choose with his mother there, but his Dad and Mom were paying for the it was okay. I did choose what I had always wanted: an emerald cut diamond. A very small diamond, but it was beautiful and I loved it.]

...the letter goes on for 3 paragraphs about the good weather and good roads, getting back into the routine of school the next day...
"I'd better close as I want to get this in the mail on our way to eat dinner. Good night, sleep tite, study hard and work hard, and have a good time.
Love from your fiance, /s/ Walt"

...Now you may ask about the letters I wrote to Walt. I wrote him every day but he didn't realize he was supposed to save the letters. No, not one exists today! That's why there's no photos for this blog. And I sent a lot of photos, too. Hmmmm...our kids know it's not a good subject to bring up.

Now we come to the letters after dating from July 8, 1960 to September 4, 1960...having gotten "pinned" on August 6. ("Pinned" = engaged to be engaged when the fellow is too poor to afford an engagement ring. I got his service fraternity pin.)
Walt wrote to "Miss Eileen Albertson, 901 Utah St. Gooding, Idaho until Sept. 24 when my semester started at BYU, then to 362 East 7th North, Provo, Utah:
September - 7 letters(starting with the Sept. 8 letter below)
October - 15 letters
November - 7 letters
December - 5 letters till Dec. 15 when we were heading home for Christmas.
"St. Louis, Mo. - Sept. 8, 1960
Dear Eileen,
You know what? I'm glad that you decided to spoil me a little bit as it was really nice to get your letter this morning. You don't have to worry about your giving me time to miss you in that I missed you all the way back here, especially when I was driving [and Jerry was sleeping].
....7 paragraphs about driving back, moving back into his apartment, the 90-degree, humid weather in St. Louis, drawing blood at the hospital each morning which earned him a meal ticket for the hospital cafeteria, and ready to start classes...then closing with:

I'll just say that I miss you very much and wish that we were together...Love, Walt"


madhu said...

Thanks for sharing your great memories here..


Brewer Bunch said...

how sweet! I loved reading your letter snippets, I've never heard those before. Love and miss you!

Julie said...

Oops - I don't save letters either!