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4. High School Sweethearts

Feb 9, 2012

My parents met when they were in band together at the Central High School in Evansville, Indiana.  He played drums; she played cymbals.  Dad was a year ahead of her and she was a senior in high school the first year he was in the Marines.  His letters were full of questions about their school friends or reminisces about things they did together.  This is the only letter I’ve found so far that talks about when they first met.  It seems fitting for Valentines Day week.


Tues 24

May ‘49

My Dearest Bobbie,

Honey, all evening I’ve had you on my mind.  I think I’ve gone over in my mind every time we were together from the time I spotted that cute little cymbal player way back in 1946 A.D. until the last time we parted and even that seems ages ago.

I was thinking of that first time I really got to know you when a bunch of us were chasing through the halls at school that night, and that unforgettable night in the park when I kissed an angel for the first time.  Then the many little things like when we would walk home from school together sit on your front porch and talk, mabe [sic] go to the Woodlawn

Then those football + basketball games where you’d yell yourself hoarse and I’d come darn close to it.  Then in the spring when track season came around I remembered how disappointed I was when you didn’t get to the city meet until after my race.  Funny how important that seemed at the time – I guess it was then of course that wonderful night when you said you would be all mine some day I thought about too, but, Darling, I don’t think I realized how deeply I loved you until I had to leave you for the first time.  I drove home real slowly that night wanting like everything to turn around and go back to you.  But I knew it would just mean another good-bye.

Sweetheart you don’t realize how much you mean to me youre [sic] my whole life-everything else is secondary.  I can’t go an hour during the day without thinking of you.

In May of 1949 when this letter was written, my mother was 19 and my father was 20.  My mother had graduated from high school the year before and by this time my father had been in the Marines nearly three years.  But they were still very young.   It’s hard to detach myself from the memories of my parents, as parents, and the realization that these young lovers were the same people.

It’s touching, and little embarrassing to read the words.  They seem so private.  It’s wonderful, though, to know how much they cared for each other.

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