August 18th, 1951, a sailor married a little lady
from northern Wisconsin.
They were acquainted with each other most of their childhood
but not on a romantic level.
He was home on leave, she was visiting home in a little
village called White Lake, Wisconsin.
After a very short engagement, they
were married by a judge
After their marriage, the sailor quickly
but hesitantly traveled back to his ship
in Long Beach, California.
He was stationed on the USS Chikaskia in Long Beach, 1951.
Original photo of USS Chikaskia 054
Everyday for a couple of months he wrote to his beloved.
She was 20 and her sailor was 23.
While home for the funeral, my daughter and I were with my sister, Annette, in mom's room. Because we live so far away, my sister had taken on the task of sorting through all my mothers worldly possessions, what to keep and what to donate. Dad mentioned to us to feel free and take what you like of mom's for keepsake. Annette opened a drawer and pulled these
letters out. We noticed the dates on each letter.
Later, Annette showed dad and he gently opened them and started to read. You can imagine his reaction after reading a few.
He knew she had his letters and that she had saved all of them for all of these years.
Mom saved many of the letters she recieved from him:
His 4'11" little lady lived in Milwaukee,
working at the time.
Notice the post mark.
The date says Oct. 6, 1951.
Our hearts melted when we saw
the ship, city of port, and the date.
61 years saving a little stack of treasures.
After moving into our new home near
White Lake in the late 60's, I opened a box
in the basement and pulled out these letters.
My mother was upstairs so I went to the bottom of
the steps and told her about the letters.
Without a word, she ran down and scooped them
up and tucked them away.
They were very near and dear to her heart.
Check out the 6 cent air mail stamp!
A sailor and his new bride.
August 18, 1951.
After returning to Wisconsin to scoop up his bride,
they made their way to Memphis, TN. where dad
was transferred and stationed.
There was another milestone in this city.
In 1952, a little baby girl was born and they named her Linda.
And so their life began, with more moves, more ships,
more housing, and two more children, Kenneth (born in Great Lakes, IL.) and Annette (born in Sanford, FL.)
All those years my mother never complained.
She made friends that have lasted a lifetime.
Audrey Plaskett, (Norfolk, VA.), Flo, (Sanford, FL.)
Pat Graham, and so many more.
She made a home and memories that will last forever.
She kept her home and raised their daughters and son.
She loved her sailor and he loved her.
It was what they did then and now.
Each time we talk with our dad he has new stories
and times him and mom shared.
Little things and big things, but why is it the little things
seem as big as the big things? :)
Because every moment counts and they are all good things.
Christmas, 1960 with Linda, Mike, and little Annette.
A sailor and his bride 2010.
It is my hope you enjoyed this journey
of my parents and their life.
You see, to me, it is all about love
and memories. On my mother's headstone
her dates read born: March 9, 1931 - died: December 3, 2012.
Notice the 'dash'?
These last 4 posts in QBC are in essence what
was in her 'dash'.
What will be in your 'dash'?
A truly inspiring story.
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