Excerpt from: A Great Depression Courtship: 1932 – 1933

One dreary winter day in 2005, as I was attempting to put some order to the clutter of papers stored in our basement, I happened upon an old green Bigelow Carpet sample box on a shelf in the basement playroom of our home in Danville, Illinois. From previous experience, I assumed the box held old red, white and blue poker chips from my Dad’s card playing days. To my surprise and delight, the box held my Mother’s letters to my Father, written when they were courting in the autumn of 1932.

Atop the stack of letters was a note from Dad on paper ripped from one of his large newspaper advertising layout tablets, advising us:

“Was going to burn these – but will leave them for the reading ‘pleasure’ of the children when I’m gone!!? Burn them please. Dad 8-15-62”

Of course, I couldn’t do that. Then I remembered that I had a smaller packet of Dad’s letters to Mom, into which I had never really delved. They were stuffed in an old, broken half of a pink suede keepsake box of Mother’s upstairs in a closet.

Excitedly, I began to sort the two sets of letters, ninety or so in total, into chronological order. That job should have been easily accomplished because of the postmarks. But I found that few of the letters were enclosed in the many envelopes, nor did the letters have any more heading than the day of the week on which they were written.