At Sea, August 30, 1947

David W. Shields

Hi Darling,

Honestly, honey, is it too difficult to picture me getting my hands dirty working for a living and enjoying it? Things would be, “top hole”, if only all this were taking place in Boston Harbor.

You should be interested to know that, before we left Port of Spain, Trinidad, I received my third letter from you. Keep them coming, Betty, and I, in turn will do as well as I can. Speaking of letters, I still need to but myself some stationary. It seems I am almost always on watch, or otherwise busy whenever the “Slop Chest” is open for business.

The above mentioned chest, is run by the captain at a tremendous profit to himself, to make it possible for the crew to purchase shaving gear, clothing, or almost any small item they might need during the cruise.


After two years at various unpleasant tasks in the Pacific, I find this voyage rather enjoyable.



David W. Shields

But, I am fortified by an abundance of peace of mind, and contentment, knowing that I am in love with you. It is trying and bitter to be separated, but I find that I’m at ease and content with the knowledge and awareness of your mental presence. I feel that you are not forgetting me while I’m gone. I feel your prayers. I seem to sense how much you miss me. I feel that, for every mile of unbounded wave that bids us wait, I have sailed a little closer into your heart. I feel you commencing to shed your doubts, and beginning to trust in me, and my love, as I have begged you to so often. I feel that you too are now beginning to reach toward that sacred, but much misused, door leading to a spiritual and physical life-long unity. Most of all, though, my precious, away down here I can feel your love for me awakening, carefully, slowly; but surely and undeniably, and when it is fully awake, and you tell me of it, which after much hesitancy, you will do, I shall help you along the path to the realization of “Our Lord’s” greatest gift, properly and mutually shared, as you helped me at times when we were together.

Now at this point, I shall try to help you in your doubts and sweet but uncertain decisions by asking you to connect all the memories you can of the two of us with the following names: (don’t rush, at this point, remember, take at least five minutes collecting and arranging the memories connected with the following.)
Mansion Inn
Entrance to St. Luke’s Church
Sandy Burr
3rd Cliff
The back of the Nautical Bar
Our hamburger night club
Your kitchen
Mass (how your feelings softened toward me at the end of it)
The night on your couch
The Formals
“I’ve got a bone to pick with you!”
9:00 pm Harvard Square
Rainy walk on 3rd Cliff
The two nights when you foolishly thought you would never see me again
That last wave at the airport

Well?…It’s not your life anymore, it’s mine too! Do I love you? Answer to the $64.00 question: YOU ARE! ONLY YOU! Goodnight my life! Meet me tonight!

P.S. Upon reading this over, (a bad policy), I find that, mushy though it will sound to you, the thoughts are true. They are private, and I share them willingly with you, at what risk? That will have to be decided by you. But, if they strike you as insincere or mushy, then, we are not as closely united as I believe we are.

Goodnight Betty

P.S. Am I making a mistake?

I think not!

What think you?

Tell me!



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