This is Dad as a young merchant marine. He graduated from Massachusetts Naval Academy in 1943 and went into service shortly thereafter. I have learned of his earlier life through his sketches and letters that Mum and Nana preserved. I did not know this side of him. I knew only a broken man; struggling with alcoholism, a shattered career, and the loss of his great love to cancer. It has been a privilege to travel through time with him and bare witness to the musings of a man at sea declaring his love and contemplating his future. I have found it to be a bitter sweet experience; conjuring sadness for what came to be, but also, a warmth in my heart that has long been cold; a salve to the wounds that our family endured.
I created this blog for us, to preserve our history and sense of place in the world. I’d like to think he is glad I am sharing his letters. He loved Mum so much and that is a nice feeling. We all came from a great love. Enjoy. I love you all.