Northbound 27 September 1948

photo

Hello Darling,

By the time you receive this, I suppose I shall already have been “home” and gone again. It takes longer, usually, for mail to reach New York from Trinidad, then it takes the “Brazil” to get there.

What a case of “channel fever”, I have this trip.  It seems as though each voyage is worse than the preceding one.  Every click of the compass, as it follows the ship’s yawl back and forth to the rocking rhythm of a quarter sea, seems to say:  7 more days, 6 more days, 5 more days.

As I pace back and forth, back and forth, becoming so impatient to be in your arms that the delay seems almost unsurpassable.

So I pace back and forth and examine, once more, the unbroken line 360″ line between sky and water, and make another firm resolution with myself to stop wasting my life away at sea. ( to be cont’d after I go up on the bridge for 4 more hours of pacing )

Darling, a group of Argentine Exchange Students came up on the bridge today to take pictures of the mates getting a noon position.  It’s a wonder we even got a position, every time we’d turn around we would nearly stumble over two or three getting candid shots.  Anyway, one of them took one of me when I was getting my sight so I’ll send it along for laughs.  I’m not really as fat as I look in the picture.  ( must be poor exposure or something! )

My precious, it’s simply no use!  I can’t write anymore.  I’m too close to home and I keep drifting off into dreams of you.  Oh Betty!  My sweet darling Betty, I love you so much!

214 more breakfasts alone!  Then we shall each find contentment, peace, and happiness together in this fear torn world, in a fast disappearing haven called family life.

Your are my heart!  Beat strongly for me, I love you with my life!

Yours Forever,

Dave.

29 August 1948

My own Darling Cyclone,

Whew!  Gosh, thanks for being you, my love.  What a week we had!  I never dreamt that so much could be done in so little time.  I keep thinking of you going back to work tomorrow morning.  I hope you wont be too exhausted.  I know it was rough on you, especially since, as a rule, you go to bed rather early.  But, oh my dearest, it was wonderful, and well worth the lack of sleep, don’t you think?

Honey, I’m sure we can go the rest of the way to May, without further occurrences like our recent one.  I shan’t even try to describe how miserable I felt, watching you break down.  What a helpless feeling!

We will have no more of that I’m sure.  It’s too much for us to take.  Sincerely though sweetheart, the toughest part is past.  We haven’t too long to wait now and I’m sure that after seeing you the other night, that all will be ok.

Honey, we sailed right on time, darn it!  And I got to bed promptly at 11:00p.m..  Was I tired?  A little!  The next day I compiled the following:

There are approximately, 8 months, 34.8 weeks, 244 more breakfasts alone, 5,856 hours, 351,360 minutes, 21,081,600 seconds until you are mine forever!  Your love, and BED, HERE I COME!!!

Yours alone, forever,

Dave.

10 August 1948.

Aug 10

Dearest “Cyclone”,

Well, we are in Rio now, on our way “home”.  No mail from you!  What an empty feeling it gives inside.  But, I realize what happened, and when your letters do start coming through again, I’ll appreciate them that much more.

Darling, here it is, August 12th already, and I haven’t had time to write since the above attempt.  Oh!  I’ve written to you every night, mentally, on watch, in fact darling, I’ve written a song about, “Cyclone” (my cyclone that is).  But, it’s been so hard to find time to get words down on paper.  It’s not so much the fact that I’ve been busy, because I know you have been busy too.  It’s just that sailing hours are so inconvenient that they take all the pep out of you.

We are only in each port a few hours, most of that time I’m working cargo.  Then, we always seem to sail around 2:00 am which means I get into the sack about 2:45 am, and have to get up for my watch at 3:30 am, which, as you can see makes me rather tired the next day.  This procedure is repeated every two or three days until we leave Trinidad, then I can catch up on my sleep for New York.  Now, if I can only concentrate on getting a few of these mental letters that I write on watch, down on paper and mailed to you, I imagine you would be a lot happier.

Oh sweet cyclone, excuse me for saying it, but, I know how much you love me, and want my letters, even if they are scrawled fast and unreadable on the paper, just as the contact between our two hearts is as constant as possible, and I feel awful when I’m too tired to write.  But, I’ll work out a routine yet, so that the letters will keep coming even if all I can say is: 

“My love, my heart, my cyclone,

I’m your Dave forever.”

G’NITE

4 August 1948. Bermuda

bermuda

Dearest,

This will have to be short and sweet, because the stevedores are going to unload beer and wine, and I have to count the bottles.

Honey, you know how constantly you are on my mind. How often, on the bridge at night, my thoughts are of you. So, please, Betty, be a little patient for another week or so, then my letters will come faster.

You see, they don’t carry any pursers on these ships any more and the Captain and myself have to split up all the paper work.

As if that isn’t bad enough, all the cargo we are carrying at present is what you call special cargo. That is, expensive items that have to be counted separately by the mates before being unloaded. This takes up almost all my time, and the little bit left is usually devoted to sleeping.

But, in a few weeks, the cargo will be different, I can relax, catch up on lost sleep, wash clothes, mend socks, and WRITE to you. What? What? What? What?

Maybe I can add a little more to this later, but right now I’m in a hurry. Please excuse the writing. I’ll have more time later on. I hope.

I’ll certainly be glad when the rest of this cargo is gone. The trouble is, we drop off, 200 tons in Bermuda, 87 tons at St. Croix, 300 tons at St. Kitts, etc…, all down the line.  All while you are at one port, your time is spent checking cargo ashore.  Just as soon as you are done, it’s time to leave for the next place.  Oh well!  You get loads like this occasionally, and the only thing to do is forget everything else and concentrate entirely on the cargo and navigation between ports, and the mountain of paperwork.

I like the job because I am experienced in it and know what I am doing.  That is a big factor to consider.  However, right now, I should like to know about 12 hours in which to do nothing except sit down, look at your picture and write to you about a mate who loves you, and whose life will be incomplete until he holds you in his arms once more.

We have what it takes to make a happy and successful union, and the sooner you realize it the happier I shall be. (oops!  you should be too!).

Well, I’m awfully busy now Cyclone, so I’ll have to run.  Keep my heart in working order.

Darling-I LOVE YOU,

Dave.

 

 

25 July. One Day and a Half Out of Rio De Janeiro

Dearest  “Cyclone”,

Hello Darling!  Still love me?  Say, remember all the kidding we’ve done about “champagne”?  Well, the other night they had a masquerade ball for the First Class passengers, and one woman, a Met. Opera Star, bound for a season in Rio, came up to Capt. Sadler and wanted him to help her decide on a costume.

I guess, because I did a little extra work last trip, Capt. Sadler thought of me, and gave me the job.

None of the mates liked the idea, myself included.  The Steward’s Dept. handles passengers.  Deck Dept. has a few other things to do, not the least of them being keeping the ship afloat.

Well, orders are orders, and the Captain was on the spot, so, I took half a sheet, stretched it out on the bridge wing, and drew a chart of North and South America with all the BRAZIL’s courses on it for a skirt!  One of her friends went as a Moore Mac Cormack smokestack, and her three children (triplets) went as the Good Neighbor Fleet:  Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.

MCCORMICKWell, they won first prize, so, the opera star sent me a bottle of French Champagne, which we shall investigate at the Henry Hudson Hotel.

I have Choppy all fixed up, so far, with Johnny, so everything is ok.  The room is all reserved, commencing the night of the 22nd of August until sailing day.  If, for some reason Choppy can’t come, don’t you fail me darling, after all we are engaged now and we know how we feel about such matters, as I presume, your mother also does.  Don’t fail me sweetheart!  Please!

Heart of mine, faithful and true,

Love me always, as I love you.

All my love Cyclone,

Dave.

28 July 1948. Rio De Janeiro

breakfast

 

My own darling “Cyclone”,

You now have only 277 more days before you have to get up and cook my breakfast!

I received one letter when we got in, and am enclosing my only copy of addresses in this letter.  I’m afraid I won’t be hearing from you too much this voyage, unless you send a few letters, as soon as you receive this new list of addresses.  Do your best though, please darling.  You know how much getting letters means to you, well, just put yourself on the other side of the equator, where only a few people speak English even, and then try to imagine how priceless a letter, direct from the heart of your loved one, becomes.

Betty, my love, it’s twenty minutes to 8:00 p.m..  I’ve got to sleep to eleven because I work from midnight to 8:00 a.m. in South American Ports.  So, I’ll have to cut this letter short.  I have to go on deck and earn the price of a finder for our new car and maybe a little for our “baby” bank account.

I’m sorry this letter is so short, but, I’m in a hurry and I wanted you to have those addresses right away, so I can read some more of your lovely letters SOON!

Yours as long as I live.

Love,

Dave

 

 

 

One Day Out. Bahia, Brazil

Dearest Cyclone,

Now, don’t start thinking our schedule has changed.  It hasn’t.  We only stay 8 hours in Bahia, then, on to Rio and, I hope, a few letters from you.  The first stretch of each voyage, I think must be the hardest part.  After having been in each others arms, to have to wait about 12 days to read a letter from your love is a little rough.

Darling, I have reserved a room for you and Choppy for 5 days, starting on the night of Sunday August 22nd.  The Henry Hudson Hotel on W57th street.  You’ll like the hotel.  It’s only a few blocks from the West side raised highway, so I can get from the hotel down to the ship in no time. 

Henry Hudson 

Also, one of the ass’t. managers there used to be Deck Dept. Yeoman on the “Brazil”.  I stopped in to see him on my way to the ship after I landed at La Guardia Field.

FLASH!!!  Do you know that you only have 280 mornings before you have to start getting out of a nice, cozy, warm bed to cook breakfast for me?  It’s a long wait my love, but, we will manage somehow, and won’t we be happy then!  I have to close now.

Dearest Cyclone, loving and true,

love me always, as I love you.

 

G’nite,

Your Dave

8 July 1948

8 July 1948

Dearly Beloved,
Well, usual routine! Up at 3:00 AM, on watch until 8:00 AM, walk down two decks to the library, go to Mass, and communion, walk down three more decks, and off for breakfast. Pretty soft eh! Each time I do it, I can’t help but think of the walk that you have to Mass.

The “Brazil’s” priest is a Monseigneur. Not bad eh! After two years of navy services in the Pacific catching Mass and then Sacraments whenever I could, I’m now on a ship with a “Monseigneur” and have daily Mass.

I’ve been trying to get a good tan before I take you swimming, but I don’t have enough time during the day to lie down for a sun bath, and when you stand up, and work, in a bathing suit, (when I’m off watch; on watch I have to be buttoned up in dress whites regardless of the heat.), the sun is so high, that your shoulders get burned and the rest of you stays white.

Honey, I have no intentions whatsoever of mailing this letter, we are far at sea, on our way home, with no chance of mailing this before I get to New York. In fact, you probably will never see this letter.

It’s just that I’m so anxious, now that the time is drawing near. So anxious, to hold you and that warm, lovely body made for my love, in my arms, I try to express sufficiently well, what you are now as aware of as I am. That my search in life has ended. That I have found a woman, sweet enough, loving clever enough, exciting enough, fruitful enough and trusting in me enough, so that I can concentrate more love than I think you, who are just awakening to the depths of love, are aware exists, on one woman alone forever. Therein lies part of the beauty of love. On this ship I see, during my rounds of inspection, many things, some of which it might be better I didn’t see, but which are nonetheless, part of my job. I don’t come in contact with, but notice all the different married and single couples, and the usual female shepherdesses with their flock of eager sheep.

When the feeling, which someday I hope to explain, comes over me, you are right beside me, I glow with happiness, a new spring comes into my walk, my moods are brighter, I’m actually polite to obnoxious passengers, my heart sings with joy, and I start to whistle softly as I continue my inspection of the ship. Because I realize that everything I see is a different stage in the attempt of so many people to find a semblance of what we have, are aware of, and hold dear.

While so many, like the “Kraft Cheese” Heiress, on board, are extremely wealthy, on the other hand, I find so many ways in which they are sadly lacking. So much that they miss, and I humbly realize that I am wealthier far, than the majority of them will ever be. Because I have a “true blue” woman who is absolutely faithful and true, and who has sense enough to know that I derive more than a good deal of content out of being absolutely 150% trustworthy and faithful myself.

From the moment my ring went on your finger, please realize darling that, I became completely, indescribably completely yours. So much so that if I even danced with another woman, I’d be miserable because my arms belong only to you and have no business around any one else’s.

When you come to my arms and we are “home’ once more, please realize that you are actually “home” when you are in the circle of my arms. Look upon it as your haven, a place to be thrilled, excited, happy, or have a good cry in, it’s a space that is completely yours and I forbid any one else to ever, as long as I am alive, trespass there. I’m yours completely darling. You do not actually leave my arms once during the whole voyage. The soft, tangible, warm, sweet curvaciousness of you is gone yes, but your memory is lingering strongly and it presents an insurmountable obstacle for any other woman.

All my love forever,
Dave

P.S. I’m going to mail this after all. It says a few things I want you to know.

beauty

April 9, 1948…Until the Day I Die

photo (21)

Hi my Darling,

Just received four of your delicious epistles. You’ve no idea how sweet and much looked forward to, your letters have become since you realized how much you are in love, and gathered enough courage to tell me about it. It really does wonders for me to read of your love and, our mutual desires, and wish for fulfillment.

Oh my love, we shall be so happy together! (and the time is going by, slowly, but steadily.) If you should become a little frightened, as the time goes by, please try to remember that all girls of our religion should feel that way, it’s only natural. But, also try to remember what I have told you about the patience and understanding I’ll give you after we are married.

Any strain or uneasiness when we are together is caused by necessary restraint, making us overly conscious of one another physically, in an attempt to be forewarned of dangerous waves of evolving emotion.

All that, and your thoughts resulting from that will cease when we become man and wife. Then, and only then will our association actually be as happy as it should be. Then, with kindness, and lasting love, we will begin to know each other, and act normally and unrestrained toward another.

Instead of being frightened about that time, try to realize that our love is strong enough now to keep us happy, and, how much happier we will be when we are united “straight up and down”, in a normal existence. (the only thing abnormal about it will be how completely well matched and happily wedded we will be).

So, next time you are “frightened”, or should I say apprehensive?, realize, PLEASE, my love, that you are over half way through the unnatural, “frightening” stage of our relationship, with flying colors, and am now heading toward the contentment and peace that awaits you eagerly in your favorite spot, when we are married.

My life,
My heart,
My happiness from April 9, 1948 until the day I die,

I love you,

Dave.

13 June 1948

13 june 1948

 

Dearest Heart,

Tonight the sky is clear and cloudless, the horizon sharp.  Venus, Denebola, Aldebaran, and Achernar crossed beautifully on the chart for a position of, Latitude 10′-11’S, Longitude 34′-36’W.

Can you hear me, way up there, beyond the broad waist line of the earth?  I love you, love you, love you.  Can you hear me?  Darling I know you can!

At the time you were teaching Sunday School, or finishing Mass this morning, I was kneeling in the library on the Promenade Deck, dedicated to a Moore MacCormack Mate who was lost during the war.  Hearing Mass with the rustle of the wave on the low notes in the choir and the gentle southwesterly breeze running over the soprano parts.  Truly the music of God for his divine Banquet!

Part of the time, I was in St. Pat’s with my love beside me listening to a Dominican Father talking about, “straight up and down”, and oh my darling, so it is, straight up and down!  So much so that, when in church, my mind wanders to you, as it persists in doing, I feel then that I am still praying, in a sense, and the most wonderful feeling of delicious content enshrouds me, and I am overjoyed, because I am positive that you, my love, loving as deeply as I, enjoy similar moments.  We are privileged, we too, in having each other.  God grant, fulfillment for us be not too long delayed.

I shall proclaim my everlasting, joyous love for you, and all you are a symbol of, to me, for as long as I shall live.  Just as long as you remain “Betty”, the Betty I love, I shall envy no man, and be content with my lot and God’s gift of you.

My precious I love you, I love you, what else can I say except that I’m bubbling over with desire and need and want for your delicious comforting, presence, here beside me, right now, so I could hold you in my arms closely, caress you and know that, forever, you are mine, straight up and down!

Goodnight my life,

Love,

Your Dave

Courtship, Betty and Dave

Courtship, Betty and Dave