At Sea. 22 September 1947

at sea

Darling Betty,

It is evening! The soft, lulling, hiss of the season’s first snow is just audible above the lively crackle of the fire, and through the storm windows. The golden circle of light from the fire forms a cozy haven from the overture of winter without.

Here in “pre-tucking -in” conversation, sit a sweet young girl, Betty and her son, “Davy”. After the consistency of pleading, of which only the young are capable, the bedtime story begins. Taking a lock of hair from the little boy’s head at her breast, and curling it around her finger, with a strange sparkle in her eyes, she looks into the fire and says:

“Once there was a man who, sailed ships like that one on the mantelpiece, all over the world. But, after six years, he no longer wanted to go to sea, he wanted to come home and settle down and have little boys like you, Davy.”

So he started working ashore helping his father design houses, like this one. But, he wasn’t happy, although he was glad to be home with his mother and father, and put thoughts of war, Iwo Jima, and the marine he killed behind him. He was uneasy, and needed an outlet to ease his mind until he decided how he was going to earn his living ashore.

Now, about this time, the snow started to fall, and one day while he was cleaning the cellar, this man noticed a pair of skiis, covered and neglected in the dust of six years of idleness.

So each weekend he would relax by going North into the crisp, untarnished air and ski, and ski, and ski, until his heart, (still within him) sang with exhilaration, and joy.

Now, one weekend, on a reunion with several old ski buddies, back also from the, “Late Hate”, he met a lovely girl, who was to change his whole life.

He tried several means of becoming acquainted, one most notable. But, he had little success, so he copied down her name and address from the hotel register, resolving to try to get in touch with her when he got home.

After the initial date, things went smoothly, and the nights they were together went by all too fast. After a few months, and with her help, he finally made up his mind to go back to sea for a year.

Now the girl knew that the man loved her very much, in fact, he gave her his heart for her birthday. But, she really didn’t think she loved him, until after he had gone to sea. Then she began to miss him, and to realize that she might be falling in love with him too!

Then little Davy raised his head sleepily and asked, “Who was the man Mommy?” “He was Your Daddy!” you answer.”



Maybe someday you can tell a little Davey that, my love. I hope so! At least it’s my dream at present. Will it be yours?

I love you Betty,


P.S. This letter sounds a little strange, when I read it over, but you get the general idea, so please bear with me on the rest. ( I really shouldn’t send it, but, oh well- here goes!)

Goodnight Darling!


She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not…..

she loves me loves me not

Trinidad, September 23, 1947

Dearest Betty,

I just got in today and was on my way to the U.S.O. to shoot some pool, when I received your letter. (The one where you asked me when my birthday was.). So, I thought I’d better answer right away, and let the pool wait for a while.

First, I shall ask you to discount one of the two letters I mailed today as utter foolishness, on my part. You, in your present state of mind, would think me ridiculous for having written it. But, I mailed it before yours came, so, it’s too late now. Just don’t pay too much attention to it.

I think that when I first wrote to you and omitted all mention, or most all, of my feelings toward you, I was following the right track. In fact, I’m sure of it. You only became confused when you read of a love which you have no realization of, and certainly not the ability to reciprocate, as yet at any rate.

Certainly, you, off all people can have no doubt as to the depth and sincerity of my feelings toward you. You are well aware that up until this moment I have been absolutely positive.

But, now I’m becoming rather frightened. Phrases like, “I do not have faith in my fellow humans”, and, “I am distrustful and cowardly”, do not digest at all well, on this end of the line. You can’t mean that. How could you, and still entertain the thought of becoming a Nun.

Now, I’ll tell you something that may seem rather strange to you when you recall our first date. I danced with a girl at the Country Club here in Port of Spain several weeks ago, the only date, incidentally, that I have had down here; my heart having been left elsewhere, in confused, but careful hands.

I think that I couldn’t have made much of an impression on her, not that it matters any. But, we had a nice friendly chat on the way home, and, at her door, naturally I didn’t kiss her, she told me that she thought, rather than go to sea, I should become a Priest.

images6M019ID0I guess she was rather offended when I laughed at her, because, you see, I don’t think I’m capable of being a good priest. Yet, I try to have faith in my fellow humans, and, after theĀ “Late Hate”, I do not consider myself cowardly or unworthy of trust. These factors are essential for anyone taking up the “Cloth”.

Yet, you claim that you feel you were meant to be a Nun. My darling, you are pure enough, religious enough, but, by your own admittance,you lack several of the bare essentials.




I say, you were no more meant to be a Nun than I a Priest. I feel that your place is beside me, sharing our love, but, now I’m beginning to doubt whether you will realize any love for me.

From your letters, I would judge you are working to hard at it, with little or no results. A bad sign for me! For, in the first place, it should come to you, you shouldn’t have to work your mind into that train of thought. In the second place, if you should try to work yourself into that state, and worked on it as you seem to be doing, something most assuredly would have happened by this time. Then you state, in your letter, “Sometimes I think it would be far better for you if you just gave me up as a bad job because I do not understand your love for me.”.

There is the key, “you cannot understand my love for you”, and yet you believe in it or do you? You can’t understand, because, just as a “code-cipher” needs a key to be understood, so, my love, needs at least a flicker of response to be understood, and, an answering flame, to be appreciated. I thought you had them, but, now I don’t know.

I know this, if we came off beach heads at Iwo Jima, when we thought we couldn’t hold out, it would have been a lot longer war. So, I’m staying in the hopeless (?) fight for your love, even if I have to hang on by my eyelashes. (Oh, to have you here right now, so I could straighten out, and knock some sense into that sweet head of yours!)

Know this, before I close, I only give my heart knowingly and completely, once, to you. But it must have capable and enduring shelter. If you do not find it possible, after patiently, (I’m not in a hurry),examining yourself, then I shall have to find more enduring shelter, with one I love less, but will return it more capably.

Darn it!

I love you,

Your Dave.