Setting the Date

Dearest Cyclone,

Say, about our wedding date.  You had your wish about waiting until May.  Now, listen to me about the day in May.

The S. S. Brazil arrives in New York on Wednesday May 4th and sails again on Friday May 6th for a 45 day trip.  I think we should make Thursday May 5th our wedding day.  Then Johnny may have a chance to be there, maybe even Ward Castle if he can get off.  But, Thursday May 5th I should like to be our wedding day darling.

One thing about the ceremony, you don’t have too much to plan in the actual ceremony.  God took care of that Himself when He made it a Sacrament, and provided an absolutely perfect beginning for any young couple.  Just imagine how wonderful it will be to be side by side, at last, at our Wedding Mass.  Oh! darling what can I say to let you know how deeply I feel it even now five months before.  I can feel goose pimples of sheer joy playing tag on my spine when i think of you there beside me, when the priest says those words.  You know, my love, I believe we are wrong when we say that there are no words to express how deeply we feel our love.  There are words and not in the little black box either.  The words of the marriage vows taken with God, at His Mass, sanctified by His presence.

I think that then, when, after you say, “I do”, I look into your exquisitely expressive Irish eyes, I shall see the faith, complete trust, and confidence of undying love written there.  A union glorified and protected by divine love.

How can Catholics help but marry for eternity?  If two people as much in love as we are, listen with their hearts opened before them to the words of their Service, how could either of them ever be unfaithful afterward.

Oh darling, if only there were some way that we could get a hold of all the young couples who will go racing to a notary public, a Justice of the Peace, or a Sea Captain, in the month of May, and let them have the opportunity that God has given us.

I’m getting a little impatient now, for our wedding.  Not impatient for selfish reasons, but impatient for you to become used to me and for you to begin to enjoy the rich fullness of happy married life.

Soon, my wife,




William Sloane House Y.M.C.A., July 17, 1947

photo (18)

Hello ” My Heart”,

I just received the letter you wrote on Wednesday, and I’d like to say thank you.  I wanted so much to have you say it in writing.  I have your letter with me now, on board, and I read it over occasionally just to make certain, to be sure I’m not dreaming it.

You know, honey, a man is only allowed to stay twenty-eight days a year in the Sloane House.  It’s one of their regulations.  But, if I ‘am not on a ship by next week, I think I have the problem solved.

One of the men in the office has asked me to live with he and his wife.  Their two daughters were married recently and the house is practically empty.  It’s only about 3/4 of an hour outside of  Manhattan.  I Told him I’d wait until I found out what was in store for me next week before I gave my answer.

It has actually been a relief to get on board ship these last three nights.  I don’t think I ever felt the heat so much.  Uptown in Manhattan the temperature has been in the eighties but the humidity has been over 90%.  Whereas, down here on the ship, cooling force due to westerly breezes are a welcome relief.

Darling, I hope you don’t really fall in love with me until I come home.  Because, judging from my own feelings, you’d really miss me terribly if you did.

I hope your headaches haven’t been too bad of late.  I wish you’d watch those sweetheart.  There must be something definitely wrong, and some positive steps you can take to correct it.  It’s a shame!  You are so exquisitely healthy otherwise.

Your wonderful letters have become a source of comfort and joy to me sweetheart.  So!  If you want to see your “ole sea daddy” really comfortable, just keep up the flow!  Don’t let the tide start to ebb.

So, for a foolish moment you entertained the absurd notion that I didn’t want to be bothered with you anymore eh?  You poor fool!  You can’t win!  If the time should come when I don’t want to see you anymore, believe me you will have no cause to wonder, you’ll know!  ( I hate to even write sentences like that, much less think them.)

Oh gosh darling!  Right now I’d even let you throw sand on me, just so long as we could be on the point at 3rd Cliff together.
The Third Cliff Scituate, MA
It would be an exciting change for me to murmur, “port, starboard, amidships!”, then open my eyes and see you instead of finding that once more I had only been kissing my pillow in my sleep.

Oh Betty, I love you! Please let me find the same light in those lovely eyes when I get back that I left in them when last we kissed!

I don’t know from day to day what the next day will bring me. I may be assigned to a ship tomorrow, and yet it may be another week. In any case, I can’t say for sure, when I can see you. Know you! It will be as soon as I can possibly make it.

I was walking down to the ship to go on watch when I noticed a club in the Village, a basement club, called “La Salle de Champagne”.  I’ll take you there when we are in New York together one day.  It’s a wonderful place.  They serve nothing but wine and in a wonderful atmosphere with divans, soft lights, and the full crisp notes of Chopin on the piano. It’s really a find! Take it from one who is past the night club stage. I had a glass of wine, you guess what kind? Was close to you for several moments, then went to the ship. Good night. Keep my heart beside your own!

I love you,