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

5 June 1948. S/S Brazil

11:00 pm

250 miles due east of Bermuda

5 june

Good Evening my Darling,

Tired as I am, I couldn’t go to bed without saying goodnight to you.  I have been working since 3:30 this morning on charts, radar, and a slew of other things that you are not acquainted with as yet.

I’m suppose to be on watch 8 hrs. a day, only.  So far I’ve averaged 17 hours today.  It may sound funny to you, but the harder I work, and the less sleep I get now, the sooner I’ll get a crack at that Second’s berth and an increased bank account.

Darling, you were wonderful, when we were together this week.  It seems that each time I take you in my arms, you find some tender new way of making me more aware of your love.

Honey, I just can’t keep my eyes open any longer, so I’ll have to continue tomorrow.

It’s a long way to the first of May,

But you are dearer

with each passing day.

Corny!  But, oh how true!  Maybe you’d better start wearing “Nighties” now so you’ll be used to them!  See you in half an hour, in Technicolor.  Gosh!  I need you tonight!  Goodnight Precious!

10 June

Sweetheart, I know you realize how anxious I am to keep you well supplied with letters from me.  So, when I say that 5 days have gone by and I haven’t had a moment to sit down and say things I want to say, you may have an idea just how busy I have been.

Eventually, I’ll be able to write a letter each night and have two or three letters to mail at each port.  But, right now Johnny and I are busy getting the deck department set for the peacetime schedule, and the navigation dep’t, set for Admiral Nichols inspection, at the end of each voyage.

Johnny has been wonderful.  On duty, he is Ch. Officer all the way and works me harder than anyone else.  He’s after me so much and giving me so many jobs to do that the other mates are beginning to think that Johnny has a grudge against me.  When I say he works me, I mean I have practically no time to myself, except the 4 hrs. maximum sleep I get each night.

What the other mates don’t seem to notice is that Johnny works hard too, in fact, he works with me most of the time.  But they still can’t see why he picks on me.

What they don’t realize is that Johnny drops into my room for a “night-cap” each night before we turn in.  Johnny says he never had a mate before that he could work hard and long any time he needed to, and have that same fellow as his buddy when off duty.  We are both very pleased at the arrangement.  You’d be surprised at the amount of work and reports and surveys, etc.. that we turn out.

While we have our night-cap, he becomes my friend again, and we talk about how lucky I am and how much we are in love, and what a wonderful feeling it is to be so delighted with the woman who’ll share your life and bed forever.

Then, we try to straighten his love life out.  He tells me all his troubles and, I don’t know why, but he seems to value my advice.

The captain on a liner like this rarely speaks to any of the mates, excepting to say, “Good Morning”, with the exception of Johnny and the Second.  He’s too busy, and it tends to keep him a sort of legendary figure, so, that when he does give an order, in an emergency it’s obeyed immediately.

Well, my drafting has come in handy.  I’m inking and plotting Route Courses on charts, and plotting the positions of wrecks etc… it’s a lot like drafting.  There’s a good bit of lettering to be done too.  The whole job will take over a month.  Well, Johnny was so tickled with the job I did that he called the Captain and showed  him.  There were several other mates in the chartroom at the time, so, the Captain merely said it was a neat job.

But later, he came in to my cabin and congratulated me on my work since I came on board as well as my chart work.  So help me, I was speechless!  It was what Johnny and I were working for.

You see, the Second’s job will be open after this trip and Johnny wants me to get the job, (over the son of the Port Steward).  That’s why Johnny and I both agreed that I was to work like “HELL” with the good chance of Second Officer after this trip and First Officer before the summer is out.

Captain Sadler has the privilege of picking his own officers and he’ll promote his own as high as he can before taking any from ashore.  That’s what he did for Johnny, let him go First Officer on a Chief Mate’s ticket (almost all First Officers have to have Captain’s papers).  That’s what Johnny is trying to get the Captain to do for me.  So far it’s going fine.  Say a few prayers darling!

Oh, speaking of prayers, when I go Second Officer, and get on the 12-4 watch, I’ll be able to receive Holy Communion every day at 8:00 am.  Now, I can’t because I’m on watch.  That’s Moore-McCormack for you.

moore-mccormick-saHoly Mass in the cabin class library every morning, at sea, and in port.  A priest makes every voyage with us, and usually about six or eight nuns also, (transfers).  This is the first time I’ve ever been on a ship where Mass was said every day.  I can’t wait until I’m Second, then I can go down two decks every morning, go to Mass, receive daily Communion, then go to the officer’s mess for breakfast, without even leaving my job.  Isn’t that wonderful.  You’ll have to go some to receive Communion as often as me during the next year.

My love forever,

Your Dave

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.”

"Davey"

“Davey”

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,

Dave

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!