Letter #10: How Proud I Felt

I'm continuing my series of scanning, transcribing, and annotating my grandfather's love letters to my grandmother leading up to their marriage in June 1940. The letters are chronologically organized and preserved, using the methods I discuss in detail in my book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs

I can't believe we're already at the 10th letter so far! In this letter, Grandpa returns home from a weekend in Paterson, NJ. He originally was going to return on Monday, but came home on Sunday instead. His friend Fred (I'm assuming from the neighborhood) has come to Scranton to work in the factory too.

I'm curious about what rooms in boarding houses looked like. There are so few of these types of buildings around anymore. I remember visiting one near the campus of the University of Minnesota and one in Brooklyn years ago. I can't imagine sharing a bathroom with strangers, but I can imagine that in time you figure out a way to make it work. 

I found this picture of my grandparents dolled up and happy from 1941. They would've been just married. Is Grandma wearing the coat and dress that Grandpa talked about in the letter? Were they on their way to church? Who's taking the picture? Is it Otto?

 Newlyweds Ray and Ann, 1941

Newlyweds Ray and Ann, 1941

Over the weekend, they must have figured out a date for the wedding: mid-June. The countdown begins!

Grandpa has started to develop a plan to save for the date and afterward, when he'll be supported the two of them. 

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***

Sunday Feb 11, 1940

Scranton Penna.

Dear Ann:

We arrived here at 6 o'clock sharp. The roads were clear so we had smooth sailing all along. Just as we neared Scranton the sun was setting in the mountains, making a very beautiful picture. 

As soon as we arrived Otto and I unpacked and then took his cousin, Fred Eickenberg over to the room we looked over for him on Friday. He did not take it immediately but after seeing the outside of another place we had looked at on Friday and talking it over with Otto and I, he took it. He lives three short blocks from where we are staying.

It hurt me very much to have to leave you as I did after giving you the hope that I would stay until Monday morning. The day can not come soon enough when we will no longer have to part as we now have to.

I am looking forward to my work with renewed vigor now. I am almost sure that I will clear up alot of the work that has been piling up

Now that our wedding date is definitely settled as June 15 or 16 we will have to start laying definite plans and sort of check up and see if we have and that we get everything necessary for a good start. I am going to lay out a plan whereby I will save $7.50 per week and get some new clothes, etc., before we are married, so as it will not be necessary to buy them for at least the first few months after we are married.

In closing, I want to tell you how proud I felt this morning when I took you to church, dressed in your new coat and lovely dress. Good night, sweet dreams, I remain Your ever loving Sweetheart.

“Newt”

.***

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