March 7th, 2004

mich

my folks' love letters

Back a coupla weeks into the separation, I went ahead and opened a small box I'd been dragging around the country for years, waiting for the right time to explore its contents: it was marked "Nick's Letters," in my mother's hand, and it looked as if it had been sealed for a good while before she died (in 1997, just months after H. and I got together). (My father's name was Duane, but, like several of the Nichols men [until my brother], he went by "Nick" in some circles---I think his dad was Big Nick and his grandfather Daddy Nick or Pappa Nick at some point.) I'd always wanted to wait for the right time to sit down, crack open the box, and dig in, and it finally seemed to be the right time.

I sampled a few letters right away, but mostly just tried to sort 'em, put 'em in some kind of order. Turned out there were letters from my mother to my father, too, and a few letters and cards from other people to my father, plus some papers from his time at ROTC camp---strange typed & carboned schedules for drills and the like.

It seems the correspondence between the two started at Christmas break, 1949--50, at the end of what must have been the semester in which they were set up on a date by mutual friends at the U. of S. Dakota. Collapse )
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