Eighty-nine years ago today my dad was born in West Plains, Missouri to parents Will and Minnie Smith Yates. Although Dad passed away in 1996, his life lives on through letter and photos from his past. This letter was written on the eve of his 24th birthday and he was feeling “pretty old”.
He and Mom had married in Seattle at her parent’s home on Queen Anne Hill, and way back in the 1980′s Mom and I took a trip down memory lane by going back to that house. It just so happened that the owner let us come in and look around on that sunny summer day. Mom was thrilled as she showed me her old room upstairs, and even more so to have me see the marble front fireplace which she and Dad were married in front of on February 5, 1944.
Dad’s love letter of March 15, 1944 was written from Quillayute NAS where he was working after coming back from a tour with the Navy in New Calendonia. As you read in the letter, housing was at a premium, but they did eventually find a little one room place in Forks so they could be together instead of Mom living with her parents. Mom said that place was so small they could stay in bed and reach out and light the woodstove!
I have to say, I don’t remember my dad ever calling Mom “Darling” when we were around…
Thinking of you on your special day Dad, and missing you lots.