Posts Tagged "Family"

Love Letters 69th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Historical Portland, Photo, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

Sixty-nine years ago on July 27th Morris married Arline in a Congregational Church in Portland Maine. My dad died in 1999. Arline now lives in a condo in a large “hotel style” three hundred unit building inside Rossmoor, a huge gated retirement community in Walnut Creek, California.

Morris and Arline c.1946 Wedding Day

Morris and Arline c.1946 Wedding Day

Arline moved in four months ago from a townhouse.  I’ve been staying with her in a challenging process of introducing new household help, not easy. Arline doesn’t want any helpers, not any I choose anyway.

Today day started out rough. But I left for a few hours and it turned peaceful. I found a twenty dollar bill on the side walk. I fell asleep with my dog in the park. I’m just giving back to God my hope that this will all work out somehow so she can remain in her own beautiful condo.

In the evening, while snacking on an obscenly chocolate muffin- causing me to scold her for skipping dinner – Arline told me about a man that had plopped down next to her downstairs while she was sitting on a bench. It happened at about 5PM. “He told me his whole life story,” she said. Arline was amazed. She kept bringing it up.

Arline kept asking me questions to identify the timing. Maybe she correlated the man with something about her wedding day. I was so self absorbed I forgot it was her anniversary though she mentioned it two days ago. “He just kept talking and talking. He talked about WW2 and all about his life, and telling me everything about himself.” This is the first day anything like this has happened in years. It occurs to me now that Morris was sometimes like that – sometimes he’d just talk and talk but on a particular topic or theme.

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Mother’s Day Love Letter

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in 1920s and 1930s, All Blog Posts, Holiday, WW2 Love Letter | 0 comments

In memory of a day when people wrote each other letters, I wrote to my mother on Mother’s day and read her this letter.

Dear Mother Arline,

A favorite memory was that time in the 1970s when I was twelve. You gave me the book “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931).

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

I still have it. I was just reading a passage. When you gave me the book it was one of those pivotal moments. I still wonder the reason you chose to give me this particular sacred book. I remember you handing it to me.

Mom, I’m grateful you supported my spiritual quest in my early teenage years. Kahlil Gibran had a benefactress, Mary Elizabeth Haskell. That they were lovers in spirit.

Mary Elizabeth Haskell Kahlil Gibran's Benefactress

Mary Elizabeth Haskell
Kahlil Gibran’s Benefactress

Mary was ten years his senior and a school headmistress. She later married another man but continued to support Kahlil financially. When Gibran died at age 48 he willed the contents of his studio to Mary. There in his artist studio Mary discovered her letters to Kahlil spanning twenty-three years. She recognized their historical value and decided to save them. Excerpts of the over six hundred letters were published in “Beloved Prophet” in 1972.  I’ve got them on order.

The Prophet writes that Love injures us in all its ways so that we may find the secrets of our own heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s Heart. He must be talking about Divine Oneness at a point in time where God was moving out of fashion in favor of homogenized spirituality.

Martha the Prophetess writes: Love is all. Love is all good.  All good does not injure. It’s only humble human failings, not Love, that thresh, sift, grind and knead us as the prophet accused Love. It’s solely man’s inhumanity to man, the tyrant of a finite reality. Mortal love is at best a transitory reflection of Truth. Pain and sadness have no part in Love’s dance. True Love is Life’s unbreakable covenant, Love. True Love is Holy only.   

Mom, I love you today and everyday.

Loving You,

Martha

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Bowdoin College Moonlit Pines 1943

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Holiday, Vintage Style, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s 1943. The WWII draft is on. For all he knows it may be his last Valentines season. Seventy years ago Morris finds exceptional beauty in a winter night at Bowdoin College. Moonlit pines weighted with snow glisten like Christmas Trees. He writes Arline a Love Letter a few days post Valentines day, “I have never seen Bowdoin as beautiful…”

WWII Letter excerpt

Bowdoin College Winter Night 1943

 

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Sailor who Never Went to Sea

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Today is February 1st, 2015. I pull a WW2 love letter, the first one that matches the date, but 1943. Today lends itself to the fine the art of avoiding writing by reading sentimental old love letters.  This is how one writer spent her Super Bowl Sunday. Morris would be at the T.V. if he were here. But he’s now seventy-two years ago, the Morris who is at Bowdoin College in winter. His good friend has just been drafted, got a notice and is leaving. Morris is returning from the movie Casablanca and finds a sailor lying out in cold Maine snow:

Excerpt WW2 Love Letter

Sailor who Never Went to Sea. Image of WW2 Letter

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WW2 Love Letter from Hamilton Hotel

Posted by on Jan 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Holiday, Media, Navy, South Pacific, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

It’s December 31, 2014

WW2 Love Letter Alexander Hamilton Hotel

WWII Love Letter excerpt from Hamilton Hotel November 1944

It was a great Christmas trip. Check out was 12 noon at the Harbor Court Hotel in the Financial District of San Francisco.  The Harbor Court is in the historic red brick YMCA building across from the ferry docks. It has views of the Bay Bridge.  There was one thing left to do in San Francisco. I wanted to go see the Alexander Hamilton Hotel where Morris sent Arline his last letter before shipping off to the South Pacific in WW2.

My taxi driver got tangled in one way streets. This caused just the right delay so that as I peered into the Hamilton’s front security door, a resident was on his way out. He was curious. “Can I help you?” “Yes!” I gave him the quick story. Tom was not only kind, but he’s also a real estate agent. The Hamilton is now condos. But the Art Deco style of the hotel is totally preserved. Boys shipping off in WW2 got a last taste of America in Art Deco style at The Hamilton. My tour included the ocean view deck and there’s a piano in the lobby. I wondered which room Morris had occupied when he wrote the letter. I looked up from the roof’s deck and saw a star in one window.

Hamilton Hotel Entrance San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Entrance Martha in San Francisco

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby

Hamilton Hotel Lobby Thank you Tom!

Hamilton Hotel Lobby
Thank you Tom!

Balcony at Hamilton Hotel

Balcony over Lobby
Hamilton Hotel

Art at the Hamilton Hotel

Art matches the style at the Art Deco Hamilton Hotel

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard

Hamilton Hotel Courtyard Art Deco Fountain

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom

Hamilton Hotel Ballroom area

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Elevators

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel Fireplace

Hamilton Hotel

The Roof Deck has an Ocean View. A Star was Shining in One Window.

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