Since today would have been my maternal grandfather’s 91st birthday, I’ve bumped this week’s Old-Timey Tuesday, which is drawn from the Abernathy archive, to Wednesday. When we were in Tennessee over Memorial Day for a family feed, my mom and her brothers were given a shoebox full of letters and photos from their parents that their cousins found while cleaning out their late parents’ home. It’s another goldmine, of course. The coolest find is the letter Grandpa Fred wrote to his mother sharing news of his engagement. Below are scans of the pages and the text of the letter. It’s pretty much the best thing ever.
Sept. 15, 1946
As I told you when I called today, I’m now engaged. Her name is Jean Reeves. She’s twenty years old, 5 ft 1¾ inches tall, weighs 101 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes, and a beautiful smile. I took some pictures today and will send those along as soon as they’re developed.
Her home is Taylors, S.C., about 8 miles from Greenville, S.C. Her father works in a textile mill there. She has one brother, younger than she is. She graduated from Winthrop College last June and came to work here on June 24. I met her a couple of weeks later but didn’t start dating her until Aug. 14. Since that time I’ve seen an awful lot of her. She rides to and from work with me and we eat breakfast out at the cafeteria every day.
We got along wonderfully right from the start and last Friday night [things] came to a head. I haven’t gotten her ring yet, but she’s wearing my pin, which means just as much to me as a ring. Guess those are the main facts about her. I know you’ll have a million more questions, and I’ll try to answer them as soon as I can. No definite date has been set for the wedding as yet and won’t be until we can find a place to live. That’s going to be a problem since there’s still a housing shortage around here.
I hope we’ll be able to get married on my vacation and if we do, we’ll come to Oklahoma on our honeymoon. We’re going to Greenville next weekend to meet her family. Wish you were close enough so I could bring Jean home some weekend. She’s a wonderful person, and I know you’ll like her very much.
A few more facts about her — She’s a Methodist, too; she is the secretary to the asst. division supt of my division. However, her office is quite a distance from mine. Dal and all the rest of my friends here approve of Jean very highly, and she’ll fit into the bunch wonderfully. Guess the most important thing is that I love her very much and she loves me. We both have about the same likes and dislikes, the same tastes in food, clothes, and recreation. I wish so much that Daddy was still alive so he could know her. I know he’d approve very highly. I hope you can be here for the wedding, but if you can’t, we’ll be home right after it. I’ll let you know as soon as the date is set.
I know you’re going to [be] real proud of me for picking a girl like Jean, Mother, after you get to know her. Guess that’s about all for right now. Any questions you want to know, fire away, and I’ll answer them the best I can. Give Frank my congratulations on pledging. I’ll write him as soon as I can.
Your loving son,