My memories of my dad Stanley are few because he died in an airplane accident before I was five years old. I’ve asked my mom and other family members lots of questions to try to find out more about his life. Looking at his photos, I’ve pondered what he was really like? He was too busy with living his life to write a journal.
I knew that while attending Tooele High School, he had met my mom who lived in Silver City, at one of the community dances held weekly with a live band in an open-air pavilion in Lemington. Many old concrete shells now stand in rural towns as silent witnesses to those summer dances of long ago. Mom had kept all his letters written during their courtship. My dad’s almost daily love letters written in the mid 1930s, held clues to his personality.
To his new girlfriend Evelyn who lived 60 miles away, he writes: And I still won’t say anymore than this confession of when I first saw you-that’s the girl I could fall for if she gave me a break. And you gave me the break. As to the former girl in Heber, well it wasn’t your fault I left her as I have a mind that I command MYSELF. You would have done the same had you been in my place. Always leave good for the BEST. I know something of your life enough to thoroughly convince me you’re the girl for me.
They kept in touch by letters and by ham radio (my dad’s hobby) as telephones were few and far between. After building a set and putting up an antenna at Mom’s rural home, Dad taught her how to receive and send the Morse code so they could communicate daily through dots and dashes. This most unique method of courting was successful. They eloped the next fall while supposedly attending another open-air dance. Instead they went to Nephi and were married before a Justice of the Peace then returned to their own homes and kept their marriage a secret from their parents until he got a job working on the railroad.
Dad was persistent in what he wanted to accomplish with his life, until his sudden death. They’d been married nine years and had one child––me. Through compiling his love letters and writing his history, I’ve come to know and appreciate my father better.
Tell us about how your parents or grandparents met or how you met your spouse.