Sunday, January 6, 2013
Letter from Garner
While cleaning out my husband's desk, I found a letter which his uncle wrote shortly after my father-in-law's death (Grover) in 2003.
Dear Harry, Dave, Tom:
It was probably in 1943 that Grover became a distinct figure for me, as opposed to "generic older brother" (of which I had four at the time). I remember looking at a photograph (probably from a letter to Mother) of a strikingly handsome young man in khaki U.S. Army uniform with the three chevrons up, three rockers down and the diamond of a master sergeant. To a fifteen-year-old West Virginia kid, this was truly impressive.
After the war (1946?), Mother wanted to visit Riverside, California relatives (Charlie and Carrie Smith), so Mother, Grover, Lowell and I headed west in the 1942 Chevy. (I wanted to take Father's new Olds--Hydramatic shift!- but was overruled.) At age 18, I had a license but little experience, so after a close call or so Grover took permanent possession of the steering wheel.
Our paths diverged: after college and a start on a career, then a couple of years in my war (1951-53- Korea - talk about deja vu!), I met and married Maryanne and started my family and my corporate moves, finally landing in New Jersey (the second time) in 1967. We (with Leah) included a visit with Eloise and Grover on a trip west in 1974.
As you know, I stayed with Grover for The Wedding in 1999. He was of course older (come to think of it, even I...), but was still the Grover I remembered: the thoughtful and gracious host, sharp of wit and (occasionally) of tongue. He admitted his legs weren't what they used to be, but quickly changed the subject. He was disappointed that I didn't share his passion for baseball, but we readily agreed that grandchildren were rather more important.
I miss him.
Love, and stay in touch.