Love letters

February 28, 2011

Celebrating the last day of February, a month celebrating love, is a shout out to love letters.  While looking for photographers for a recent project, I stumbled upon Johnny Miller's site, a uber-talented photographer currently responsible for the gorgeous images coming out of the Martha Stewart Omnedia empire, not to mention work for Kate Spade, Target and loads more.   (Does he not have the Most American sounding name too?)  Here's his lovely image of letters his parents wrote each other before they fell out of love.  I don't know which is more powerful-what he wrote about them or his image.  I dare you not to tear up.   

Check out more images from his site. 

And here's the story, "My Parents Love Letters"

I remember the August afternoon sat me down to ask me what I would think if my parents were to divorce.  We were sitting on the top of the stairs in our house on Lawrence Avenue.   I know I would not be around for the inevitable and the first words that came to me were, "Whatever makes you both happy."  Three months later I moved to New York to start college. 

My parents first met around 40 years ago on Halloween night at the skating rink on Haskell and 23rd St in Lawrence, Kansas.  My father was stationed 25 miles away at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka and had taken the trip into Lawrence dressed in a kilt, appropriate for a boy born in Glasgow.   My mom noticed him right away.  At the time my mother was 15 but lied to my father and told him she was 16. 

Around a year after they met, my father was sent to start his tour in Vietnam.  Hundreds of letters and reel-to-reel audiotapes would be mailed back and forth.   In June 1968, after my father returned from Vietnam, he invited my mother's family out to California to meet his family. 

After asking my grandfather if he could propose to his daughter,  he drove down to Huntington Beach in his father's car and asked my mother to be his wife.  She said "yes."   They planned to marry in June 1969 after my father completed his time in the United Stated Air Force.   He moved to Lawrence and they rented an apartment on the 700 block of Mississippi Street.   Then I was born in 1971, and my sister followed in 1974.

I can not remember now where I first discovered their love letters and tapes, but it was probably from my father's kit bag from Vietnam.  Recently, I asked my mom to ship some of them out to me.  She sat down, reread the letters, and cried for two hours.   She called my father and asked, "What happened to these two people?" 

Live large, 


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