Friday, February 11, 2005

Jane posed a question in a post recently asking readers if their mother presented a journal to them covered the parents sexually active early 20’s would they read it? As a blogger this is too juicy a subject to let pass unexplored.

As previously mentioned, my aunt and cousin have cataloged my grandparent’s photos and letters along with the photos and selected letters of the children (my parent’s generation). Dad granted permission to reproduce the letters that he and mom exchanged while he was stationed in Viet Nam.

Dad was in the Army, and in Viet Nam during parts of 1966 and 1967. Dad was a supply officer stationed at a major military base and in his letters he didn’t portray his duty as particularly dangerous or harrowing. Boring and nonsensical would be more accurate. Dad wrote about one long letter a week and not surprisingly they were analytical of life in the military, how soldiers coped and a critique of US policy.

Mom wrote nearly daily, hers were shorter and attempt to keep Dad abreast with life at home. She wrote about the growing anti war movement, told him of the campus activities and of her own activism. But mostly she talked about mundane things, the weather, a friends pregnancy, baby-sitting for a neighbor.

These were the pages they could show friends and family. Then there were the pages that they kept private. These can be described as one-hand reads. With a red face I’ll admit that I couldn’t always keep my hands on the desk as I read passages, then I’d remember that this was my parent’s writing about each other…

As fantasy these writings probably reveal more about my parents than could be found in a journal and reading their letters makes me more curious about their lives.



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