December 6, 1968.  Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Hi Love!

I’ve got several letters from you that need answering, so I decided I’d stay here tonight and do just that.  I’ve been going into town shopping a lot this week, but really haven’t got much of it accomplished.  In fact I’ve only bought one present so far, for dad.  For the rest of the family and you, I’m stumped.  Any suggestions?

Remember I said we were going to the field the 7th – 12th?  Well, I don’t have to go but I have to work twelve hours a day in the hangar.  So if you don’t hear from me for a few days, that’s why.  That screws up my Christmas shopping to.  I just hope that I can get something sent early enough to get there in time.

About your list of people — I didn’t really know all that much was involved.  In fact, I don’t know what most of them are for, never heard of some.  But I’ll take your word for it.  Still don’t know who to go with Mary.  Ask mom about that, okay?  Maybe Steve R., Nancy’s brother would be a good idea.  Nope.  I keep forgetting how old he is now.  Well, like I said, ask mom.

And of course you had to get the most expensive gown in the store.  I’ll bet it’s beautiful!  I’m really anxious to see it, especially to see you in it and coming down the aisle.  Fifty more days!

Have you talked to Reverend Pittenger again yet?  Sure hope he has that date open.  I’d hate to have to change it now, I’m too used to thinking of January 25th as our wedding day.  One month from Christmas.  Guess what I’ll be thinking about Christmas Eve?

I’m sorry mom seemed so bitchy to your mom.  Please apologize to your mom for me, and explain that her bark is worse than her bite, but it’s a hell of a bark.  And you said you prayed my folks wouldn’t keep us from getting married.  Ain’t no way they can do that.  You’ll just have to take everything with a grain of salt until I get there, okay Reet[?]  She’s just the type to get overly concerned about something like this.  Sorry, hon.

You know something, Rita?  When I think about having you for my wife for the rest of my life I nearly jump for joy.  But I get kind of scared too.  Will I be able to be a good husband to you and father for our children?  Will I be able to provide a good home for you and give you everything you really deserve?  I hope and pray I can.  It may take a while to build the life we want, but getting married is a good start.  I count on our love to see us through the hard parts.  And I guess that’s the way it should be.  I love you Rita.  I love you.

How do you like your work so far?  Have you found out if it’s something you can keep through next semester?  And have you let them know you’ll be taking some time off towards the end of January?  I’ll bet you have.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble with your tooth.  I’m glad you’re not losing it though.  Hope it’s all taken care of soon.  Sounds painful, to say the least!

About Bob’s letter — you’re right, it’s pretty bad.  But that wasn’t as bad as some of them.  But then I’m used to it, and it wasn’t meant to be read by you.  Bob would turn green if he knew you saw it.

I’m going to close now — long day tomorrow.  Even working Sunday.  Don’t like that at all!

I love you Rita.  And I’ll be telling you that myself before long.  I love you!

All yours,


Well, we’re neck-deep in wedding planning.  Yep, we are planning a wedding.  Fun fun fun…