When Walter moved to US Industrial Chemicals, he stuck closer to home, so the archive is pretty sparse for 1946. In fact, all I have for this year are a couple of letters (the second is coming up tomorrow) and some images of Walter, Ina, and some of their friends. These negatives are in a now-extinct sheet film format that is baffling my scanner, so please excuse any digital artifacts.
I have no idea what these photos are about or who they depict, but they were tucked in amongst the letters at this point. I’m reading the letters as I post them, so the explanation might be lurking in later correspondence.
This is Ina with her first son, Walter White, and an unnamed cat. The car appears to be the Willys-Knight Ina won in 1925 for selling newspaper subscriptions.
Tuesday Night, Aug 25th.
My Dear Sweetheart,
This noon I received your letter of Friday night, and tonight your letters of Wed. and Thurs. came. It was a mighty pleasant surprise to get the two extra ones, for I had thought that possibly you had not managed to get them posted. I am sure that the first two went to Jacksonville, while the last one came direct to the Beach. They were just as sweet as they could be and I wish you knew how much I enjoy them.
It was nice of Mrs. Parman to give a photo of her home and I am pleased that you thanked her for both of us. It reminds me that I promised to make one of her home while I was in Uvalde but neglected it until it was too late. However, the camera was left there and I presume that DC made it. The photo she gave has a sentiment that I rather like, too, but I am sure that it is different from the mental picture that I have. You would have to be standing on the porch to make it like the one I have in my mind. I certainly did hate to leave there. Dr. White says that he can’t understand how I could leave there on the 5th P.M. and pack up at Dallas & reach here the night of the 9th. I had to hustle, but I wanted to be with you as long as possible. I’ll never forget how excited Mrs. Parman was when we told her that you were leaving with me. Next to you and I, she will be more pleased over our marriage than anyone else. It will be the happiest day of my life, Dear, and I hope and believe that it will be the beginning of a lot of happiness for both of us.
You asked for me to suggest a present for you and you will tell me what you think of my suggestion. I believe it should be something which we would probably not get in the ordinary purchases, but something which you could use very nicely. Rather a luxury than a necessity. I know that you would hesitate to make such a suggestion, but if I get something to please you I’ll have to get an idea of what you want. I have thought something of getting started on a set of solid silver, and then add to it from time to time until a complete set is obtained. This would be of such a nature that I would want you to select the pattern. The same thing comes into my mind if we start on some DeHaviland China or a set of Libby’s cut glass. I want you to have a set of each and perhaps it would be well to start on them with a wedding gift but I believe you should decide on the designs you want. Perhaps this could be done to better advantage when they have been compared and after we are married. Maybe a Lovelier (I guess that’s the way to spell it) would be OK. Something in white gold, possibly of a pendant nature, with a couple or three small diamonds. If you have an idea of what you would like I’d like to know.
I can think of any number of things we would need for the home but I don’t believe this present should be of that nature. It depends upon what you think about it. I think it should be something which would last you a lifetime and on the nature of a luxury. We can’t expect to have everything to start out with, but we can plan on what we want and have the pleasure of getting them. I think that is about the greatest pleasure one can have.
Dear, I’d rather you would not worry about your wardrobe and if you are planning your needs in clothing, I’d plan about the same that you would wear as far south as Uvalde. The winters in Florida are mild, too, and I believe it is a pretty safe bet to say that we will spend the latter part of the winter and spring down here. Just as soon as I know I’ll certainly let you know and I believe you will then have plenty of time to decide on some of the things. You need not try to have so many clothes ready. You see, I have never had a wife and I hardly know about a wife’s clothing etc.
It was real sweet of you to say that you thought it would be nice on the beach this winter. I have wondered how this would strike you. I would much rather go direct to our home and know that we were not stopping at a place temporarily. I rather wish that it were possible to have our Dallas cottage in Florida.
Must say “goodnight” Sweetheart for it is getting late. I love you and with all my heart.
Jax Beach, Fla
My Dear Sweetheart,
It is “a great and glorious feelin'” to get three letters in one day, and all from the dearest little girl in the world. Just for luck I inquired at the Gen Delivery in Jax and they handed me a letter from you, one from Wash, and one from a customer down the state. I was surprised to get mail up there, and the peculiar thing, they were addressed Jax Beach. This place went by the name of Pablo for years and only during the past few months have they called it Jax Beach. The postal people don’t seem to get it straight. I left forwarding cards for Dr. White and I so we will get our mail here, if it should happen to go up there.
Tonight two letters came here from you, posted on the 14th & 15th. Today is the 19th. Gee, but they were good ones. All three were just as sweet as they could be and I’d like to hug you real hard for them. The Jax one posted the 12th, contained a mighty fine set of Kodak pictures. Even the borders indicated that they were of Queens, Kings, or Jokers. They go to show that I was correct in my belief, when I said that you would look good regardless of how you dressed. Claudelle makes a mighty good “George” too, and if I did not know that it was Claudelle I would be a bit jealous. She is getting prettier all the time. By the way, did “George” roll his hose? I’ll be that George didn’t love Martha one bit more than I love Ina. Further, I’ll bet that Martha didn’t love George any more than Ina loves me. I said this for you, for I do know that you love me, Dear. The photos are just as sweet as they can be and I’ve looked at them a number of times already.
You were quite right in suggesting that Dr. White did not admit that he was right in going in the surf at noon. He has begun to talk of going to Texas and I presume that he will go by the end of the month. I can’t say that I’ll be awfully sorry, though it will be a bit lonesome. However, I can anticipate when you are going to be with me, for that is as bright a hope as one could have. Dear, I certainly do love you.
Please don’t expect anything other than friendship between Mrs. Gallagher and I, for there has never been anything between us. I was afraid that you might think that, and that is one reason why I have not seen her but the one time since I returned. She knows that I love you and rather expected that I would bring you with me when I came over this summer. You don’t have to think of anyone coming between us, Dear. I don’t have anything to do with the girls at all, and one would expect that I am a woman hater. You are the only one and goodness only knows how much I want you.
I note with interest what you said about the new contest for an auto. I am glad that you don’t have it to think about just now, and I am mighty proud of your success in the last one. It is an expression of a lot of friendship and admiration, and its value can never be expressed in terms of money.
With a real sweet goodnight, and with all my love, Dear, I am,
P.S. I took the liberty of sending you an umbrella today. I am not so sure that you will like the color, but I was told that it would go with any color.
Saturday Night Aug 15th
My Dear Sweetheart,
I have just received your letter of Monday night, and it is a mighty good one, Dear. The prints finally came and I am sending them along. No doubt you will recognize our house as they are not very different from the ones previously sent to you. The lawn is a little better in these. The little boy is the only child of the lady living there and he seems to be a pretty good kid. The dog belongs to the family. The name of the folks, if I remember it correctly is Goodman. The other photo is of the cottage here. We are using the front porch for a Lab, but also have a garage in the rear. It is very comfortable and 2 blocks from the surf. For our purpose there is nothing better down here, and the lady keeps it quite neat and orderly. I asked her when she was going to West Palm Beach where her husband is working and at the present time she is not sure. It looks as though I may have the whole thing to myself if I use it much longer. In about two weeks more, there will not be so much of a crowd down here. However, it is delightful here and one can go in the surf any day in the year. During the winter they sometimes have a frost here, but it warms up quickly. For work, I would rather be in Florida during the winter than in either Dallas or Wash DC, and Dear I may suggest that we spend the first few months of our honeymoon down here at Jax Beach. It would be very quiet here and perhaps it would be too quiet for you, but it is only 17 miles to Jax and we could make the drive any evening or take the train. As a place for excitement the beach would not amount to anything, but as a good place for me to work and as a delightful place to spend a honeymoon I don’t believe it could be beaten. It looks as though this may be the last season on creeping eruption and it would seem to be a good idea to work it up as much as possible. Too, I would not want to start the other work in the state until some money has been made available for it. It could not be available before July 1st of next year. I have not taken up the matter of my spending the winter down here, but after I have been down the state I’ll write Mr. Bishopp about it. I’ll always let you know of developments, for Dear, you mean worlds to me.
It was mighty nice of you to tell me of your friend Womack. I’ll have to admit that he has mighty good taste in proposing to you. I do not wonder why you have had so many, for there is no one like you, Dear. Claudelle will probably have to turn down a few of them too, before she chooses one. Mother and Daddy Lewis certainly reared some mighty fine daughters, and they have made me mighty happy in giving consent to our marriage.
Sweetheart, I certainly wish I could spend an evening on your porch with you now. You don’t know how I miss you. I love you with every tender affection Dear, and if a man ever wanted a girl an awful lot, I certainly want you.
We are going to be mighty happy.
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.,
My Dear Sweetheart,
You don’t know how much I have wished for you this evening. Dr. White and I went in the surf for about an hour and the water was just right. Last night we went in after dinner but tonight we went in before eating. I think both of us enjoyed about every minute of it. He seems to be thriving on the Florida weather and gains steadily. I am holding my own with about 200. The work is getting started, and this month will probably be a very interesting one. If you were here with me, it would be ideal.
I have watched the same moon during the past few evenings and thought of you, and wondered if you were looking at it too.
The cottage we have looks a great deal like the one Mr. Brundrette had at Regan Wells and is a little bit larger. Has two front rooms, and one rear room as a kitchen & dining room. We use the porch and garage as a laboratory and sleep in the front rooms. The lady has a bed in the dining room. As she works at a cafeteria, there is no cooking here. We are now using the ice box for drinking water, as the beach water tastes of sulphur.
I don’t know how this cottage would strike you as it isn’t much for looks, but it is convenient to the surf and has running water and electric lights. It is much better than Reagan Wells. It would be a dandy place for a honeymoon, but maybe you like a little more excitement. I didn’t have in mind spending our honeymoon here, but I always think of our whole married life as a honey-moon and can’t help but wonder how different things will appeal to you.
Your letter was received when I was in Jax this morning. I took the 7 o’clock train and returned at 3. It is 17 miles from here.
I have your photos on the dresser in front of me. I am beginning to like the standing one, enlarged from a Kodak one, real well. It looks like you when you met me on the porch last month. I have some mighty good mental pictures of you at that time and I use them often. You are a wonderful little girl and I love you with all my heart. When I can be with you always I’ll be the happiest man in the world. More and more I do realize that you do love me, and Dear, you can bet that I am true to you. Not a single date of any kind except the evening I called on Mrs. Gallagher & then I talked of you most of the time.
With a real big hug and a goodnight kiss, I am,
P.S. I love you lots and lots and lots and then some.
July 18, 1925.
My dearest Walter:
Just a few words this evening to let you know I am thinking of you and still love you even thought I haven’t had a letter in two days. I know you are just as busy as you can be and don’t have nearly as much time as I do to write. This letter is certainly not intended as a scolding. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I believe I will get a letter.
Goodnight and sweet dreams.
Lots of love,
July 19, 1925.
Your Wednesday night letter came this morning on my way to Sunday School. You see, I can’t enjoy anything very much until I first make a trip to the post office. I enjoyed the letter very much because it seemed like a long time since I had received one, but really it had been only two days. Please don’t take my letter of yesterday as a complaint. I know that you are busy and I don’t blame you when you don’t write. It really wasn’t a long time at all. It just seemed that way.
Now – about the pictures! It was mighty nice of you to have them developed and send me the prints, but – did you happen to keep a print of them? If you did, will you do me a favor? Just as quickly as you can, please, please take your knife and cut me out of the two pictures. They are perfectly awful of me. I am sure I have never had any made that looked any worse. If you will do that I will love you forever and will make some better pictures soon and send them to you. Your half of the pictures is so much better looking than mine. You don’t know how lonesome you look in the prints that I have since I have cut myself out.
I suppose Mrs. H. and E. feel sure that you are a very hard hearted creature. They don’t know you like I do if they think so. I am sorry it came about so as to make it necessary for you to do as you did, but it seemed to be the only thing to do, didn’t it? They seemed to disregard your feelings so much that you had to disregard theirs in self defense. I appreciated the way you did even if they didn’t. I hope you will never regret it.
I must hurry and go to League.
My Dear Ina,
It is a lovely afternoon and I was just wondering where you were and what you were doing. Wanted you to know that I am wishing for you and thinking of you, so found myself writing it. I’d be mighty happy if I could be with you now.
Had one letter from Mr. Bish since he returned to Dallas but he did not mention Uvalde in it. I presume he avoids writing about anything except my work here, for fear there will be a tendency to distract my mind from this project.
It rains a little every day now and we should have some new creeping eruption cases to show up pretty soon. Most of them try everything suggested by the neighbors and druggists and when the skin is irritated and infected they come for medical attention. We have an excellent treatment during the early stages but when they neglect themselves for a few weeks, it is very hard to effect a cure. The average person tries iodine and then a wash of bichloride of mercury. The combination forms mercuric iodide which is very irritating. Either would give some relief, but this combination only adds to their agony.
The photos are wonderful, Dear, and I have them on the dresser in my room. They are so natural that I turn them so that they don’t face me when I am dressing. Seems pretty modest for a man, doesn’t it? Everybody thinks you are beautiful and I consider myself mighty fortunate to have such a wonderful little lady friend.
It was sweet of you, Dear, to say what you did about money and I appreciate it more than I can tell you. You deserve such a good man that I wonder if I could be kind enough and as thoughtful as I should be. If I knew that you loved me I’d be mighty happy and heaven only knows what I would do for you. But I want you to be sure, for I love you too much to cause you to regret anything. I hope you will never have an occasion to regret your decision, regardless of what it might be.
Did not finish this yesterday as I saw the two little kids where I am rooming and I played with them until it was their bed time. The little girl is 7 and the boy 9 and both of them are real good. Have been taking the boy with me sometimes, as he likes the rabbits and guinea pigs. His school started today and I don’t imagine he will go with me quite as much now.
Dr. K.S. went fishing Sat. PM and returned this morning about 2 o’clock. Am invited to dinner this evening to sample the fish. First time I have been invited since the wife returned, though I met her when I went fishing with him. She seems mighty nice but I guess she controls him pretty well, and it is probably a good thing that she does. She is very good looking and so is the little girl (11 yrs old). She (the daughter) is so young that you won’t mind if I do say she is good looking. Hair and eyes just like yours.
Expected to have lots of new cases today. Had one old one which reported for the first time today, and we froze it with CO2 snow. Makes an awful sore but it was too near the jugular vein to cut any sections. Hope to have a letter from you soon as it seems an awful long time since I heard from you. It really hasn’t been so long, but I want to hear often.
Lots of love,
My Dear Ina,
The photos are wonderful and I don’t know which I like the better. It was mighty sweet of you to have them made and you can’t imagine how I appreciate them. When they came to Dr. K.S. office the nurse was anxious to see them and she thinks that you are a very beautiful girl. My landlady thinks so too and told me how lucky I was to have such a “beautiful sweetie.” She arranged them on the dresser for me so that when I get up in the morning I’ll start the day out right. When I described or tried to describe you, she was certain that you are Irish for she says I described the Irish type of a beautiful girl. I told her that you had too sweet a disposition to be Irish, for I didn’t think that you had that much temper. She thinks you are Irish just the same. You certainly had some good ones made, but even then I don’t think they are as beautiful as yourself. I am glad that you smiled a little for one of them, for I like to think of you as wearing a little smile. It seems to say that you are happy and I want you to always be that way, though I know it is difficult to always feel that way. When you are happy, I feel the same way.
You don’t know how very much I would like to see you, Dear, and I wish that you were here – real often. It was nice to be given your position until April, and I am thinking that he won’t want you to quit at that time. I’d like to see you quit then, and I’d be the happiest man in the world if I could come for you in June. Gee, it would be wonderful. Seems almost too good to be possible. It would be wonderful to come for you at any time and if you only love me half as much as I do you, I am sure we will be happy. I would try to be good to you, Dear, and would do everything in my power to make you happy. I know that I would always be proud to have such a sweet little wife.
I have not heard from Mr. Bishopp since he left here. Mr. Parman’s letter was probably answered by Mr. Laake as he was in Dallas during Mr. Bishopp’s absence. If Laake comes down to help Mr. Parman it is possible that he will stay there during Mr. Parman’s vacation. I imagine he would rather not stay so long as his wife is in Dallas, though he may take her with him. You would like her I am sure.
Dear, I have sent almost a hundred sections of skin to Washington to two of the best men up there and so far they have not been able to isolate the parasite or organism causing creeping eruption. Mr. Bishopp said that they had not located minute burrows to indicate that they were near the parasite. I have just sent one section to Mr. Bishopp in which I was able to show the burrow by staining, and it is far smaller than anything we suspected. For a while I felt that I had the right thing but on finding such minute burrows, barely visible by staining and under a high power microscope, I have concluded that I had been working with the wrong thing. It is more difficult to isolate a thing like this when there is undoubtedly only one in a burrow. So many times organisms are present by the hundreds and by proper technique, some of them can be recognized, but when there is only one the chances of locating it are not so good. It is possible that Dr. White may get it yet as he has not finished the sections. It seems that he has been away on a vacation. Mr. Bishopp says that all of them are very much interested but none of them can suggest anything as to what it might be. Had it been as large as a “chigger” or “red bug” we would have had no difficulty, though when I came here we were of the opinion that it was quite a good sized thing, about the thickness of a dress pin and 1/4 inch long.
In treatments we had good results in more than a hundred treatments, but a few of them have been just as difficult to treat as they have been to isolate the organism. It is quite different to be able to see what one is working with and be able to check results without waiting for time to tell. Persons get them in the fingers in transplanting flowers and places that one would hardly suspect. The only precaution that is sure is to avoid coming in contact with moist soil of any kind, though lots of people do not have tender skin and are not affected. It is seldom that a negro will get them.
I don’t know why I am writing you all of this unless it is because I have it in my mind so much. Should a person play in the moist sand they can use a rub of alcohol, ethyl acetate, or even ether and prevent infestations, but of course they don’t suspect anything until they get them. Usually they don’t come to a doctor until the things have become painful and irritated from scratching.
Should you come down here with me, Dear, I’ll see that you don’t get any so don’t let that worry you. I’ll take care of you all right.
Hope to have a nice long letter from you soon, Dear, for I love you lots.