It starts with another little photo "souvenir book" belonging to my mother. (I shared another one here). I don't believe I ever saw any of these photos until after my mother's death, when I came across several of these little books. This one is labeled "Souvenir of Ellsworth, Maine," and seems to be the record of a summer in the 1930s that my mother, then in her twenties, spent working as a maid in a resort hotel. Although she worked as a schoolteacher during the school year, I'm sure the extra summer money came in quite handy.
Inside the book I found the earliest photo I've seen of my parents together. That's Danny, as he was called then, my father; and Elva, my mother. She was from a big farm family in New Brunswick, Canada; he was an only child from Worcester, Massachusetts. He was also a man with a past--a divorced man whose little girl, my half-sister, Joan, lived down in Massachusetts.
I am so touched by this photo of Danny tucking Elva into his jacket to keep her warm. They were conservative people, and never made a show of their affection, at least by the time I knew them several years later.
And this photo shows some big-time romance, at least for my family. Danny combs Elva's hair on a day out at a swimming pond. You will see that he always has a lit Camel cigarette, which seems a little shocking these days.
The souvenir book also contains some lovely and touching photos of Elva, sleeping on the beach. They seemed far too personal to share here, but were obviously taken by someone who loved her very much.
After they married in 1940, the romance continued with this sweet Valentine's Day card. I have it framed and hanging where I can be reminded that my parents were once so young and so in love.