The following was written by my late wife Elaine. She wrote a long book, a diary really, from which this is one passage:
Our “Goodbye Date” and the Trip to Washington, DC and Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
Belle Isle in the Detroit River is where Dave and I spent the last evening before he left for Battle Creek, Michigan for Army induction and orientation.
It was December 3, 1951, and I still remember how I cried. Hard. And long.
On this last date, we talked about my going to visit him at his base during a break in his training. After Battle Creek, his first basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After completing that, he was sent for advanced, specialized training to Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
In April 1952, his mother, who drove her car, and I went to visit him. This was an eventful and interesting trip. A visitor’s first trip to all the sights of Washington, DC is something to remember!
While Dave was busy all day with training, his mom and I saw as many sights of Washington, DC as we could cram into our few days, including the perfect timing of the cherry blossoms in full bloom. In the evenings we’d go to the Army base at Ft. Belvoir to the guest house room which Dave reserved for us.
On the Saturday night, Dave “wanted to take me roller skating,” and after skating we parked by the Potomac River and he presented me with an engagement ring! He had bought it while the rest of us were sightseeing at the Smithsonian. I was 16 years old.
To be continued…
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is a nonagenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family