One of the things we love about working in archives is that sometimes the papers give you a little glimpse into people’s lives. Not the important, momentous, world-shaking events, but daily lives. A window on relationships, family, love. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, all three of us (Mariecris, Megan, and Arlene) thought we’d like to share one of those moments with you.
In April 1955, Carleton Miller of Augusta, Maine took a job working on the setup of the White Alice sites here in Alaska. He left his wife of eighteen years, Rita, back home in Augusta while he traveled around Alaska and wrote to her nearly daily about where he was, what he was doing, and yes, how much he missed her. He was able to go home briefly at Christmas 1955, and she traveled to Anchorage to visit him for two weeks in April of 1956. He wrote her a letter on April 17, 1956, the night she left Anchorage to go back to Augusta, and that’s the one we want to share with you. We excerpted it, a little. And then we asked a great friend of ours, Scott Baker, to record it for us. Here it is. Carleton to Rita.
Carleton’s job ended in August 1956 and he moved back to Rita in Maine. And that’s all we know about Carleton and Rita from there on out. But in the meantime, we have this glimpse of the two of them. On stationery and in an envelope from the Westward Hotel, with a postmark of 11:00 pm, two hours after Carleton started writing the letter.
A moment of love, preserved in time, to remind us.