This is the first in a three-part series of a real-life 1950s love story in letters. Click any image to see it larger.
In the summer of 1951, Anne, a home economics student in college, was looking for experience — and adventure. So she traveled from Vermont to the Lazy K Bar dude ranch in Big Timber, Montana, to put her skills to use for the summer. She knew the dude ranch would have cowboys. She didn’t know it would have Milo. After a few months together, it was time for Anne to head back East. And their letter exchange began.
Arrived in New York safe and sound, but not very happy, last night about 9:00 p.m. It’s hard leaving a place you love so much but doubly hard to leave a person you love so much. Getting on that plane was the hardest work i did all summer. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so frank, but I’ve never been a girl who plays hard to get and tries to keep a guy guessing — Montana means more to me after 2 1/2 months than Conn could mean in a lifetime, and you mean more to me than any other fellow ever has. Please don’t forget me during the long winter or the few plans we made for the future. You asked if I could give up everything back east — it would be hard at first perhaps but the gain is so much greater than the loss. I know we could be very happy together. …
Sure wish I knew that you got there safe and alrite. Never did I have such a feeling as when that plane took off. I hope I never have to stand and watch you fly away again. Ok darling I do love you and I just got to know. Will you marrie me? … Already I miss you so and haven’t had time to get even food yet. I saw Mrs. V.C. in town yesterday. She said what did you do with Anne. I told her and she said I thought maybe you would bring her back as a bride. I told her I was still going to. … I sure wished you hadn’t have gone. I think this is going to be the longest winter I ever put in.
Remember I love you,
What did Anne say to Milo’s proposal? Check back on Christmas Eve to find out …