|Stephanie Grant lived on Gower Street in London...this is Russell Square. Stephanie would have walked here, I am sure.|
Hey! If you look at the side of my blog, you will read that I married my pen-friend! How corny is that? HA! Oh well, SOMEBODY had to marry me, might as well be the nicest guy on Earth. (Okay, I know you are thinking...he MUST be if he married YOU! HA! It's true!)
|Kay & Richard in London hotel, September 2014.|
One of my blogging friends recommended a book to me entitled, "Dear Stephanie, Dear Paul". It is a book of a collection of letters written between two pen-friends, one from America and one from England. Thank you, Kristi, for telling me about this book! I love it! The complete title is : Dear Stephanie, Dear Paul: A Transatlantic Love Story Told Through the Correspondence of Stephanie Grant and Paul M. Duke, 1948-1949.
Of course, you will think that I would love this book because I see the similarities between my husband and myself and you would be correct but I think that anyone should like this book! Anyone who loves reading about the lives of an obviously intelligent and fascinating couple that is! It is interesting to read what it was like in the late 1940's from the viewpoint of an American man and an English woman. The letters are like small time capsules.
It amused me to think that I would have more in common with Stephanie, but really...it was PAUL that sounded more like me in my letters! You don't really think of your nationality in terms of your personality but I found myself very much echoed in the strong enthusiasm of the young man from Ohio and I see Richard's English quiet reserve and intelligence in the young woman from London. (And FUNNY, they are both funny, I laughed out loud at several spots and found myself chuckling quite often!)
Funny to me, I was more familiar with London than I was with the town where Paul lived in Ohio....I have never been to Ohio!
I already knew that wartime rationing was still in place for years after World War II in England. I learned this from the book "84 Charing Cross Road", which I also highly recommend! One fact that startled me: you were allowed ONE egg every fortnight (two weeks), only ONE as late as 1948!
I truly loved this book and I feel a fondness for this engaging couple. Paul was a real Anglophile and a great lover of the theatre. They were both great writers and that comes across in their letters to each other. I would have loved to have met them and told them this. They have both died now but their book is still here to show us that it is possible to have a long and successful marriage even though one is American and the other is British! Of course, you know they got married! I would have loved to have talked with them and asked them if they had problems with communication between American English and Proper British English...Richard and I still do!
Tomorrow (June 4th) is our anniversary! Happy Anniversary, dear Richard!
"That Lucky Old Sun" was mentioned in the book by Paul and Stephanie, so I have it here for you.
Paul and Stephanie married in 1950...and I will show you another couple that married the same year! We are posing here with another dear couple from England, our friends, Joy & Henry.
They will be celebrating their wedding anniversary in July, it will be their 65th.
YES, I typed that correctly...65th! I know, it can't be possible, they look so young!
Happy Anniversary to Joy & Henry also, just a wee bit early.
I am so glad you wrote this, Kay.......I wish Paul and Stephanie could read it because I know they would be delighted! And I'm honored that you linked it to me.....Paul had a small bookstore out of his home in the '80s and I bought my set of Jane Austen books, published in Edinburgh in 1907 and also a nice set of Charles Dickens from him plus many other books which I still treasure. They were wonderful people.ReplyDelete
Oh, I am thankful to you for telling me about this book and this wonderful couple! Perhaps one of their children will possibly find this post and know what I think of their dear parents and the book that they wrote!Delete
I wish I could have known about Paul's bookstore, I would have LOVED to have ordered something from him! Thank you again for telling me about them. I totally agree with you, wonderful! xx
And in a second comment, Happy Anniversary to you and to Richard! May you have years and decades of good health and happy times together......ReplyDelete
Thanks again, Kristi! xDelete
One of my husband's friends had a pen pal from Scotland. After a couple of years he went there to meet her. Then he wrote that they were married. A time passed and they moved to the US. She was such a nice person and became a dear friend.ReplyDelete
It's interesting to meet and to know someone through the writing of letters.Delete
I wonder if kids these days can even comprehend it.
Happy Anniversary to the two of you, Kay and Richard!ReplyDelete
We'll be celebrating my parents' Golden Anniversary on the 16th of July. Such an achievement, really something worth celebrating, I think.
The book sounds lovely and like something I'd enjoy very much. I guess I'll see if there is a kindle version.
Thank you, Meike!Delete
50 years! That is a wonderful thing to celebrate, I look forward to hearing all about it!
I hope that you will read the book, it is a short read but well worth it, I think.
Happy anniversary to all of you. I just love the idea of penfriends becoming a lifelong pencouple. Our neighbor in Illinois was also an American married to an Englishman. And what do you know? His name was Richard too! Her name was Karen and they were the BEST!ReplyDelete
I hope that Karen learned how to say "Richard"! As Americans, we pronounce it "Rich-URD' instead of saying it properly "Rich-ard"...I get around this, I just call him "Darling"...except I drop the "g". I am Southern!Delete
Happy Anniversary !ReplyDelete
I'm reading this a day late, so now it's June 4th -- Happy Anniversary! Have a lovely day, you two!ReplyDelete
Thank you, my friend Debra! We both had to work but I promised Richard that next year, we will take the day off!Delete
Hi Kay and RichardReplyDelete
I thought I had been clever remembering your 32nd anniversary - I don't write much down- and sending you an email: and then I saw this blog which puts matters beyond doubt. Am I right/clever with the number though?
J and H will be very pleased to see the reference to their anniversary and that lovely picture.
Well done, Henry!Delete
And I think you can see from our faces (mine & Richard's) how much we loved being at your home and seeing you and Sarah, and also seeing your Mum & Dad! Hope you all have a wonderful time in July celebrating.
Love to you all. xx
Happy Anniveraries to you all!!!! That book sounds wonderful! xxReplyDelete
Amy, I think you would love the book!Delete
And thanks for your well wishes!! xx
Aah, lovely photos of the two of you. Happy anniversary dear Kay and Richard. I remember you mentioning this book before and have it on my wishlist. xReplyDelete
I am the WORST at book reviews, just cannot seem to do them properly. I didn't do this book justice....I can only say that I truly enjoyed it and think that anyone else would to! xxDelete
A heartwarming post, Kay. Happy Anniversary to you and Richard. I'm sure you'll celebrate it in style. And an early Happy Anniversary greeting to your in-laws for their coming milestone. Well done to you all! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads-up on the book...I'm sure I would enjoy reading it.
You would love the book, Lee!Delete
I see I didn't make it clear about Joy & Henry...they are the parents of Richard's good friend, Henry...and therefore, they are our good friends too!
Richard's parents were married in 1970...they celebrated their anniversary in May...45 years! (Richard's Dad died of cancer when he was only 3 and his Mum remarried, happily in 1970...Peter is his 2nd Dad...NOT step-Dad, in my opinion.)
84 Charing Cross Road is one of my all-time favorite books. Whenever I read about a letter writing book, it is the first thing I think of. Happy anniversary.ReplyDelete
I adore the book "84 Charing Cross Road", ADORE IT!!Delete
I hope you have seen the movie too! It has Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins AND Judy Dench!!! And in one scene, they went to a seaside town and it is EASTBOURNE! They don't tell you that, but that is where it is. I make a point of taking a photo of taking a photo of myself at the bandstand so I can say I was in the same spot as Anthony Hopkins & Judy Dench! I am such a nutcase!
Thanks for your well wishes! xx
I am sure that Paul Robeson recorded that and it's probably another of those old 78s records in my loft. I really really must make time for an explore. The version you showed is certainly a more 'relaxed' version.ReplyDelete
I hope you like Chris Isaak too! I love this song, I only learned of it a few years ago...and you might hear more about this song in a future post!Delete
Belated Happy Anniversary wishes. My husband and I also met through correspondence but here in the states.ReplyDelete
Really? Do tell! That's great! Why don't you make a book of YOUR letters? I would buy it! xxDelete
I once met a woman who married her pen pal--but here's the twist--she found his name and address in a bottle washed ashore! Doubly madly romantic if you ask me.ReplyDelete
Wow, that is FATE! I hope they had their honeymoon at a beach somewhere.Delete
I hope you had a wonderful anniversary, Kay! May you and Richard have many more! Terry's and my biggest communications between American and Canadian English come up over the scrabble board! LOL Sorry to read about Richard's Uncle Derrick. It's hard to lose the ones we love! Hugs and take care!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I love the thought of you playing Scrabble and saying "NO, that's not how you spell it!!)
Yes. it is hard to lose loved ones, even worse when you are in another country. xx
Hello again, just wanted to thank you for mentioning Dear Stephanie, Dear Paul, which I immediately bought and read it in two afternoons - what a delightful story. I truly enjoyed it and only wish there could be more!ReplyDelete
Oh, you have made my day! Truly you have! I am thrilled that you bought the book and enjoyed!! Didn't you just love them both? What a delightful couple, I only wish I could have met them and spoken with them!ReplyDelete
Thank you very much for your comment here. This is why I blog!!!
Yes, I loved them both! I even went googling to find out whatever happened; I saw the stone cottage he built for them in Ohio via Google Earth, I found their obits, I found a blog Stephanie had kept up for a while . . . their story reminded me that we all have an interesting story and it is mind boggling the variety and scope of each person's life. So thanks again for sharing about them here; I would have missed out on a lot otherwise!Delete