This past Tuesday I posted a letter from Catherine to her parents written in 1936. It was a lovely and interesting letter, but unless you have special knowledge of "All Things Catherine" many of you may be wondering about some of the topics she included in her note, so I thought I would fill in some of the blanks and let everyone know at least some of the "rest of the story."
By the time mother got her "place" at Alcoa Middle School (teaching jobs were called "places" back then, at least by them), James Neville was making noises about getting married sooner than "next Spring." As previously mentioned we had 99 letters written by James Neville, but none by Catherine to him during this time period. However, we could put together a pretty good picture that the idea of an early marriage was not his alone. It was interesting to read his letters where he was trying to convince her that they should wait til Spring, only to have the next week's letters find him making a case for a December event. Obviously they both waffled on what was the right and best thing to do.
Even after spending Thanksgiving together in Tiptonville they had not reached a final decision. In Catherine's letter she tells us that it was not until after she had returned to Alcoa did she write immediately to 'Duke to let him know that she had made up her mind for sure. As those letters were read by Amanda and I in 2007 it was interesting that his first two letters to Catherine after that holiday trip only discussed how much he enjoyed being with her and how hard it was to get back into his teaching routine. Then his third letter was obviously written in response to her "first" after holiday letter that he must have just received giving him the good news that he was about to have a "roommate for life."
Catherine's first request of her parents was to write up an announcement for the two Memphis Newspapers. The posting shows a copy of the paper's notice, but I am not sure exactly what date it ran. Interestingly it incorrectly used Catherine's middle name, Frazier, as if it was her last name. The notice should have read "Patty-LeDuke."
The "thing" as Catherine referred to it several times, took place on a Wednesday night. There was actually a good deal of logic in that decision. Mother did not want a large fancy wedding, but she did want to have many of her church friends to attend. As it happened the Chelsea Avenue Presbyterian Church held a Wednesday Night service each week as is the custom even today in many churches.
|Chelsea Ave. Pres. was in the center of this old map|