Before taking our last detour upon the occasion of discovering yet another misfiled letter, we had left Frank on the Chicago doorstep of Agnes Tully Stevens, arm in arm with his bride, the former Norma Jean Flowers of New Lexington, Ohio. They were about to embark on their honeymoon.
Here’s the bad news: I have no idea where they went on their honeymoon. Methinks a call to the Stevens family matriarch in Chicago might be in order at this point—or, well, at a point more socially acceptable for cross-country phone calls than the hour at which I’m currently writing.
Here’s the (possibly) good news: Aunt Pat may have posthumously come to the rescue with a post card found among her treasures that were transferred to our branch of the family upon the occasion of that wonderful visit to family last August.
I’m torn on whether this is a correct conclusion, though. Knowing what was going to be the next step for these newly-weds (Frank’s transfer to Great Britain), I’m not sure they would be interested in a drive of that distance just now.
I’ll let you judge for yourself. Here is the bit of “evidence” I have to show: an undated post card from Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was never mailed, but either enclosed with a letter or handed to the recipient. Bless Aunt Pat—or whoever inscribed the reverse of the card—for the only hint I have:
This is the hotel where Norma and Steve stayed while in Santa Fe.
The printed legend on the card explains:
LA FONDA HOTEL, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
Everything about this ace Fred Harvey Hotel is interesting or beautiful, notably the exquisite patio.
While I may be divulging the rest of the story with this point, I realize that this card may represent two possible travel times: either that of their honeymoon in late 1949, or a subsequent visit upon their return to the States after Frank’s years stationed abroad with the Air Force.
There are drawbacks to each theory. First, consider: if it were the honeymoon trip, it would be late in 1949. If it were the return trip, that would mean it had to be dated some time in the late 1950s. Then, just take a look at that picture. Consider the cars. Consider the people in the foreground and the styles they are wearing. In my mind, the cars and the clothing seem to contradict each other. Regardless, my vote is for the former date.
A honeymoon in Santa Fe, New Mexico? Perhaps after all the time he has spent working in Mexico, Frank has taken a liking to the “south of the border” lifestyle.