Barb Burgess & Terry Wingfield

Florida vacation December 1948

Barb & Terry Dec 1948 on the beach

In 1948 Barbara Burgess was a sophomore at Stephens College in Missouri, almost 18 years old, and more interested in parties and boys than school work. Terry Wingfield, 6 years older, was a first year medical student at Duke University. They made a Christmas break trip to Florida with another couple to spend time with Barb's mother at their vacation home in Florida. Barb and Terry were married a year later in January of 1950.

Monday (postmarked 12/1/48)

Dear Barbara,

Thanks a load for the long letter; it was a big surprise and the unexpected things are sometimes appreciated most. By gosh, I'd just about decided you wouldn't write at all and it didn't make me exactly happy. Confidentially I'd started cussing a bit now and then - in fact I still am, but not as profusely. Since I hope to see you in less than a month, I'm just angry enough to completely get over it in three weeks. Yep, it looks like the plans are at last settled and I at last think everything will work out beautifully. Since you're going to Bluefield first, I see no reason why the four of us don't go down together - that would be even better than before. Then I won't feel like a chaperone for Nan & Bob - we can turn that duty over to them since they're better qualified! Nan wrote and said she had talked to you but not why. They are planning to come to Lybg. on Christmas morning and we will leave from there shortly thereafter - may take time out for a cup of coffee or egg nog! Let me know if you can arrange to go with us - that will make even the trip something for me to look forward to. I figure we can make it in 20 hrs. with no strain, but why hurry?

We finish the first quarter before Xmas, so naturally exams are about ready to start their gruesome course. After Xmas we start having patients, so if I get by this time I think I have it made. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Last week I resigned my commission in the Navy and have been reappointed an Ensign in the Medical Corps - all of which means nothing - just a formality to keep the records straight.

I was home Thursday for the feast but there was no turkey! I was satisfied though when V.M.I. beat some prep school 33-7, think they call it Blacksburg High School (alias V.P.I.) Football is now over for another year, leaving a lot of dull Saturday afternoons ahead. Maybe I should use them to study, but that would never do.

It's time to go to bed - the moon sure is bright tonight, or is that the sun? No beautiful girl to answer that this time! Jake was in Lynchburg for Thanksgiving and we stayed in and discussed politics until 4 A.M. - We laughed at ourselves but did enjoy it. Try writing for a change -

Love you - Terry

Monday (postmarked 1/49)

Barbara darlin',

It isn't Friday by a long shot, but who could wait all that time to answer your sweet letter? It came just before a conference about some patient, so you can imagine how intelligent I looked not having had time to even read the first paragraph. Had a letter from Aunt Gertie today and she was very impressed by the whole crowd of us - said it made her homesick for this part of the country again - imagine that! I had a note from your Mother today also, and if you tell her I mentioned it, I'll break your beautiful neck - seriously, don't let her know I mentioned this. She seems to be worried about you working in the cancer hospital so be subtile and let her know there is no danger and I'll eventually do the same. Actually, she just wanted to know what I thought. I never thought I'd fall for anyone and her mother too, but darned if I didn't do it.

Wish you could have heard the folks when I got home - my grandmother had predicted everything and all Pop said was "When are you getting married?" I retaliated & told him we got hitched in South Carolina on the way to Fla - wouldn't have been a bad idea at that! Only 5 of the boys in my class did just that Christmas. My family felt real fine about everything - they like you very much - they only said be sure of what you do - and I've never been more sure of anything in my life. I like you, I love you and I miss you very much already, and that's how it is. Gosh but there are a lot of things I forgot to tell you and can hardly express in a letter - but there will be another time about six light years (or months) from now.

It's very late so I'd better say au revoir, or something like that. If it were possible to do so, I'd say -

Love you more than before, Terry

© 2007 Footie Lund
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