Stan & Mary's Love Story: Letters HomeIt was spring in the San Fernando Valley. He spied her across the fence of his sister's new house. She was 15 and barely noticed him. He was a 19 year old army private, soon to land on the beaches of Normandy. He came home to LA for one more visit and in 5 days dating had decided she was the one. He asked, through a friend, if he could write to her. She said yes.
He was assigned to a tank destroyer unit. He was at the cutting edge of the 1944 invasion of Europe. His job was to hunt out German tanks. He was so close to the front that a major danger was American artillery. Even under the worst of conditions, he wrote - often by flashlight.
She was still in high school. She wrote back - mostly. Sometimes he would write to her parents (boldly calling them "Mom" and "Dad") - blaming imagined mail delivery problems for a shortage of responses. It was hard to match his output though.
"It's a Love Story: Stan and Mary"Mary was still in high school when Stanley shipped off to Europe in 1944.
Through their 2 year correspondence, they fell in love.
Thinking about WWII, or any war really, our focus is mostly on the soldiers.
But there is always a "home front" - and folks waiting at home who fret and who also suffer.
And for most families - and couples - there is a reuniting...
Stan would write mostly of everyday things and of his plans for when he finally returned home. He even talked about having children. The mortality rate in his unit was staggering - maybe 1 in 5 would survive.
This is a happy story. He made it home safe and they married. And he got his children: 8 in all. We interviewed the couple recently, still together and obviously still very much in love. She hadn't looked at the letters in all that time. They were still in an old brown box. But now she was reading them again, on camera. Each letter still in its envelope, some letters showing the effects of the censor's scissors, each letter a treasure.
We asked if it was love at first sight. "No, but I know I liked him a lot." But through the letters, she said, she did fall in love with him. With as many adventures that they have had over their long lives, with all the family history we recorded, it is a simple story. It's a veteran's story. It's a love story.
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A (WWII) love story
Using letters to tell a story on video is a very effective way to connect subjects to their personal history.
They are historical artifacts, they support the story. They prompt fresh memories.
And filming a subject reading letters, with close-ups of the script, the hands etc., produces very good, emotional, documentary pictures.
The interview material combined with the letters, personal photographs, voice-over, historical footage, captions and text, and music brings a veterans video story to life.
We have delighted hundreds of customers & their families and friends with our careful and caring work in our video biographies and veterans' videos.
We pride ourselves on meeting the biography challenge in a professional, caring and affordable way.
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