Proposal Letter Found 60 Years Later

Dick Hauck proposed to his wife, Arlene several decades ago in a love letter that was eventually lost. But a couple of contractors found it last week while remodeling Arlene's childhood home in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Audie Cornish and Robert Siegel tell us more.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And we end this hour with a very different kind of letter, a love letter.

DICK HAUCK: Dearest Arlene, hi, hon. Doing nothing. Too tired to sleep and to get into bed. The time is just 7 p.m. right now on the nose.

SIEGEL: That's Dick Hauck reading from the letter in which he proposed to his now-wife of nearly 60 years, Arlene. It's dated March 31, 1952.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Their love is still going strong, but Dick's letter was eventually lost. For how long? Even Dick and Arlene aren't sure.

SIEGEL: But the letter was found last week. KARE 11 News in Minneapolis-Saint Paul reports that contractors remodeling Arlene's childhood home in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, discovered the note under two layers of linoleum and carpet.

HAUCK: I could say that with the ring, I'm sending all my love, but that isn't so because the ring could be as large as the world itself and contain only the smallest portion of my love for you.

CORNISH: When Dick Hauck wrote those words, Arlene was back in Brooklyn Center, and he was away serving in the U.S. Army in Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

HAUCK: I just hope and pray you'll realize how much this guy thinks of you. I'm choking up. How many seconds of every hour of every day he thinks of nothing but you. I love you so very much, Arlene. You're the only one for me forever.

SIEGEL: The Haucks were surprised to see the letter again, and to hear Dick read it after all these years, Arlene says one thing is clear.

ARLENE HAUCK: Oh, that he still cares.

SIEGEL: Now and then, a letter worth waiting for.

HAUCK: I'm going to bed now in a few minutes. It's 7:45 now. Please be good, darling, for I always will. All my love forever, Dick.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVE LETTERS")

NAT KING COLE: (Singing) And, darling, then I read again right from the start love letters straight from your heart.

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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