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SO NICE TO COME HOME TO

Frank Staple's furlough began about Nov. 5 and lasted until about Nov. 16, (rough estimate 58 years later.)  Just prior to Frank's furlough Lois [Humphrey], who was teaching school in La Forge, WI, went to their Teachers Convention in Milwaukee, with two other teachers who had boy friends in the service. Her teacher friends encouraged her to take advantage of Frank's furlough and get married. They even helped her pick out her wedding dress. Lois said, "We had been engaged for 6 months, and it was not difficult to talk Frank into getting married."

Frank traveled by train to Chicago. He was two days on a troop train without any water for washing. Lois was at the Chicago Union Station to meet Frank, but he was so covered with train soot that she hardly recognized him.

Together they rode a train to Duluth, MN and then a bus to Grand Marias, MN (Grand Marais is almost in the northeastern corner of Minnesota on Lake Superior.) 

Lois had everything planned. Her brother, an ordained minister, would perform the ceremony in the home of another brother, who lived in Duluth. Tuesday, Nov 9 was set for the ceremony. They had arrived in Grand Marais on Sunday. Monday they had to get the marriage license. The Clerk of Court predated the license to avoid the waiting period of 10 days, and did not charge for the license - a very accommodating Clerk of Court.

That same day, Monday, Nov. 8, a severe snowstorm hit the area, and the busses did not run to Duluth. Would the busses get the bridal party to Duluth for the wedding on Tuesday? Frank's dad and brother who were working away from home in the Forest Service could not make the trip due to the storm.

Yes! The busses did run on Tuesday to Duluth. Family members of both the bride and the groom from Grand Marais rode the bus with the happy pair. One of Lois' friends, who lived in Duluth, went by taxi to the ceremony, bringing a wedding cake with her. The taxi skidded on the ice and the cake bounced around inside the taxi. What happened to the wedding cake? It suffered from "storm damage."

The couple had about five days together after their stormy wedding, before Frank had to return to Camp Mackall and Lois to her teaching job in La Forge. A short month and a half later, Frank boarded the USAT James Parker with the rest of the 508th for who could tell what was ahead for Frank or his bride? Lois answers,"58 years - and holding."

A popular song in World War II had one line that spoke volumes to soldier husbands far from home; 'You'll be so nice to come home to.'  "When things were quiet on the front lines, and we had time in our foxholes to think, we were often comforted by the melody and words of that song."

Source:  Kristine (Staples) Nymoen
 

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