My parents have been gone since the early 1990s and every time the end of October comes along I think about them, and the silly notes they exchanged regularly.

Anne Rady and Bill Rabe dated for a long time. Then, during the Korean War, he was recalled and served in Germany as a propaganda guy. My mom, on vacation, received a telegram asking, "Will you marry me?" She replied, "Yes!" and she made her way to Germany and they were married on October 31st, and November 1st.

My mom and dad were always writing notes to each other (one of my favorites was, “Bill, I love fish, but I love you more.”) and often in the weirdest places.

Because my father had no fashion sense, my mother laid out his clothes for him. When she wasn’t around, one of the kids would take care of it. After he retired, and all the kids had moved out, he started picking out his own clothes, with terrible results. My mother’s solution was to start making notes in his clothes.

On the inside of his pants, she’d write something like, “Good brown pants, goes with nice blue shirt” and in the collar of the shirt she’d write, ‘nice blue shirt’. Or, “Old black pants – for darkroom only!”

One of the only actual notes I have left is this one, probably written to discourage him from ‘trying to help’ after a dinner party (which often just made a bigger mess). I especially love how she signed the note.


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