Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Strong Heart Always Succeeds

I took a line from the letter by John T. Van Dyck Jr to James Moran IV because it has special meaning in this context.  John is congratulating Jim on his appointment to Annapolis and says "a strong heart all ways succeeds, some day you will command..."  But that didn't happen.  Jim went to Annapolis with the hopes and dreams of the Moran family on his shoulders, a mighty weight indeed.  While at Annapolis he did well in many subjects including Engineering but French was his Waterloo.  After three years he resigned from Annapolis. We think he worked as an aide to a Congressman in Washington for a few years before moving to East Tennessee where he worked in Engineering at Eastman Kodak.

According to a quick search on John Thomas Van Dyck Jr. was born July 30, 1913 in Paris Tennessee to John T. Van Dyck Sr and Fannie Fisher Giles. John Jr died July 3 1989.  And I'm not sure who Mary Tenny but she obviously made an impression on John and James.

Paris, Tenn
June 18 (some time in the 1930's)

Dear James,

I supose (sic) you are at Annapolis by now.  I sure was glad to hear about you receiving the apointment (sic), I saw your picture in the Evening Appeal, perhaps it will not be the last, for a strong heart all ways succeeds, some day you will command one of our country's greatest warships.  I reckon Mary Tenny won't be the only one of the old class to finish school, but maybe you were mistaken about her being stuck up for you know she used to condescend to help us with our Latin and Math.

Well there isn't much that I can say about myself except that I am working hard and regular, and that I have
grown considerable since you saw me last.

You may not get this note for a good while for I do not know your new address, but I guess you will get it some time, if your mother will be kind enough to send it on to you.  If you ever have time write and tell me all about Annapolis.

Your friend
J.T. Van Dyck Jr.

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