Way Back Wednesday: Romancing the Keans!

February conjures up thoughts of the color red, hearts, love & Valentine’s Day (yeah there’s a Presidents birthday, but who cares?).  We thought we would start the month off with some love letters written between Mary Alice Barney and her future husband, Captain John Kean. We have several letters between the two of them from 1922 to 1924.  If you remember our blog post from two weeks ago (because you should have been reading it), this is one of our January weddings that actually happened during a blizzard in 1925!

Backstory on the lovebirds:  The two met at a dinner party at Captain Kean’s cousin’s apartment on January 20, 1922.  Mary Alice was one of the guests that attended and he became completely smitten with her.   January 20th would become their wedding date in 1925 and the date that they would christen their three children. 

We thought we would share our favorite lines from these letters. Caution: be prepared to get wooed! 


November 1, 1922- Mary Alice writing to John: I would love to go with you to the game on the eleventh, and it is dear of you to want me.  Mother wants to know who is chaperoning, and I would like to know what time, to meet you at the Capley Plaza?  That is the best place, isn’t? (remember folks, having a chaperone is proper date etiquette!)

October 20, 1923- Mary Alice writing to John: As I have told you many, many times you are much too nice to me and you really ought not to spoil me.  If I leave Bar Harbor for a minute, when I come back, I always find something waiting for me from you.  Either a nice fat letter or a delicious package. 

December 12, 1923- Mary Alice writing to John: It seems ages since last Sunday, so I am writing to say how do you do and to tell you that I prefer to be foolish and not let you know what I want most of all for Christmas….Hope you sit next to me on Friday. 

June 9, 1924- John writing to Mary Alice: Dearest – I am listening to the band in Central Park via the radio, but as usual thinking of you.  Many thanks, my dear, for letting me walk down to Harriman’s with you this afternoon….

June 11, 1924- John writing to Mary Alice: Goodbye, my darling, as you well know you are the dearest person in the world to me and I am willing to try and do anything you wish – for of course your happiness is all that matters.

July 11, 1924- John writing to Mary Alice: My darling, most precious and best beloved Mary Alice- It has been a beautiful day, with a lovely sun-set all pinks, blues, reds golds and purples. From my window I can now see the moon shining softly on the ocean which is very smooth and peaceful tonight.  The surf is greatly roaring in the most soothing manner – you certainly are “long suffering and of great goodness” my dear, but I can’t on a night like this, go to bed, without infecting another epistle upon you – would to heaven you were here or I with you, no fog, no stupid people, no nothing, but just you, divinely beautiful, and in a gracious mood- every hour of the day and night I miss you, and it is all I can do to resist taking the first train or boat which would carry me wherever you are. Goodnight, sweet dreams my dear, and all my love. 


Those are just some of the love letters.  Hope this got you in the mood to write some love letters to your special someone!


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