Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reminiscence Part I: Letters

Not my letter but mine look a lot like this.
Email is sterile in comparison!
As part of a new PA law regarding background checks for employees, I have to provide the address of my last NINE residences, in my case going back to 1986. Luckily, I remembered that I had a shoebox of old letters, and thought they might yield some useful info.  I checked, and wouldn't you know -- I saved the envelopes! Retrieving my nine addresses was a snap.


I hadn't opened that box in many years, much less read the letters, in perhaps 20 years. I have missed letters -- honest to God handwritten words on fancy and plain paper or notecards, what a delight.

 I found a fistful of letters from an old housemate. We lived together while I was in graduate school at University of North Carolina. Linda Powell. I met her in 1986 or thereabouts, and we kept up with each other for many years -- we had been pretty close. My last letter was in the mid-nineties, a wedding invitation.

A tall, striking blonde, Linda did not fit any mold or stereotype. Looking at a photo, she would have been easy to peg as a sorority type. She did have a feminine, soft voice, but she was anything but a dumb blonde.  An international relations student and political junkie, she was intelligent and and a good debater, using humor to keep things light.  She was kind, self-effacing, and very, very funny. She liked to make people laugh -- imagine living with Terri Garr (anyone remember her?). The memories still make me laugh, but the funny stories just don't translate over time, as is so often the case. It's funny how her handwriting, instantly familiar on her signature blue-lined yellow notebook paper, brought it all back to me.

Stay tuned for Part II

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