Funny the World
Today in My History
Take a Pumpkin
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
9 November 2021
It was a busy Sunday. I wrote to six pen pals, two in Canada and the others here in the U.S.
Mail has been a huge part of my life ever since grammar school, when I signed up to become a pen pal to a girl in England, whose name I have now forgotten.
I always had people to write to. My cousin Peach and I corresponded with each other, from the time we were both in school until she was married and living in Alaska (and very lonely).
I would spend time each summer with Peach in Citrus Heights and while there, I would exchange letters with my friend Judy in San Francisco. We both had crushes on Stephen and our letters always contained the phrase "MY boyfriend," each of us trying to see how big we could write the word "MY." I think we managed to write to each other twice during the weeks I was living with Peach. (Ironic that Stephen turns out to be gay!)
When I got my first job, I sponsored my first child, a girl in Korea named Park Hyun Joo and I wrote to her regularly, and sent her gifts from time to time. On her birthday once, I made her a fruitcake and had a friend of mine, who was Korean, write "Happy birthday" in Korean, which I wrote on the cake and mailed it. I have no idea if she ever received it, but suspect that food was not something that would have been delivered. We had a birthday party for her and I took photos to send to her.
The mail delivery in San Francisco started at the post office. Our mail man would get on a bus and ride it to the top of our hill, which meant that we were the third house to be delivered and I would sit in the window of the living room and wait to see the mailman get off the bus.
It was ironic that I cared about the mail so much because my father worked as a railway mail clerk, working the mail on the trains from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back again.
He worked for some 30 years on the train until they decided to take the mail off the train and deliver it by bus. He had to go into the post office, which he hated. He ended up having a nervous breakdown and retired.
I loved Christmas time when I was growing up because they delivered mail 2 or 3 times a day, which was great. It was a terrible time for my father, though, because he had to work so much harder with all the Christmas mail and made it clear how much he hated Christmas.
When we had foreign students here, I stayed in touch with most of them for years (now there are only a handful that I still have information about ). There was a time when our long-term mailman got a letter addressed to "Mrs. Beverly, Davis, CA" and knew where to deliver it. He told me we got more international mail than anybody in town.'
Some years later, they changed how mail was delivered in Davis
and it was now sorted in Sacramento. . I mailed a letter to the manager of a CVS
3 blocks from our house. It was in a mall and I addressed it to "Covell
and Anderson" and it was returned as a bad address.
Char tells me that I got her through winter her first year in Alaska, when she was stuck in a log cabin with two toddlers and I wrote to her frequently.
Having pen pals during quarantine the first year of COVID has been great. I don't have to worry about whether I'm going to visit with someone or not--I always have a message from friends I have never met waiting for me in my mailbox.
I see comments written in various places these days about how letter writing is a lost art. Not in this house, and not in the houses of the hundreds of pen pals that I see looking to connect with someone. I probably will never meet any of these people, but I do enjoy learning about their lives through the mail.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7900