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For Openers - The Letter

by Eva Pasco 

Sixties - Eva PascoLong before emailing personal notes with the greatest of ease flying through cyberspace on a wireless trapeze, letter writing was an essential form of communication besides the telephone. The handwriting on the wall clearly indicates letter writing is on the line. Handwritten love letters tucked inside hat boxes stored in an attic once served as portals to the past like peel-back Polaroids. During the Sixties, letter writing was so important our teachers taught us etiquette and layout of the "friendly letter": heading, greeting, body, closing, signature, and the optional--P.S. which most of us utilized for the fun of it. Popular songs commemorating letter writing as a way of life include: "Please, Mr. Postman" (Marvelettes, 1961)--Mister Postman, look and see if there's a letter in your bag for me; "The Letter" (Box Tops, 1967)--  Lonely days are gone, I'm a goin' home 'cause my baby just wrote me a letter.; "Take a Letter Maria” (R. B. Greaves, 1969)--So take a letter Maria, address it to my wife say I won't be coming home, gonna start a new life.   

  

Growing up during the Sixties in the rural village of Limerock, letter writing was a feasible way for me to communicate with two junior high friends--Charlene, from the opposite end of Limerock, and Susan who lived in Albion. Parental ferrying wasn't an option. Conversing over the phone inhibited private revelations--whatever those could have been at that age--more than likely sharing our secret crushes on boys, professing infatuation for teen idols, and disclosing our favorite hit song. I remember waiting for the mail truck with anticipation, sifting through the mail for envelopes addressed to me personally.  Then I'd open my two-three page letter, and after devouring its laboriously handwritten content in mere seconds, began penning my response on floral stationery. Though most details of our frivolous exchange escape me, I will never forget one of Susan's letters where she expressed sorrow over the loss of her brother killed in a highway fatality that summer.

  

I resumed letter writing at the end of my high school era when I wrote my two cousins stationed in Vietnam. Soon, the art of letter writing would transition to typing term papers on a Smith-Corona. Like my predecessors before me who positioned themselves in front of a blackboard, I would teach my third grade students letter etiquette standing in front of a white board as a means to and end of fostering a friendship with pen pals from another community.  P.S.  Occasionally I pick up a pen and wield it to write thank you notes.

 

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

 

 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

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