Saturday, February 7, 2009
A good friend of mine, a recovering alcoholic, recently asked me to write a letter to a lady who is celebrating one year of sobriety. She attends AA meetings regularly....in prison. I have never met her. But she is one of "us"...and that is all I need to know. I will write the letter, as will many others in recovery.
As my friend put it: " It is a gift of hope and encouragement to someone who needs it and appreciates it. Each time they call her name at mail call she just beams...it is THE highlight of her day". And that brings back a wonderful memory for me.
In the early 1950s I was working in New York City in the Broadcasting business. I was six months into my first job, and my career was starting to take off. I had just been promoted from "mail boy" to "office boy" in the sales department. I was basking in my early success... then I got "the letter". Greetings, it said, you are on your way to war...the Korean war for you children out there.
Three months later I found myself on a troop train in the middle of this god-forsaken country at the end of the world. I was on my way to the front, lonely and very scared. Then I heard this voice yell "mail call"... on a moving train of all places. And he had a letter for me.
It was a chain letter that unfolded to about six feet long . It contained messages from over fifty of my former fellow workers. I can't begin to tell you what that meant to me. Like my friend above I was beaming and it certainly was the highlight of my day. I will always cherish that letter and memory.
It is very fragile after all of these years...but I laid it out on my dining room table for the picture you see above.
Posted by Bud at 5:00 AM