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 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 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.


kenju said...

What a good story, Bud. We have another shared history: I was once the mail girl for the C&P Telephone Co. in my home town. I didn't stay there long enough to get promoted, however, and I sure didn't go to war (just back to college). I know that letter must have meant the world to you!

Ginnie said... DO have wonderful memories. I love the picture of the connected letter and all that it meant to you. Thanks.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Bud...How WONDERFUL that you still have this very very dear letter! That was such a great thing for your fellow workers to do---and coming when it did...Well, it is really quite touching!
I love the idea that you and others are writing the person in Prison....that has to be a very similar boon to her as the letter you got all those years ago, was to you at that very delicate time....!

About my camera: It has a fixed lens that has quite a fantastic zoom.....It is a Fuji Finepix S8000fd...I absolutely LOVE this camera. It is particularly good for taking my Hawks, because of the Zoom.....I have had three different Fuji's and LOVED all of them...Each one has advantages for certain "Photo Ops"....I actually would love to replace the first one because it was particularly good for Macro shots....I will have to find a Used or Refurbished....I recomend the Fuji Cameras Highly! Actually, it occurs to me they may have a "new" model that is even!

Barbra said...

Bud, I am so pleasantly surprised to find you writing again!! I love to read your blog... you have very interesting stories and I love your AA messages!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Bud....Thanks so much for your visits....I dearly appreciate them and your words, too.....I keep hoping you will be writing again...!
But, whatever you are doing, my dear, I hope you are having a good time!