Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Letters Home From College

My sister found a pack of letters when going through some boxes a couple of weekends ago from my parent's house. As she unknowingly unfolded an era from our family history, she gasped. They were letters that my dad had written home to my grandparents from college. They kept every single one. It was obvious that they wrote back and forth, but we did not have my grandmother's matching letters (I guess a college boy has no where to store such things in his dorm room nor probably the foresight to hold on to what were at the time "letters from mom"). His letters were coming home about every third day. Probably an immediate response to her letters.
It was amazing to read about his every-day-life, especially to this bloggie-blogger who believes in capturing every-day-life moments (the whole reason I got into this whole "blog thing").
Seeing his very distinctive handwriting on his stationary sent goosebumps up and down my arms. I love his handwriting. As for the stationary, well, I'm southern through and through and I have to admit that I ran a finger over it to see if it was engraved or embossed. I regret to report, my southern belles, that it was embossed. BUT! We'll chalk that up to his version of being "a poor college kid."
As I leafed through these letters, stories of school, tennis, ping pong (boy did he love ping pong), college football and basketball games, the work-load, his roommate, Wayne, and much much more came alive through his words that I could almost hear him saying as though he were reading them to me himself.
A few times he would say something sly and write out a "heh- heh" afterwards. If you knew my dad, you can hear it right now as you read it *smile*.
I really laughed when I read about how much laundry was coming home (yes ladies, he mailed home his dirty laundry for my grandmother to wash and she mailed it right back usually with some cookies or fudge or whatever he demanded.... but we'll get to that later).
I tried to pace myself so that I would continue to have something to read every night before bed, but I have to admit that I have no self control and I devoured them all in one night.
It was neat to read from such innocent times about people who were more "Cleaver" than June and Beaver themselves! (no, seriously). The language and topics were comforting to read.
I'll be sharing some of the stories and quarks very soon, so stay tuned!

My dad is younger than his "college years" in this pictures, but I love it so much I thought I'd include it.


Chandy said...

Hi! Congrats, SITStah for being featured today and sorry for the late visit. Computer issues for weeks now...

Nancy said...

What a beautiful arrangement in your photo, and what a sweet post :) Don't you know how dear those letters were to your grandparents?!

McVal said...

Oh how sweet! I don't think my son would write me from college... If he did, it would be to ask me for money and even then I wouldn't be able to read his handwriting!
What a special memory of your dad!

JenJen said...

stopping by from SITS, but so happy I did!

Michelle said...

What a great find. I love the picture with the flowers and letters!

Ms. Mama said...


So what is the difference between engraved and embossed?

Stopped by from SITS. Congrats on your feature.

Heather-Anne said...

Mary Beth you should try to get those published! Even if you self publish what a treasure.

Mary Beth said...

hahaha... I have so enjoyed all of your comments!!!

Ms. Mama - I'm just being snooty...haha. Engraved is when the print has been stamped with ink under lots of pressure. Engraving plates must be made and that gets spendy. Embossed is stamping without the ink. Truly, what my dad had was really thermography. This is the much less expensive way that uses ink and powder resin with heat to produce raised lettering. But Themography didn't sound as "catchy" in my writing... hehe.

Ruby Red Slippers said...

What a neat story!
I (for whatever reason, I don't know-) saved all the letters my Grannie sent me when I was in college. She sent one every week. About a month after I graduated, she died suddenly. I am so thankful to have those letters-they mean the world to me.
I love your story!