Letters are My Most Prized Possessions

While Jessie Woodhead was in college she and her grandma, MaryRose Hauser, kept in touch through handwritten letters.

“She left me enough fabric to fill a store,” said Woodhead.

So she took the fabric and made a collection of handmade pillows with the phrase “Dear Mary.”

“Sometimes it’s really hard to go through them,” said Woodhead. “Each pillow is a chance for me to write her a letter again.”

Since 1978 I have kept letters my sister Cindy and I have written each other. On two different holidays I copied two separate sets of them and made a scrapbook for her which she loved.

Each envelope tells a story behind every address.

For instance, July 9, 1979 when I was 13 talks about my first airplane ride going to see my sister, Joy. Cindy had never flown either and asked me if it was fun.

In another paragraph she told me:

“I received a letter from Ulli, my pen pal in Germany yesterday. She has a 13-year-old cousin named Fritzi who would like to have a pen friend. Are you interested? She is expecting me next summer. I can’t wait!”

Cindy worked temporarily at Barnett Bank when she was in college in Jacksonville, FL in 1983. The envelope was addressed to me when I was in one of the foster homes at 17. I was going to go work at Captain D’s temporarily like my sister had in 1980 but wound up not doing that till 1985.

Cindy’s letter reads:

“I’m still tutoring that basketball player, Eric, in psychology. Oh, I had a perm put in my hair on Saturday and had it cut, too. It’s a very soft body wave, not real curly and I really like it. This Saturday, the 15th I take this huge test called the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) that’s like a mega-SAT and is required for graduate school. Yuk! I’m not even going to see Rick James in concert on Sunday because of all this school stuff. Stevie Nicks and Asia are coming here soon. When are you, oh cute one?”


“Here’s the greatest news: I finally spent some time with Larry Monday night. We talked. I know he doesn’t want to seriously date me but we’re still more than friends. Make sense? It’s not really what I wanted but I’m going to give him his freedom and dare him not to fall in love with me as Debra Winger said! We’ll see. I think I will ask him to go to Fall Turnabout. It’s Nov. 19th. I’m going to see “The Big Chill” tomorrow night.”

These letters are some of my most prized possessions. Never to be duplicated again, a snapshot into the past which Cindy and I now laugh at parts of.

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