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A Plea to Save Letters!

Updated: Mar 10

Save letters! I have a treasure trove of memories downstairs.

So began the email from my mother earlier this week. She was going through letters written fifty years ago, many of them by her.

(Blue is my mother's writing. Black is mine.)

Christine, letter-saver, with daughter Pam
Christine, letter-saver, with daughter Pam

For years I would write a long letter occasionally with several carbon copies which I could then individualize for the recipient - and I saved copies. Also...there are the letters we received from your four grandparents, my grandmothers, etc. My mother wrote long letters which show their everyday life. [Your father's mother] often wrote hers while under the hair dryer at the beauty shop.

Next Mom shared wonderful excerpts from throughout the year. It made me think of times when a long-distance call was expensive, and thus cherished - long before email. The good part of this is that letters often had a pitter-patter of what had been going on - they offer such delightful insights into daily life.

The first set of letters she shared were from right when my parents were figuring out where they were going to set up my father's medical practice after finishing his training in Pittsburgh, so a pretty important decision! I'm pretty glad we ended up in Asheville, NC. It's especially interesting to compare what they say about my hometown with how it is today - much more of a hot spot!

Below are a few excerpts that will shed some light into one family's life in 1971 and hopefully inspire you to save (and share) some old letters you might find in your closet.