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Posts Tagged ‘incowrimo’

So this one is sort of about letters. And it doesn’t involve me. It’s about my ex-husband and his sister. They tell a story, and I believe it because I know them both, about one year when his older sister was at UCLA and he was at MIT. They wrote letters all year long. He didn’t have money to fly home for any holidays so he stayed in Boston from August until May. Long distance phone calls in those days (the late 60’s) were very expensive so the only way to stay in touch was through letters. Mr. Google has led me to several sites that say first class letter postage in 1969 was six cents. It doesn’t seem like much, does it?

One year, they used the same stamp all year long, back and forth the stamp traveled. They figured out that you could use a pencil eraser to erase the postmark stamping from the stamp and they were very careful about taking the stamp off. I am not sure which glue they sued but I vaguely remember that it was rubber cement. So the stamp would travel from Los Angeles to Boston and back again, over and over. I don’t know how often they wrote but I am thinking it was about once a month so that stamp must have made the round trip at least ten times! And I don’t think they did it to save money. I think they did it more just to prove that it could be done.

That’s my letter-ish post for today!

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I guess I will continue with the letter theme until I run out of letter stories!

Many years ago, when I was in high school, I was recruited to apply to Stanford University. I was a senior ad I had not yet figured out or even thought of where I would go. I figured I would go to the local state university but no one had told me anything about applying. So I hadn’t applied anywhere. Then in December I got the call to the counselor’s office to meet with the recruiter. I have written about it before. I will see if I can find it so I can link you. In any case, I reluctantly went to the meeting. I say reluctantly because I didn’t think I would ever get into a school like Stanford and even if I did, there would be no way for me to go because of the finances. I was guided to ask for waivers for the application deadline and the fee and I received both.

Once I applied, I got on their list and go a lot of mail from them. Most of the mail was from “Uncle Fred” who was actually Fred Hargadon, the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. He wrote about how decisions would be made and although the traditional date for admission notifications was April 15, that year (1974) he was making a promise. That promise was that we would all be notified by April 1! Yay! For applicants anxiously awaiting admission decisions, the two weeks would make a huge difference.

So I waited. April 1 rolled around and there was no letter! I was sure I had not been accepted and that was why there had been no letter! Then on April 2 there was a “thin envelope” from Uncle Fred with what has since been called “the oops letter.” He explained and apologized. He started the letter with the word “oops” immediately following the salutation. It seemed that they had mailed out all of the decision letters in time for April 1 delivery but the post office had just notified him that the huge bundle had been misplaced and had not gone out. So they frantically scrambled to send them all out again! He promised we would get them within a day or two as they were working day and night to reproduce them. (Remember that this was in the days of typing letters out, not just printing from a computer file! The letters had to be re-typed and signed personally by Fred Hargadon. I think that year there were about fifteen thousand applicants that had to be notified! They were working round the clock!)

Sure enough, by April 5, I got my “big, thick envelope” with acceptance notification and financial aid grants info and room mates selection information and all those other papers they sent!

That snafu kind of haunted Fred Hargadon and he when it was spoken of, it was always referred to as “the oops letter.” I kept my copy of the oops letter for many years but I think now it has been lost due to too many moves! But I remember it well and it always brings a smile to my face!

Have you a letter you remember from your past? Tell us about it!

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And a peek at the exterior of Memorial Church.

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Today’s whine: I had to go into the Social Security office today. I was turning in documents on an application I began last week. I had an appointment for one o’clock. I drove to the building and it wasn’t there. I was a health center. I had been to that building several years ago but, apparently, they moved! They are still on the same street so when I was told on the phone that it was on Division Street, I figured it was in the same place and I wasn’t given the address. Luckily, I had left home an hour early. (Yeah, I’m that person that is afraid to be late so she leaves super early.) I got to the right address but there were no parking spaces. The two handicap spots were taken and so were the “low emission fuel vehicle” spots (which I was surprised to see and there were four of those). I had to park on the street but the closest parking was about four long blocks away. So I gave it another go and got there just as someone was leaving the handicap spot so I grabbed it. Yay! I signed in with time to spare but the guy my appointment was with was late back from lunch so he was a half hour late for my appointment. In the process of applying, they had to update my name because the last person put my middle name (which is my married name) as the last name and hyphenated it with my maiden name (which is now my legal name). After reviewing all of the documents and making copies, he changed the name to Corina Martinez Carrasco, leaving off my middle name which is Joy, because my birthday is on Christmas Day. So in the process of filing for spousal benefits (he’s old enough to retire, I am not but I can get his retirement benefits), I lost my Joy! I want it back. I think I might look into the process for a legal name change and get rid of the Martinez and get my Joy back! See, he’s still taking things from me, like my Joy!

The wine today is actually from last night. My daughter took me to Trader Joe’s for some Two Buck Chuck which used to be two dollars but is now actually three dollars. It’s pretty good wine for the price. I owed my daughter three dollars because she bought me a box of coffee pods so she said she would take a bottle of wine instead so we got her bottle and I got three to put away for myself, one of which I will most likely take to the birthday party on Saturday because it’s a BYOB thing. I’ll share a bottle of white zinfandel.

And the more! I’m enjoying writing letters. It is bringing back a lot of memories, like the one from the previous post, Sealed With A Kiss. When was the last time YOU wrote a letter? Why not try writing a few this month. You don’t have to go full out Incowrimo but you could write a few!

Gotta run! I’ve those letters to write!

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How many of you remember hearing that 1962 hit song, Sealed With A Kiss by Brian Hyland? I remember it but of course, I’m of that certain age! It was quite popular long after 1962. It was one of those songs that spoke of all that puppy love we experienced.

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was this boy. Yeah, a very nice one that also thought I was a pretty nice girl. We spent most of the school year together then the end of the year came and we were faced with summer. We didn’t live in the same neighborhood and our families didn’t have much in common so we were pretty sure we were not going to see each other during the summer. In my yearbook, he ended his rather long writing with the part of the lyrics to the song:

“Though we have to say good bye for the summer,

Darling I promise you this,

I’ll send you all my love,

Every day in a letter,

Sealed with a kiss.”

Later that summer, I went to southern California to stay with my aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks. They had a couple of daughters that were close to my age so we got along and we did a lot of stuff that I would never have been allowed to do if I had been at home. We rode bikes all over Orange County and went on a midnight donut run and flirted with boys. One of the things we did a couple of times a week was go to the beach. They lived just down Beach Boulevard from Huntington Beach so it was a straight shot to the beach. During one of those beach trips, I wrote a letter to that young man I had left behind in San Jose. I didn’t swim so while the others were swimming, I would read or write letters. After all the mushy stuff and the details of all the things I had been doing with my cousins, I was perplexed about how to end it. I wanted to make a reference to the lyrics of the song he had quoted in my year book but I didn’t want his mom to see anything on the outside of the envelope as my initial idea was to put on lipstick and kiss the outside of the envelope. So that was nixed then I got the idea to just write “sealed with a kiss” inside the envelope so it would be the first thing he saw when he opened it. So I did, but I also enclosed a pinch of sand from the beach! At least I thought it was a pinch. Later on, I heard that it was more than a pinch and his mom had not liked having to vacuum the sand after it spilled when he opened it!

Can you think of any “memorable” letters you’ve written?

 

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I remember hearing this phrase a lot when I was growing up. Instead of asking someone to “shoot me and email” when they arrived, we used to say, “drop me a line” or “don’t forget to write.” Those were the days. The old days.

Letter writing, and even writing with pen and paper, is a lost art. I pick up a pen and try to write some notes and I almost can’t remember how. It feels so alien to me. I think we also have a generation growing up without learning to write in cursive and without learning how to format a letter or even write the most basic salutation. That can’t be good.

I enjoy letter writing. Or at least I used to. I wrote a letter to my friend Kim, in Australia and really enjoyed it. I was pressed for time or I would have written more. And I wrote a letter to Deborah who is a woman in one of the Buy Nothing groups I belong to. We chat when she picks something up and sometimes we send text messages to each other regarding an item to¬† be picked up. However, I have thought for some time that it would be nice to have her as a friend. A friend I might invite for a cup of coffee or meet for a quick chat. So I jumped in and used her address for one of my February letters for Incowrimo. It occurs to me that it is also one person I am reaching out to, a person on the fringes of my circle of friends, as I wrote about in Expand. So I’m on my way!

One thing that I like about letter writing is that it is so much more personal. When you open a letter from someone, you are holding the same paper they held and reading the words they wrote out in long hand. Maybe you are also witnessing their choice in paper or ink on the letter. In some cases, even the stamp used is a personal choice. So much more personal than anything else.

Well, on to writing my February 3 letter before the day is done! Happy writing!

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I was recently made award of a newish wri-mo event. Not NaNoWriMo this time. February is International Correspondence Writing Month or INCOWRIMO. So for the month of February, the idea is to write at least one letter, postcard, or other correspondence and mail it, each day. So now I am hooked! I will be writing letters and postcards and some valentine cards this month, every day. I have a list of people to write to but I haven’t counted them. If you would like to receive a piece of mail from me, let me know in the comments then I will email you for the address. Do not post your address here, please.

If you want more info on the month long event, click on the link above. All the info is there, including a place to enter your address if you want mail (please note that it is a public document so you might not want to post the address there) and there is also an address book with hundreds of people that would like mail if you want to participate. There are also a number of sites with videos and tutorials on good old fashioned letter writing. Check below for a couple of links. You might even get a pen pal out of this, if you wish to continue after February. Also, remember that you can write Valentine cards to people and that will count! Have fun with this! I challenge you!

So now, keep me honest. Bug me. Ask me if I am up to date with my letter writing this month!

https://incowrimo.org/how-to-write-a-letter/

The Power Of the Letter (Ted Talk)

 

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