My mail-slot was a source of surprises today. First was a Food & Wine magazine that doesn't belong to me; second was a paper towel that looked like someone had wiped a spaghetti-covered mouth on it (had my mail lady just had lunch?); third was a card from Eugene.
This is the same Eugene I wrote about in my blog a few days before Christmas--the man who was my grandmother's boyfriend for so many years, and the one to whom I sent the Christmas card.
It's so sweet, and want to share it! He sent a "Happy New Year" card, a picture of him with my grandmother in 2004, and a three page letter. Here is what the letter said in it's original form (mistakes and all, and with a couple of footnotes I added to aid your understanding):
i was so Pleased to receive your card and the note
Your grandmother and i met on a bus trip in 1994
The ensuing years we became close close friend.
I've had some thoughts wondering about how i would be remembered by her family
I received a card from Chriss*, signed love from Juanita's family--Chris and the Boys. I'm pleased to now I've not been forgotten. i need to do a better job of keeping in touch. I have talked to Jim** a few times.
Have you always went by Ashcraft?*** Or has someone put a ring on your left hand?
Your grandmother sent me so many cards. Many flattered me. I have saved the most of them. Will i get them read again--maybe some.
i have a note that i wrote****--says Amie 2005 moving to Calif--has Drs. degree--philosophy--think she's going to teach.
Maybe sometime you will write me about your California Venture.
i don't remember your features, perhaps you will send a picture.
I'm sending my address and phone number.
i think i have Chris's ph number. Have to write her or call.
I also received a card from Willa Jean*****. Your grandmother and W.J. were such good friends. Was pleased to know she was with her at her passing. I had been to the V.A. the P.M. before her passing and stopped at the home.
i don't know if she knew i was there.
Once again thank you for the kind words, about Grandmother and i
I remember her saying she insisted on being caled Grandmother.
You may not choose to write or call that will be okay.
*Chris - my aunt, my grandmother's daughter
**Jim - my uncle, one of my grandmother's sons
***Ashcraft - my last name is different from my father's (and the rest of that side of the family's last name), and this is puzzling to him. I know he was in the dark on this topic partly because my grandmother was still so scandalized that my mother and father never got married that she refused to tell him that information.
****I have a note that I wrote - Eugene and my grandmother used to take notes on what the other person told them, especially when it came to details involving family and friends, so they could remember what had been discussed. The note that he refers to is apparently one that he wrote during a discussion where he learned I was moving to CA.
*****Willa Jean - my grandmother's best friend
And just because they are so sweet, I'm including these, too. Note how he signed the card:
Here is the picture he included with his caption below:
Mar 4-04 E.E. and Juanita
waiting room at Ruby
I had beard then
This made my day. It appears I have a new pen pal. I love old-fashioned letters.