Letters as Journal entries

Sr. Prom

Old letters are wonderful items to include in
journalling. I ran across this one the other day that
was written to my old high school boyfriend. I
certainly brought back a lot of memories -

December 12, 1997

Dear Eddie, (picture is at the Sr. Prom - 1957)

What a great surprise! I had just about given up hope! I wrote you a letter in late May concerning our 40th reunion and mailed it to what I thought was your home -- 509 East Tennessee St. (I derived this information from the Internet!). When I did not hear from you I figured that you just didn't want to be bothered. The following week I ran into Joan Tanksley at Foxy's, in the BVI, and we started talking. When she said that she worked for the Indiana Department of Education, I obviously asked her if she knew you and then sent you a note via her. How nice it was to receive such a long newsy letter as a result. I loved it.

The picture of our class was great. However, not only am I losing my eyesight (just look at the size of this print), I am also losing my memory no matter how much Ginko Bilbo I take. I could only remember 10-15 people. Lots of names but no faces -- even when I matched your lists. What a trip down memory lane though. Did we have fun or what? Thanks so much for sending it. I will treasure it in my scrapbook. By the way, you look very distinguished.

I would love to see you and Sharon should you sail through the British Virgin Islands. I live in Tortola but receive my mail through St. Thomas since it is part of the US. One thing Americans don't appreciate is the fact that they have the best postal & telephone system on the face of the planet which is why I use a US address. When will you be coming? Can I send you any literature? I would be honored to show you both around.

Did Joan relate that I am also a journalist? I enjoyed reading the article about you by Julia Gregg. I always knew that you would be someone special and influence those around you. Congratulations! I am the racing/sailing journalist for the BVI and cover all water sports. During my years in the Caribbean I have lived in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas but I definitely like the BVI best.

In 1989 my brother Jimmy died of AIDS. This just about killed me, as we were very close. He lived in Manhattan where I had spent some 2+ years taking care of him, off and on. Our parents had died many years ago. After his death I decided that life was just too short not to do what you really wanted, and I had always loved to sail. I took what little funds I had and bought a 40' sloop named ANTARES. My travels then took me to the BVI where I met a nice guy named David. We hooked up together and have been sailing, racing and reporting ever since – a great life style and one that suits me to a tee.

In the ensuing years I have sailed the entire Caribbean plus Cuba, chronicling all of them in my articles. I wrote a really good series of six articles on Cuba. If you would like to read this I would be happy to send them on. I love being a reporter. What I would give to see an old article of "It's Just Terrell-bull" (the column that I wrote for the "Centralian" during our high school years of '54 - '57) Isn't it odd that we are both in journalism. I remember well our teacher but his name truly escapes me. Help me on this.

I have two gorgeous sons named Michael (34) and Gregory (32) who live on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii (they both have their Captains License also) and four wonderful grandchildren--Lauren (9), Taylor (8), Terrell (16 mos.) and Hannah (3 mos.). All love the water. I only come to the states when passing through each summer, to go see all of the kids, but keep in touch with the world through the Internet. I love movies but hate TV. My handle is dcooper@caribsurf,com so if you want to exchange letters, articles, etc. we can use e-mail. In my mind, it is the neatest thing since sliced bread!

Peg Eberle is a dear friend of mine. She was my mother's best friend and I still keep in touch with her. Bruce, her younger son, also died of AIDS about 3 years after Jim. Do you remember Eddie Grammer? What has happen to him? He was a friend to both Jim and Bruce. Also, whatever happened to Barbara Love, Bobbie Reinicke and Bonnie Harris? And of course, Ms. Oakley? There was a wild girl in our class named Carol ----- (I just can't remember her name). I noticed she was not in the picture. Whatever happened to her? Sounds like a movie title "Whatever happened to Bad Girl Carol?"

I understand that Central High has been demolished. What a shame, although I always did think it was the "pits" if you remember. I couldn't understand a school that didn't have a grass lawn. I guess I haven't changed much as I would still rather be outside than anywhere on earth.

Enough rambling! Please give my regards to Sharon and all lost friends and also please keep in touch. Send me your e-mail and we can remain on-line friends. Okay?

It was nice getting a letter from you. It brought back a lot of good memories.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Of course the best part about writing to old friends is when they return the favor ----

EDDIE COLE

Sorting through my mail the other day, I came upon a manilla envelope that contained what must be a picture. With great curiosity I opened the flap with the new fish knife given to me yesterday by a friend.

Nancy,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I remember when you turned 18. That was only 40 years ago, but it sure doesn't seem that long. You would be surprised how many people I ran into today that asked about you: Linda Kallenbach, Mary Jane O'Daniel and almost everyone at the Central 1957 Class Reunion.

Yes, our journalism teacher, Ralph Thyng, would be very proud of both of us. I visited Ralph a few times before he died (about 15 years ago) and he still identified you with me. He would always ask about you and would be envious of your lifestyle today. He was a very interesting guy and had been a pilot in the British Air Force.

I will attempt to answer many of the questions you raised in both your letter and e-mail:
--Yes, Joan Tanksly called me and faxed me your note. You said to "write", but of course there was no address and the reunion committee had been trying to locate you for years. So, I finally ran into to Bob Eberle (who I understand had a heart attack recently) and he put me on to his mom who gave me your address. I'm glad you enjoyed the picture and yes, I hear the word "distinguished" quite often (it beats being bald). I also have an extra copy of the yearbook if you need one and I'm trying to locate some "It's Just Terrell-Bull" columns.
 
  --We are going to have to postpone our Cruise in March to a later date. I would appreciate any information you could give us, if and when we come. So you purchased a 40' sloop (I had to look that up) called the ANTARES, the bright star of Scorpio. I'm sure all the training you had by living in so many varied places really prepared you for your present life. Somehow, it doesn't surprise me to learn of your new lifestyle.
  --I was sorry to hear about your brother. I have fond memories of Jimmy as a much younger kid who "got in the way" of two "very mature" teenagers. You were a great sister to take care of him for 2+ years.
  --Yes, I would very much like to read your articles on Cuba. I have a good friend who did some fishing in Cuba and liked the country very much.
  --It's interesting that your sons live in Hawaii. Our oldest daugher, Cathy, married a pilot whose parents live in Maui (his mother is a native of Hawaii). We have visited three times (once in Oahu, once in Maui, and once in the Big Island). We really enjoy it but now want to go somewhere else (Europe, the Caribbean). Cathy lives in Nashville, TN; our son Steve is a pharmaceutical salesman and lives in Lexington, KY (married to a high school counselor); and our youngest daughter, Laura, is a social worker here in Evansville and is going to save the world. She was married in September. We have two grandchildren and a third on the way.
  --Your inquiries about some people brought back a lot of memories also:
Miss Oakley was at our renuion (is in the picture) and I see her every Sunday at the
Methodist Temple where she sings in the church choir. I can't remember the "wild girl" named Carol, but would like to (just kidding). I sure don't remember an Eddie Grammer, but that's not surprising after 40 years.
  --My e-mail address stands for Joseph Edwin Cole, May 6 (my birthday), @ Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, Kindergarten through 12, Indiana, United States.

Well, enough trips down memory lane for the moment. I hope I have brought you up to date. It's nice to remember the 50's. Those were great times and I credit you with having a big influence on my life. I really didn't know it at the time, but looking back it's because of you
I probably went to college (the first one in my family to do so). You also exposed me to many of the "finer" things in life: Mead Johnson's home, the Country Club, some of your friends such as Mary Jane O'Daniel (who still calls me Eddie Who??? today). Although I worked 40 hours a week at the Sunday Courier & Press and went to school full-time, I knew I had to do it to enjoy some of the finer things in later life.

Thanks for your influence.

Eddie

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