We asked readers to tell us about pen pals they found through the Monitor's Mail Bag column, which ran from 1929 to 1969. Here are some excerpts from a few of your responses.
Mavis Stirk from Bradford, England, responded to my name listed with the Mail Bag in November 1943. We continued a faithful correspondence through our teen years, into our marriages, and while we raised our children. Our letters over the decades shared many insights into the similarities and differences in our educational systems, governments, and race relations.
In May 1979, my husband and I were planning a trip to Britain to visit two of our sons who were studying there, one in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the other at Leeds University near Bradford. When I told Mavis, she immediately invited our son Doug for supper and made arrangements for the four of us to stay several days at their farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales.
Her husband, Alan, took time off from work to show us the Dales and nearby villages, and their teenage daughter, Catherine, enjoyed meeting our college-age sons.
My photograph albums include pictures from Mavis's wedding, their daughters at various ages, and, of course, our wonderful visit to England. Mavis was an artist, and I have many drawings she sent me. Mavis's mother and my mom corresponded for a few years, as well.
I was so happy to see the essay about pen pals found through the Monitor's old Mail Bag column. I was one of them. My pen pal was a lovely gal from England. Her name was Pat Hywood. I was living in New York at the time and was a teenager. We corresponded a year or two, and then my family moved and we lost contact.
I remember that Pat once sent me a snapshot of herself in her backyard, and the background showed a line of clothes. She informed me that they were "nappies," or, in Americanese, diapers.
Our correspondence was short-lived but happy. I still remember her. Thank you for the reminder!
Marilyn (Squires) Bensing