The Search for Harry and Helen

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Over the last couple years I've been posting excerpts of letters from a husband and wife, written during WWII.  I've owned and enjoyed "The Letters" for about 15 years now and always felt I could do something special with them.  I don't have a formal "bucket list" but I've always wanted to add published author to my resume.  This year I've decided to be more creative.  Doing something with "The Letters" is a step in the right direction.  Maybe one day these folks will be characters in a novel penned by me.

I can't say why I'm so attached to these pieces of paper.  I don't know what made me spend $40 on them (at that time in my life I enjoyed antiques but didn't have the cash to waste on this sort of "junk".)  Aside from enjoying the yellowed government issued stationery and the fine penmanship I have no connection to these two ordinary people who lived during an extraordinary time.  And yet, I own the almost daily account of three years of their life.  I get a historic glimpse into an era, over 70 years ago, that our country holds dear.  I get a "behind the scenes" military look as well as the "home fires burning" aspect.  When people tell me that they follow my blog, I get asked about "The Letters".  They want more.

I've often wondered how three hulking boxes of words landed in an antique mall in Ohio.  Aren't these letters something to be cherished and kept within a family?  Then again, not everyone lives in the past and certainly do not care about what a stranger (even one they are related to) did in 1944.  Let's face it - life is busy and stressful these days.  Who has time for this sort of nostalgia?  I don't blame anyone for letting go of material things that do not interest them.

I think of all the photos I've seen over the years in various thrift stores and antique shops.  There is something sad about photos that live in a old shoe box in a thrift store. Then again, it's sort of sweet.  No one seems to want to throw away a photo.  Or add them to a burn pile. In that respect, the fact that the photos exist, even in shabby surroundings, means they were cherished and respected enough to not be destroyed.

While I have lots of words from Harry and Helen, I do not have a photo.  NOTE: In the hopes of someday having a photo I originally put names and dates of the important moments of Harry and Helens life in this post.  I wanted to reach a family member who might supply a photo.  At the time It didn't feel wrong but then again it didn't feel right.  Today I feel differently.  While Harry and Helen are gone and do not seem to have much family left, it is still private words that I'm making public.  It no longer feels "okay" to publicly post this information in a selfish attempt to put a face to their words.  Isn't it enough that I'll be sharing the inner intimacies of a marriage and a glimpse into their private lives.  Now that I'm starting it up again I've deleted that info and wish to just focus on the words and stories of this couple and this time in the history of our country.