Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I got a note from my old Army buddy Jocko today. He found me on Linkedin and sent me a note.
He didn't go through basic training with me, but he was at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey in the summer of 1971. We also spent a year in Panama together.
We kept each other entertained while doing Uncle Sam's work. I'd played the guitar since I was young, but I quickly learned that Jocko was much better and I picked his brain like a buzzard on roadkill. I came home a much better musician than when I went into the service.
We kept in touch through the years, more with letters through the mail, than with email. He is great with words and says things you don't expect which often makes me smile.
One casualty of the Internet (email) is the personal letter. I miss them. These days you're lucky if you get a personal word or two on the lame jokes that get forwarded.
I think blogging (especially Blogger) has been a blessing. Sometimes when you write something interesting, you'll get personal comments. I love those. I read the blogs of others and comment too, but not nearly as much as I should.
....now where was I, oh yes, letters. I plan to exchange snail-mail addresses with my friend Jocko, and do my small part to revive the lost art of letters.


  1. My mother wrote letters every Sunday afternoon after church, after Sunday dinner, after her nap. She would answer the letters she had gotten from relatives [women] from back home in northern Kentucky.

    I used to correspond with guys in Vietnam from my high school class and with a boy I met at the USO in 1970. We still talk on the phone on occasion.

    The only person I write a real letter to is my mother-in-law. I started doing that the first Sunday Dennis took me to meet his family. She would write me back and so it began. Now I type them on the computer as my hand writing is not that good any more. My sister-in-law says the letter I write her get passed around to the other brother and sisters-in-law.

    The only time I wrote my Father-in-law was when I heard from that same sister-in-law that another of my sisters-in-law had told him because he disagreed with Dennis or any of his children going to college, that made them work harder than would have had to, and thereby killed them. I wrote to tell him that people die and that was not his responsibility and that Dennis loved him and if there was anything to forgive, he had forgave him. I hope that one was passed around too. SMILE

  2. And I like leaving comments, so I'm glad you enjoy reading them! :)

    Awesome that you still have contact with your old friend. My son is in the USAF and spent six months in Qatar in 2008. He had played the bass guitar for a couple of years before that, but met up with another airman who far exceeded his level of talent. Ryan did as you said, and picked his brain. He came back MUCH improved, and is now in demand at any church service he attends regularly.

    As for letters, you know I am a big proponent of those. There is nothing as exciting to me as opening the mailbox and finding a personal letter, hand written and addressed by hand. Whether it holds good news or mundane reports, I am happy as a clam to read it. I worked really hard to teach my kids the importance of hand written thank you notes, and wouldn't even let them cash a check or play with a toy that was given to them until they had discharged that duty. I don't know that they still follow that rule, but they are much more diligent than most about acknowledging appreciation for other people's thoughtfulness.

    I think blogging is somewhat like having a pen-pal--in that you get comments back. The one thing I like better about comments than snail mail is how quickly it appears! If we could just get those mail carriers to hustle a little faster, all would be perfect!

  3. So many people decry the demise of the snail mail letter but not I. It's the communication I like and I don't care if the words are written on a piece of paper or on a computer screen. I don't send forwards. Really though what has stopped me from writing letters (email) is my blog. After writing for that I don't have time or enerUnfortunately, most my family and friends don't read it but on the upside I have made a few new friends.gy to basically repeat what I already wrote one person at a time.

  4. I don't know what the heck happened to my comment. Somehow a sentence got split.

  5. Nice post! When I was a kid and the mailman delivered a letter from my grandma, you would have thought I just won the lottery. I would read it, then write her back immediately. It's so sad we've gotten to this point but I do agree about Blogging. At least you have the comments. I try to get my granddaughters to write me notes but they don't seem interested at this point (8 and 9).
    Let's keep a postal worker employed, write a letter today!

  6. I didn't get many letters as a kid, but when I was away in the Army, I looked forward to letters more than I did my paycheck.
    It is my intention to do a better job writing in the futures.

  7. Appreciate you stopping by my blog this morning. I find the internet an interesting tool to reconnect with many folks. As an Army brat (and spouse) I have met and lost contact with more people than I can count. Nice you were able to reconnect with your army buddy.

  8. I miss snail mail letters, too. They're a lost art. :(

  9. I can't remember exactly the last time I wrote an honest to goodness letter. Little notes in various cards, maybe, but not a single letter in years. I guess it's because the last few I did write were never answered or were "returned to sender."

    Military friends are the best kind. My parents kept up with their friends from the Air Force for years, and the last trip my dad took before he died, he and my mom were going to meet up with an old buddy from the service and his wife. He wasn't feeling well even then, but he was determined to make the effort.

    I'm glad you like comments because I like to write them. Thanks for "following."

  10. I don't remember the last time I wrote a snail mail letter! It's been a very long time. When I was a kid I had a few penpals, but that dropped out as I became a teen. It really is an art form. Hope you and friend enjoy it!


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