April 16, 2011 7:26:00 PM
I, too, enjoyed the article on the lost art of letter writing, and meant to respond earlier. After my father died, my sisters were going through drawers, closets, cabinets, everything in his house. They found the letter he wrote to an Army officer, address Birmingham, Ala., no further address, stating he wanted to enlist in the Army Air Corps. His letter was returned with instructions on what to do. They also found one letter, that I saw, from Daddy to "my Darling Ruth" while he was overseas. Reading "I can''t wait until I hold you in my arms again" was a side of Daddy that none of children us ever saw.
I wish I had spoken up, because I would have liked to keep those letters for my grandchildren. After my brother-in-law removed the stamps for his collection, the letters got tossed. If it hadn''t been for those letters, I would have never known that Daddy had a tender side.
When we were small, he came home one evening and snuck up behind Mama while she was cooking, and goosed her in the ribs. Mama was VERY ticklish. She screamed, jumped, and whirled around with a skillet raised to strike (in play). Daddy grabbed her in a hug, the first and only time we ever saw a display of affection between them. My younger sister, maybe 3 or 4 years old, thought they were fighting and started crying and trying to separate them.
Never, in my life, did I ever hear them exchange cross words or speak in anger to each other. (Except when a rooster nearly spurred my brother''s eyes out. Mama was upset and told Daddy he had to kill that rooster. He didn''t break stride coming in, just picked up his .22 revolver and killed it. We had rooster stew for dinner the next day. Another time he killed a huge rattlesnake way out in the Refuge. Mama was scared he would get bit and die before she could get him to the hospital.)
Letters are a connection to the past, and can be very important historically, personally, or both. I''m thankful I had a chance to see a side of Daddy that I had never seen, even though I felt like I was violating his privacy. Mama and Daddy have been together again for seven years. Those letters might have been treasured by more of their descendants. Leave something for yours, something they will treasure as well.
Cameron Triplett Sr.