Snail Mail And Boys Town Part 1


 Today as I edited, I realized how scattered the subject appears. For those accustomed to my writing, it may seem I’m rambling or unfocused.  I assure you, there IS an end to the means, and I promise by the end of this series, to have it all connected!

Purple flower stamps stampI lived 5 years of my life… No… The home I grew up in was called Boys Town (which at THAT time, was an all male facility). In Ryan Hall, during my freshman year, I resided in the quarters known as “2nd Left” with twenty-five other teen age boys.  The 4-dorm building housed 100 young men, all living in Ryan Hall. 

Every Sunday afternoon, an hour was set aside, known as “Letter Writing Period”. Each student was required to write, at the minimum, a single, one page letter, addressed to anyone.  We were simply required to write the letter.  It could have been to our parents if we had them, a former guardian, a sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle. The correspondence could have been written to our sponsor to the home: the judge in charge of the case, a social worker, probation officer or even the “orphanage of origin”. Anyone. As long as we had a letter to turn in…

Single Rose stamp

I would be interested in conducting a survey on how ingrained the activity became in the lives of my fellow alumni. Like so many commands, such as “Saturday Charges”, Letter Writing was as much a part of my routine, as freshman football practice, trips to the dinning hall or the pursuit of my Boys Town diploma. To me, letters were a means for keeping in touch in a very personal way.  Today we have Facebook, e-mail and a whole plethora of choices of communication.  Yet, there is something about a personal letter that remains in my heart…

On Sundays, I wrote to my Step Dad and sisters. I wrote to my paternal father, his wife, Betty, and my siblings. I wrote to Aunt Katherine and Aunt Sarah (who lived in Ft. Lauderdale Florida). I penned letters to Aunt Frances and Uncle Gene.  I thought out and authored words to Fr. Diersen who’d been instrumental for me being in Boys Town. To the Buren family who was well aware of my dilemma in Louisville that landed me 700 miles away. I described in detail, the previous weeks activities for my cousin Greg who lived in what we in Boys Town referred to as “the outs”.

Reflected Train stamp

Grandma Buckman received weekly updates from Nebraska as well as Grandma and Grandpa Bowman. I even kept in touch with a girl I was infatuated with before leaving Louisville. One of those grade school crushes things.  For the first few years, Diana wrote back.  Some of her letters remain in my yearbook!

Until recently I’ve never given any consideration to the value of the postage stamp. The year I moved to Boys Town, a First Class  stamp cost .05. The average price of gasoline was .36. Today a stamp costs .44  while I paid $3.48 a gallon for gas.  Which leads me to believe that a First Class Postage Stamp, is STILL a very good value!

In the future, Part 2!  And as a Post Script..  You CAN click on the stamps here, to view/purchase custom, First Class Postage!

This entry was posted in Animals, Boys Town, Bridges, City, Fall, Floral, Forgotten, Interstate Travel, Posters Cards Gifts, Rural, Spring, Summer, Trucking, Vintage Vehicles, Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Snail Mail And Boys Town Part 1

  1. daniel m jones says:

    I was residing in ryan hall myself, 2nd right back 1972-73, sure would like to see it again or hear from anyone who was there, sincerely, daniel jones

    Like

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