B to Z, Par Avion

3 January, 1970.

Dear Zelma,

Well, you might hardly not believe it but it has been almost a year since we starting writing.  How I enjoy receiving your letters with news of your family and home town.  In turn I do so enjoy writing to you,  it’s almost like writing a diary, a way to express my thoughts and feelings.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy reading yours, and that I am not some crazy woman from England !  Well, here we are, a new year and a new decade as well now, did they make a big deal of that with you ?  They did here.  I doubt much will change will it.  The sky is still blue, well more of the usual grey here, and the rain is still wet and cold.

I took our tree down the other day, the Christmas tree that is !  I don’t want you to imagine me in the back garden with an axe chopping away at some mighty old oak !  No, the Christmas tree.  More and more people have an artificial one these days, and I admit, we do the same.  So it’s all packed away in its battered old box now, tied up with the same piece of string that has always tied it up and Ken has put it up in the attic to gather dust until next year.  I have to nag him to do that, nearly as much as I have to nag him to get it back down.

I put a card in it for myself, it’s something I always do, it was something my mother always used to do and I carry it on.  I took one of the Christmas cards we received this year and wrote on it “Wishing that this next year will work out well and we have a happy family Christmas in 1970.  I hope we are all well and here to enjoy it together”.  It’s fun to find it next Christmas.  It’s not a surprise of course but I take it and think back over the year as we are putting the tree up again.  This year I used the lovely card that you sent.  The hard thing is when someone is not there for next year.  I now treasure the last one my mother wrote that I found when I was helping Dad to put up his tree for that year she died.  1964 it was.  Dad mocked it but secreetly I think he was moved.  In fact I know he was.

So do you have many plans or hopes for this new year, the new decade ?  I can’t be doing with all those New Year Resolutions (or revolutions as an Auntie of mine calls them!)  Nobody ever keeps them and if you really want to change and do things differently then just do it anyway, why wait till 1st January ?  Ken is in the garden preparing his vegetable patch for next year, hoping for a good crop of potatoes.  I suppose we all have different wishes don’t we.  For Ken it’s potatoes.

I think there are to be some changes around our village and nearby town in this coming year,   and not all welcome by some,  there is a lot of fuss going on.  They are talking of a new factory being built and it has divided peoples opinion.  So many, old Violet Sanders at the forefront, are opposing it because it will be built on farmland and she says how we will be overrun with cars and lorries, and noise.  But of course there is the other side who think of the jobs, particularly the youngsters who can’t or don’t want to work on the farms anyway.  It will be some kind of bottling plant where they will be putting all the locally grown fruit and veg into jars.  Old Violet can regularly be heard coming down the High Street with bottles clinking away in her shopping basket, and I don’t think they have jam in them !

Anyway Zelma, I must sign off now as I am heading into the village soon and the post office closes far half day today.  “All the way to America” the postmistress will say, she always does, without fail, “my little stamp sending it all that way!”  I so want to point out that it is not her stamp, it is from the post office and I just bought it, so it is mine now!  Then again, it brightens her day.  Don’t suppose she sees many going to America, or anywhere else around the world for that matter and so between us we are cheering people up !  The postmistress by the way is Enid, and there are so many stories I can tell you about her ! But they will have to wait for another day and another letter.

Hoping all is well with you and I so look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your friend from England,



B to Z, Par Avion is a blog of the letters between Beryl in England and Zelma in America all written in the 1970’s, an era not too long ago but before the days of the internet and instant communication and allow us to share in their thoughts, views and news from their families and home towns.

Read all the latest letters on stephen-carrico-co.uk

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I love to write and hope you enjoy that which I share on this site. Please also take a look at my other work on stephen-carrico.co.uk

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