Readers remember the pen pals they found through the Monitor's old Mail Bag column.
We asked readers to tell us about pen pals they found through the Monitor's Mail Bag column, which ran from 1929 to 1969. Here are some excerpts from a few of your responses.
Thank you for bringing back many fond memories of my Monitor Mail Bag pen pal and her family in Kerala, India. My little box of saved letters that dates from 1964-67 has moved with me through my life since then.
Her name was P.T. Rose, and she was a 22-year-old college student. My dad, a teacher, corresponded for a while with her father, also a teacher.
We also exchanged books. I still have the copy of "Nehru, an Autobiography" that Rose sent me. She also requested that her father help me learn Mayalam, their mother language. Because there were no books already written to help in this, her wonderful father wrote a 72-page booklet, drawing the letters of their alphabet, giving the sounds they made in English, and writing many words and sentences.
Rose's family knew very little about American food, and so we put together a box of prepared foods such as mac and cheese, instant potatoes, soup mixes, breakfast cereals, Fizzies (I can't believe we sent those!), and pudding mixes – all with long descriptions of how to prepare and serve them. When Rose entered a convent and could no longer write. I then began writing to her sister, Mary.
It's great to say thank you to the Monitor for having "Mail Bag"!
Sharon (Harris) Jacobsen