My Perfect Storm

Reads: 81  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an epistolary memoire about a love affair fifty years ago starting in 1967. My first love was perfect in every way and I had lost my young fourteen year old heart to her. "Ink and paper like old photographs fade with time but the stirrings of the heart in matters of love remain bright and crisp throughout eternity".

Submitted: June 14, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 14, 2017

A A A

A A A


“My Perfect Storm”

LETTERS FROM BURKSHIRE DRIVE

DEFINITION

This is an epistolary memoir. “An epistolary memoir is a memoir written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters; although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used…..The epistolary form can add greater realism to a story, because it mimics the workings of real life.”  This memoir is about a relationship I had with a girl fifty years ago. Yes she was my first love. I still love her but I am no longer ‘in love” with her. My heart belongs to my wife of forty-one years, Lynda Light Coates who is my forever love.

DEDICATION

I began writing memoirs in earnest after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia. I watched helplessly as the memories of her past faded until she no longer recognized who any of her loved ones were or even who she was. I became her memory. I write about my past and try to include stories about my mother and my other loved ones and friends to ensure the memories endure. I have dedicated this memoire to my mother, Rossie “Wynell” York Coates. Without her none of the following would have happened, including my birth.

INTRODUCTION

I met Pamela Gail Homeyer thanks to a Texas sized Hurricane named Beulah. Hurricane Beulah made landfall just south of Pam’s hometown, Corpus Christi on September 20, 1967. The Texas coastal towns and cities from Victoria down to Brownsville were issued evacuation orders.  Corpus Christi cancelled school for a week due to the killer storm.  Beulah was the third largest storm of the 20th century. It was six hundred and fifty miles in diameter and packed winds of over one hundred and twenty miles per hour! Both Texas and Mexico were hit hard with two hundred thousand people left homeless. Over forty people died as a result of Beulah and there was an estimated billion dollars in property damage at that time. Today that money would be equal to over seven billion dollars!  Beulah was a significant storm that had a huge impact on my young life. For me it was “My Perfect Storm”!

 

The fall of nineteen sixty-seven and spring of sixty-eight was my sister Debra’s senior year at Brackett High. She went by Debbie back then. My parents had rented the house across Ann Street from the school from the Loyd Davis family. It was painted a turquoise color so it was easy to find. Our ranch was located twenty miles north of Brackettville on the way to Rocksprings on Ranch Road 674. It took about twenty-five minutes to get to town. Many of her school activities involved trips to distant towns with late night returns. My parents didn’t want her to have to make that drive to the ranch being exhausted and sleepy. Debbie was involved in many activities her senior year so renting the house just made sense to my parents. I am sure glad they did!

 

Pam and her family had fled the threat of Beulah to Brackettville to stay with her Aunt, Uncle and boy cousins the Robinsons. Pam was a refugee!  My mother was friends with Pam’s Aunt Jenni Robinson. As I recall my mom and Mrs. Robinson arranged the meeting between Pam and me. When my mom told me there was a girl my age staying with the Robinsons I was not too sure what to expect and tried to get out of meeting “this girl”. That’s when my mom said, “Well they are on their way over here”. Just then, the front door bell rang and I knew I was going to meet her whether I wanted to or not.  When mom opened the front door to let them in I beat it to my room at the back of the house. In a few minutes I heard my mom’s voice, “Fourth, you need to come in here….now!”  I reluctantly shuffled to the living room with head down. As my mom introduced us I slowly looked up to see a vision! She was gorgeous! I felt my heartbeat speed up instantly.  I was so tongue-tied I could hardly speak. We ended up having our “first date” by walking across the street to the schoolyard and just “hung out”. I was riding my Schwinn Stingray Bike complete with high-rise handlebars and a leopard print banana seat. Boy did I think I was cool! We were both just fourteen years old. Pam would have her fifteenth birthday on October 4th and mine was February 3rd. We were so young and innocent…. I remember that day vividly, trying to get over my nervousness by making small talk and riding away on my bike and quickly returning to her. I let her ride my bike and didn’t even care if she wrecked it. We eventually sat down on a concrete bench and continued talking. She laughed a lot and could carry a conversation without missing a beat. It took a lot of pressure off me because I was still so nervous. I remember her touching my arm when she laughed. I finally got the courage to slowly slip my hand into hers. We held hands, talked, and laughed until it was dark. We met several more times before she had to go back to Corpus. Each time I was with her I felt as if I were walking on air! At this time in my life, I had very little experience in matters of love. I had only held hands with a couple of girls. Once in the Palace Theater in downtown Brackettville with my elementary school girlfriend, Denise Murrah and a time or two with Martha Ann Hunt who was my girlfriend in junior high for about two weeks. I had never even kissed a girl. That however would change! I was smitten with Pam! She was unlike any other girl I had ever known! She had a great sense of humor, was very sweet, very smart and was interested in what I liked and in me! It was my first real love, not just “puppy love”. I am sure my oxytocin levels were off the chart. I had fallen for the most beautiful storm refugee!

 

When she had to leave to go back home I felt a loneliness deep in my heart as I had never felt before. We talked about writing each other and I got her mailing address. At least we could continue our relationship through letters. Which we did as this writing is centered on those precious letters that I still keep and love and were written by Pamela Gail Homeyer all those years ago. The letters we wrote to each other were not the typical “love letters” but were full of information about ourselves, our families and our friends, what we did, where we went and how we felt about things. We were getting to know each other at a level I don’t think we could have achieved face to face. These letters contained intimate details of our lives. 

 

Ink and paper like old photographs fade with time but the stirrings of the heart in matters of love remain bright and crisp though eternity.

 

“We were different. Kids were different. It took us longer to understand the things we felt. Life is made up of small comings and goings. And for everything we take with us, there is something we leave behind”. ~ Summer of ’42 by Richard Raucher

 

Letter #1:  Postmark 9-27-1967 Corpus Christi TX $.05 Stamp, no P.O. Box on the address, written on notebook paper.

I must have written her first because she apologized for taking so long to write me back. It really didn’t take her that long because Beulah made landfall on September 20, 1967 and battled the Texas coast for two days and the first letter I received from her was postmarked September 27, 1967. I must have written that first letter on the day she left Brackett to go back home.  The mail usually arrived in just a couple of days from Corpus after being mailed.

 

She mentions that I am so lucky to get to meet all of those movie stars. A western movie called “Bandolero” starring Dean Martin, Jimmy Stewart and Raquel Welch was being filmed at Alamo Village that fall. I had visited the set several times, usually after school with a couple of my friends. My main goal was to see and talk to Raquel Welch but she was very unapproachable. Raquel was the “hot” movie star back then and was very appealing to boys my age. In fact she was very appealing to males of any age! Jimmy Stewart on the other hand was very approachable and friendly especially to kids and young people. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit with him for about ten minutes on one of my visits. Years previous I had been an extra in a movie called “Two Rode Together” that was released in 1961 but was filmed in 1960.  At that time, I was the tender age of seven years old!  Jimmy Stewart was the main star in “Two Rode Together” and John Ford was the director for the movie.  I had met Mr. Stewart on the set of “Two Rode Together” while part of it was being filmed at Fort Clark. He was staying at a house just down the street from the Old Post Theater building where we attended “set school”. It was within walking distance on his way to the set location.  I was “on set” for about a week. My cousin Joey and I were both extras and my mother was the set teacher. Mr. Stewart would stop by every day to check on the kids and to talk to my mom. I vividly remember on one occasion he had on a vest with silver buttons that had numbers on them. One of the numbers was “4”.  I remember telling him my name was Fourth as I touched each button and said the number out loud. While we were talking on the set of “Bandolero”, I asked him if he remembered that incident. He said no but he did remember my mother, Wynell who was a beautiful woman!

 

Pam’s best friend Cathy Parker had personality plus and wrote a short note in this letter. She puts her address at the end of it and writes, “Write Soon”! Cathy was fun loving and a very cute girl who my cousin Tim would later meet, go out with and write letters to. They didn’t continue their relationship like Pam and I did as Tim got a steady girlfriend who lived in Brackett. His girlfriend’s name was Cheryl Tidwell and they spent a lot of time together. Cheryl was a very sweet girl!

 

Pam mentions not liking having to go to the physical therapist. She had a condition called Scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty. Girls are ten times more likely than boys to have to have corrective surgery. She was to have surgery two years later and it would be a horrific thing to have to go through. As a side note, when I was a freshman at Texas A&I I would fall in love with another girl whom had surgery to correct Scoliosis at about the same time as Pam. She was also the same age as Pam.  Also my son, Cinco was diagnosed with minor Scoliosis that did not require surgery or physical therapy. Thank God! I remembered what Pam went through and did not want Cinco to have to endure that.

 

She closes with Bye, Bye, Pam Homeyer.

 

I was so thankful that she had responded to my letter. I hoped that our relationship would progress to become a much closer “friendship”.

 

Letter #2.  Postmark 10-6-1967, Corpus Christi, TX, $.05 stamp, no P.O. Box, written on notebook paper.

 

In this second letter, Pam covers a lot of ground, she is such a good writer! I had sent her a picture in my last letter. She said, “It looks just like you.” I wrote on the back of my photo, “To a cute girl who I wish I could get to know. Keep those hurricanes coming! Fourth Coates” She promises to send me a picture of herself as soon as she gets them back. I remember thinking how I would love to have a photo of her. She hopes she will get them by the end of October as there is going to be a school Halloween dance and they have to have a student ID to get into the dance.  She says that she knows her picture is going to be horrible! No, I thought, no way as beautiful as she was. She tells me her birthday was October 4th.  I was upset that I had not known and did not send her a birthday card. A least I had sent her a picture of me!  She got a typewriter for her birthday and was going to type this letter but says she’s not very good at typing yet. She jokes, “Boy!! If you want to see something funny! You ought to see me type?!?”  She was always so funny and cleaver in her letters. I would read them repeatedly as they brought me great joy. 

 

Pam says she wants to ride my go-cart the next time she is in Brackett, hopefully at Thanksgiving or Christmas! I loved it that she wanted to ride my go-cart. It would give us something fun to do the next time she came to visit. Living in a small town we had to invent most of our entertainment. There was the Palace Theater and the swimming pool at Fort Clark but other than that we would get very inventive to keep the boredom at bay. Bill and Darlene Moody had given me the go-cart. They felt that it was too fast and dangerous for their daughter Valerie who was a couple of years younger than I was. It was a racing cart that would top out at about 60 mph. The Moody’s owned a ranch about three or four miles from our ranch and they were both close friends of my parents. Fred Wills and I would race our carts on the school parking lot after school and on weekends. Fred’s dad was the superintendent of schools so hardly anyone complained about it. OK, we got a couple of complaints!  I was very excited that I was going to get to see Pam again in about a month and a half!!!!  She mentions that she would like to live in Brackett. I hoped and prayed that she would some day.  She likes the people in Brackett as they are friendly and you can get your driver’s license so young! With driver’s education we all had our driver’s license at age fourteen. A couple of my friends were able to get a “hardship” license at age twelve! Her dad grew up on a farm in a small town and would like to live in one also but her mother is not so hot on the idea.

 

While she was in Brackett, she went to the picture show in downtown Brackettville on Friday evening. There was an out of town football game that night so the Palace Theater was sparsely attended by the local citizens. I was in the Tiger Marching Band so I was not at the theater.  Jerry Guidry and Mike Roselle were there. Mike was Debbie’s boy friend at the time and he drove a 1957 Chevy sedan that was souped up with a bored out 327cubit inch engine.  It also had four on the floor with a Hurst shifter. His “57” had an 8-track tape deck and he owned many of the popular albums of that time. I distinctly remember listening to the Beatle’s album, “Rubber Soul” over and over. Mike was considered a “bad boy” and my parents were not happy about Debra dating him. He smoked Marlboro cigarettes. They were the “cool” smokes of that era.  To my parents delight they broke up when Debra left to go to college. She attended Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, which allowed me to see Pam in Corpus a least couple of times during the next year or two.

 

“Rough Night in Jericho” is a movie that was released in 1967.  Pam wanted to know if I had seen it. I had not but I went to see it the first chance I got. “The Yellow Rolls Royce” was a movie released in 1964 that was obviously on TV as she was watching it while writing to me. She promises that she will get me a picture of her even if her school pictures don’t turn out well. She will take some pictures in a photo booth and send them to me.

 

Evidently, both of our school’s football teams were not doing too well. I was in the Tiger Marching Band my freshman year and went to every football game we played. The bus rides were usually long and uncomfortable with no air conditioning but we had a good time anyway.

 

She spent the night at Cathy’s house a lot and was there while writing this letter. One word in this letter is “squiggly” as she describes it because Pam was writing about Cathy who started shaking the bed. She had to lock herself in the bathroom to finish the letter to get away from Cathy. Pam says she doesn’t want me to get the wrong impression of Cathy. “She’s really cute and sweet and will send you a picture of her too.” 

 

She ends with; See ya sometime, Pam Homeyer. Then ads, “Write me so I won’t forget you.” It had a circle drawn around it.

 

I loved getting her letters. They lifted my spirits and caused me to fall for her even more! She stayed on my mind constantly, constantly……

 

Letter #3. Postmark 10-21-1967, Corpus Christi, TX $.05 stamp, no PO Box Number, written on notebook paper.

 

This letter starts out with bad news. She has injured her back. She was lying on a heating pad while writing this letter. Mine was the third one she had written. He doctor ordered her to stay in bed for a week. She jokes and says, “As you said, co-ordination strikes every two minutes. With me it strikes ever two seconds.” She writes, “No, I didn’t fall off a bike”. That is a reference to when she rode my Schwinn Stingray Bike on our first date and nearly took a spill.  She sprained her back trying to do a back flip!  Poor kid, but she keeps her sense of humor even while in pain. She was a very brave young lady and that would serve her well in two short years.

 

Evidently, Hurricane Beulah had reinvented itself out in the Gulf as Hurricane Fern. Fern made landfall on Pam’s birthday on October 4th.  I hoped she might get to be a “refugee” again but sadly, that did not happen.

 

She asks how my trip to San Antonio was and who won the game at Castroville. I was in the Fighting Tiger Marching Band and had opted out of playing football my freshman year mostly due to my mother’s insistence. Castroville is less than twenty miles from San Antonio so I’m pretty sure we left after the game and stayed at the Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio. The Menger was owned by the Moody Hotel group called the Galvez Company. Our neighbors the W.L. Moody’s usually made sure we would have a complimentary room or got one at a reduced rate. I loved The Menger mostly because it had a swimming pool and baby alligators in the lobby in a small pool! I was fascinated by those baby gators! We would usually go shopping at Joske’s of Texas which was next door. It was a great store similar to New York’s Macy’s but in Texas! Eventually the Joske’s store in downtown closed and is now a part of River Center Mall. The Joske’s stores were eventually sold to Dillard’s. My sister worked at a Dillard’s store in Corpus Christi when she laid out a semester of college. Every Christmas season we made the trek to Joske’s “Fantasyland” located on the fourth floor of Joske’s. I remember “Rusty Rainsteer” was the Joske’s holiday mascot. It was the coolest store! I recall spending what seemed like hours looking through their vast selection of “Hardy Boy”, “Bobbsey Twins” and “Tom Swift” books.  San Antonio was one hundred and twenty miles from Brackettville and that was in the day before four lane interstate highways connected to downtown. I remember it taking forever to get downtown with all the stop lights we had to go through! San Antonio was also the nearest city for specialty health care. My mother would undergo a touch and go ordeal at the Nix Hospital in downtown SA in just a couple of years at about the same time Pam would have her Scoliosis surgery. I had wanted to go to Houston to see Pam but because of my mom’s health issues I wasn’t able to go as my sister and I had to pick up the slack around the house while my mother recovered. Originally my parents had agreed I could go to Houston to see Pam after her surgery but they required my sister to go with me.

 

She also asks if I know Jerry Guidry’s and Diane Cook’s (Koch) addresses. She asks me to please write back to her as it is very boring living in Corpus. She has lots of pen pals and says that it is pitiful but she keeps writing to more people.  She loves my little town and wants to move to Brackettville and almost has her dad talked into it.  She hates big cities because you never have a chance to be anything. She ends with, “Well I’ve gotta go!!  Signs this letter with Pam Homeyer and writes her mailing address at the bottom of the page.

 

This letter was disturbing to me. I did not want her to be in pain and wished I could be there to help her. Even though I really didn’t understand the seriousness of the surgery she would have in two years I could sense her concern when she talked about it. It was frustrating that we were so far apart physically but I felt very connected to her and wanted only good things for her. I had no doubt that I had fallen head over heels in love with Pam Homeyer!

 

Letter #4.  Postmark 11-10-1967, Corpus Christi, TX $.05 stamp, no PO Box Number, written on notebook paper.

 

I loved getting letters from Pam! I checked our post office box every day I could. Our P.O. Box number was 306, not that it mattered. Back then common sense prevailed and the post office workers knew who everyone was and would put mail in their box whether they had a P.O. Box number on it or not. Pam did not put a P.O. Box number on the letters to me until the sixth one. Small towns…..gotta love em!  I remember a story about Happy Shahan who owned Alamo Village. Someone asked him for his address and he said, “Just address it to Happy Shahan, Texas and I’ll get it.” I can still remember the combination to our post office box. Back then the post office was located in the old courthouse building next to the current courthouse. The combo was E, F, and C/D. When there was a letter in our box from Pam I was on “Cloud 9” and couldn’t wait to open it! Those were great days when I got one but if I didn’t get a letter at least once a week I was really “down in the mouth”.  In this letter she tells me she is coming to Brackett for Thanksgiving and is bringing her friend Cathy Parker with her. I was so excited! She added she wanted to see me. Again she talks about giving me a picture of herself, “if we get them back, if they’re good and if you’re home. That’s a lot of ifs isn’t it?” I remember thinking “if” I get to see you and get a picture of you I’ll be thrilled!

 

She wants Cathy to meet my cousin Tim and says that we resemble each other in appearance, not in height or hair color but in our smiles and faces. “You’re gonna think Cathy & I look a lot alike cause we’ve been called twins about forty-million times or sisters. She is right about my first cousin Tim and me looking alike, what a compliment! My mother’s parents were Nell and Joe York, Sr. who had three children consisting of my Aunt Margaret (Tim’s mom), my mom Wynell and my Uncle Joe Jr. (Joey’s dad) or “Little Joe” as he was called. My grandparents had a total of seven grandchildren. My grandfather who we lovingly called Pepaw bought a small boat and named it 7 Up” for his seven grandchildren!  Three of their grandsons were born within three and a half months of each other. I was the oldest born on February 3rd, Tim was the middle one born on March 28th and Joey the youngest being born on May 17th.  Joey also had a younger brother, Bob and a younger sister named Kay. Tim had one older sister, Sherry and my older sister was Debra (Debbie). We all lived in Kinney County where Brackettville is located. We three same aged boy cousins went through school in the same grade and were raised together spending loads of time with each other. Every Sunday after church at the First Baptist Church we would eat dinner at my grandparent’s house and then play with each other for the rest of the day. My grandparents almost always fed at least twenty to thirty people for Sunday dinner usually including the preacher’s family and others! We were more like brothers and sisters than cousins. Since we were the York grandsons we were sometimes called the York triplets. It was a wonderful life growing up with the love and support of an extended family all living in the same town.

 

This is the first time she spells my name right, the “u” in Fourth was missing in the first three. When they come to Brackett Pam wants to take Cathy to the picture show and out to Alamo Village to watch the filming of Bandolero. Unfortunately I believe the filming was already completed by Thanksgiving.  One other thing got me excited is she wants to know what date my birthday was on.  She has already found a card for me and says it is about twice the size of the page she is writing on!  She writes at the top of the first page, “Write me back before (underlined 8 times) Thanksgiving!!!?! O.K. OK. “. She adds her address as well and notes “in case you forgot”.  Pam is so expressive in her letters! She had mentioned in the first line of this letter that she wondered if I had gotten her last letter and if “I’ve lost a pen pal. I hope not.”  The post mark between this letter and the one before were ten days apart but I can’t imagine me not writing her back as soon as I could. I definitely did not want to lose her as a pen pal ever!

 

The ending is, “Oh Well. I gotta go study for another test before I flunk the 9th grade. She had mentioned earlier that she had flunked two “pop” tests that week.

 

Letter #5. Postmark 11-28-1967, Corpus Christi, TX $.05 stamp, no PO Box Number, written on notebook paper.

 

Pam’s salutation in this letter is, “Dear Paulard Hendricks Coates IV.  Close Pam, very close but no cigar, sorry but it is Pollard Hickman Coates IV.  I loved seeing it and I remember laughing so hard that I cried!  She admonishes me by saying I should be ashamed of myself for not telling her what my name was. I remember her asking, no begging me to tell her my real name.  She then says, “I like it!! It’s better than what I got stuck with for a middle name.” I later learned that her middle name was Gail which is interesting because that is my wife’s middle name too. She kept her maiden name as her middle name after we married and goes by Lynda Light Coates. She didn’t like the name Gail either! Another coincidence that recently came to “light” is that Pam’s mom was trying to decide what to name her and had settled on two names. One being Pamela and the other being Linda. Stranger than fiction!

 

Evidently the letter she was waiting for had arrived the day after she and Cathy left to come to Brackett so she decided to write me back before she forgot. At the top of this letter she wrote “Sunday P.M”, the day she got home.  She talks about her trip to Brackett and how glad she was that she got to go. She is very happy because she got to see me! Oh yeah, and Diane and Jerry and Tommy too. She doesn’t think Tim likes her very much because he wouldn’t come into the house. I think this was when we were dropping Pam and Cathy off at her Aunt and Uncle’s house. I’m not sure why he didn’t want to come in.

 

She walked down to our rent house on Saturday morning to see me but I wasn’t there. Dang! I had told her I wasn’t going to the ranch but my dad probably had other plans for me. He usually had a pasture lined up to gather on Saturday mornings when I was younger. I remember dreading it when he came into my room at 5:30 a.m., twisted my toe and whispered, “Wake up cowboy”.  Since I wasn’t there she took pictures of our rent house and the school. I hated that I had missed her, I would have much rather been with her than anything else I could think of doing. She then left Brackett later that day and went to her grandmother’s place at Knippa.  Pam told a hilarious story about falling in the river. She also told about helping to skin a deer her uncle had shot and it made her sick. She hates blood as much as grasshoppers. As I recall a grasshopper flew in the window while we were “dragging” Ann Street while she was in Brackett and she screamed pretty loudly. This time she ends this letter with Love, Pam! I was so happy to see that! In her postscript she thanks me for all the Cokes and rides and everything. She had a great time in Brackett and she hopes she can see me again soon. So did I, so did I! “!!WRITE ME!! Was written at the bottom of the page.

 

I remember having a wonderful time with Pam while she was in Brackett. Her friend Cathy was great too and between the two of them there was always laughter and fun in store. The other girls I knew just weren’t as much fun as these two. It was a magical time in my life, that time when you are no longer a child but not grown up either. Yes there were some difficult times but overall it was one of the most favorite times of my whole life. It was a time before the innocence of life was stolen by added responsibilities, disappointments, broken relationships and tragedy. My love for Pam was probably the purest love I had ever had for anyone maybe because we were so young, innocent, naive and unexperienced but I feel it was more than that.  I wish for those days before the complications of having to be a grownup when I was able to lead a more carefree and simple life.

 

Letter #6. Postmark 12-1-1967, Corpus Christi, TX $.05 stamp, and first time she uses my P.O. Box 306, written on notebook paper.

 

I just love this letter! I loved all of her letters but this one starts out with Dear 4th. That made me smile because only my relatives and close friends used the number 4th when writing my name.  This letter is postmarked only three days after the last letter and shows she was thinking of me. I was so happy! I think we talked on the phone because she mentions she is sorry I had a cold and hopes I’m all better now. He grandmother tried to stuff her at Thanksgiving as she thinks Pam was too skinny. She says she will weight 180 instead of 108 if she ate like that all the time and would look like a cow!

 

Her neighbor pays her to address cards, I suppose for some type of mail out but she doesn’t say. She is paid $.02 a card and has addressed about 269 which totaled $5.38. Five dollars was enough money to go to the picture show and buy popcorn and a Coke in 1967 and more! The current value of $5.38 from 1967 is $39.84 in today’s value.

 

Evidently there were some bad vibes going on at her school as she says all the teachers were in a bad mood as well as the students. Everyone she knew that were going steady broke up and everybody was mad at everybody.

 

She is such a good letter writer with continuing humor. She says this letter is going to be short & messy but she’s not sure because she just keeps on blabbing. Cathy wants Tommy Brice’s address. Cathy said to tell me that she had a good time in Brackett and adds, “So did I!”  She then writes, “I guess it was fun going through the graveyards. I was kinda scared. I sure didn’t want ya’ll to go in that graveyard without me. I would rather have gone to the graveyard with you than sit in the car and let ghosts or something get me. Don’t say it. I know I’m a chicken.”  Boredom in a small town is the mother of invention. There wasn’t much other to do than ride around and explore. We used to go up to Fort Clark to the Commissary building that had three floors and a basement and was left wide open back then. We would play “Hide & Scare”! The top floor on the north side had a large opening but no door and a forty foot drop!  It was a miracle no one got hurt or killed!

 

She ends with the last sentence, “Well I better go practice up on my football!  Love Always, Pam.” Her postscript says, “I’m gonna send you something if I can mail it. WRITE SOON”.  Her closing, “Love always” gave me a huge thrill!

 

Letter #7. Postmark 12-23-1967, Corpus Christi, TX $.05 stamp, and P.O. Box 406, written on notebook paper.

 

She addresses this envelope P.O. Box 406 instead of 306. As I mentioned earlier it is put in the correct box. Small towns!  The upper right hand corner of the first page has the date December 22nd.

 

First line she thanks me so much for the candy, and says, “That was so sweet of you”. Then she adds, “I’m going to get so fat that I’ll waddle when I walk”. At first I thought maybe I shouldn’t have sent her candy for Christmas. Then I read the rest of the letter where she lists all the candy, cookies and cupcakes she has been baking and had been sampling everything and says she has gained two pounds! As slender as she is I doubt it was even noticeable.  She thinks the Robinsons are coming to their house so she is baking in expectation of that. Rats! I had hoped she would come to visit them at Christmas in Brackett.

 

She lets me know she is going to come to Brackett for a couple of weeks in the summer and may come for Easter too. I so wished she would come before Easter!  She mentions that she finally sent me a picture of herself in a Christmas card. She says it’s awful but I didn’t think so, I loved it! I finally had a picture of her I could show everyone and brag about my beautiful girl friend.

 

I love it that she lists everything we have in common like my name is Fourth and her birthday is October 4th and I celebrate mine on February 4th which is the day between mine and my dad’s birthday. She goes on to say that February is four months after October and the coolest is her initials are P.H. and my first two initials are P.H. “How about that!” she writes. 

 

Pam talks about her and her brother’s “possible” Christmas gifts. Greg her brother still believes in Santa so they have to keep everything well hidden. She then ends with, “Well I guess I better go. Merry Christmas! Love, Pam.”  In her postscript she tells me to have fun skiing in New Mexico and then adds, “Why don’t you take me along? Ha! Ha!”  What she didn’t know is that I asked my parents if she could come with us since my sister was having a friend go but they thought I was too young to have a girl go skiing with me. I remember being so disappointed.  She then adds that she just got a call from lady who offered her a job for the next day as a receptionist at a beauty shop in Cullen Mall. At the very bottom of the page she writes, write very Soon!

 

At this point I am crazy in love with Pamela Homeyer aka P.H! 

 

Letter #8. Postmark 1-10-1968, Corpus Christi, TX $.06 stamp (postage took a jump), written on stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

Not good news in this letter again. She has the flu and has been sent home from school. Corpus is in the midst of a giant flu epidemic and she is one of the “lucky” ones.  Poor baby, she is dealing with so much in her life. I could tell that she was not feeling well by the mood of her letter. There was very little humor in it and it was almost somber. I hated that and wished that I could do something to make her feel better. I must have told her in my last letter that I was writing it under some unusual circumstance as she thanked me for going to all that trouble. She added that the weirdest place she had ever written a letter was while sitting at the top of her closet. I would love to read the letters I wrote to her. I may get that chance someday, hopefully if she still has them. 

 

Some good news is that her dad and uncle may buy a ranch near Brackett so she may be seeing me before Easter or possibly sometime this month. That would have been awesome. She asks about Tommy and wants to know what he said about her and Cathy. She wants me to send her his address.

 

She could have called me the night before if she hadn’t been sick. She then tells me about her dad’s Watts line that he has at his office. A Watts line allowed calls outgoing and sometimes incoming to be billed at a flat monthly rate without a minute by minute charge for each call. Back then when you made a regular call the first three minutes were charged at a flat rate and then charged minute by minute. You could run up an astronomical phone bill in no time at all! When I left for college my instructions from my parents were that when I arrived at my dorm I was to call them person to person and ask for myself. That way they could hear my voice on the other end of the line and would know that I had arrived safely. Tricky wasn’t it? She said she didn’t know my number anyway. I’m pretty sure I put it in my next letter to her. We talked on a regular basis on the Watts line. Trouble is that was way before cell phones and she would miss me and would end of talking to my mom so I got the news second hand. I guess I was pretty busy and on the go in those days!

 

She made a list of her Christmas gifts which was pretty long.  She says it sounded like I had a giant good time in New Mexico on our skiing trip.They had lots of company over the Christmas holidays including the Robinsons from Brackett and some old friends she had known since she was “knee high in diapers!”

 

Right before she closes she asks for a picture of me and some of my friends and then signs Love always, Pam and a P.S. asking for Tommy’s address again and write soon surrounded by a box that she drew.

 

I remember praying that she would recover quickly from the flu. I found out in her next letter just how serious her case of flu had been.

 

Letter #9. Postmark 1-15-1968, Corpus Christi, TX $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

Her salutation is dear, 4th again and is writing this letter while sitting under the hair dryer, yes girls really did sit under a hair dryer back in those days! She apologizes for not writing and can’t remember if she sent the other letter or not. Then she apologizes again. I knew she had been really sick when she wrote the last letter and did not remember writing it. She lost ten pounds and missed a week and a half of school. Poor baby!

 

I really, really loved this next paragraph. She says she was putting her six year old cousin’s hair in pigtails; her name is Debbie, while looking at pictures in her purse. She saw mine and said, “Golly he’s handsome!!!” Pam told her that I lived in Brackettville and we had met during a hurricane while staying with her Aunt Jenna. Debbie then asked, “Did you kiss him?” Pam told her no and she said, “You’re Dumb, I would have!” Wow! I thought! I’m going to have to get the courage to kiss her for sure. I played it over and over in my head how it would be. Here she was practically inviting me to kiss her and I was so very nervous and uncertain as to how to do it. I was so inexperienced and shy but I told myself I could pull it off……

 

She thinks she is going to visit her grandmother in Uvalde (Knippa) but doesn’t think she will get to go to Brackett. She may possibly come over on Saturday but doubts that she can. She wishes she could because Cathy will be with her and I had told Pam that my cousin Joey wanted to meet Cathy. In parentheses she writes, (I thought Joey liked Denise M.). That is Denise Murrah who was my elementary school girlfriend who I held hands with at the Palace Theater.  She wants Joey and me to come to Knippa on Saturday or Sunday. Ha! She writes, “I’m sure your mothers wouldn’t like that.” She also mentions that Cathy’s family is going to go to Del Rio some weekend and she and Cathy are going to stay with her Aunt Jenna in Brackett. She adds, “I sure wish I had my driver’s license. No such luck!!!”

 

She wants to send me a picture of her when she was five and a half and asks me to send her one of me when I was little. She and Cathy went to the movie “Wait Until Dark” and said it was so scary!  A couple of her friends had called to ask her to go to “Valley of the Dolls” but she had to babysit. She ends with “Love ya, Pam” and “P.S. Write soon & send me a baby picture of you.”

 

Letter #10. Postmark 1-22-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, no stamp, it must have fallen off, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

Dear 4th she begins this letter and in the first sentence says, “I guess you know by now that we didn’t come.  It was raining much hard & Mother had to work. Dad was in The Valley until late Friday nite so we just couldn’t come.”  She continues by saying they may come to Knippa next weekend if the weather is good. If they do she wants me & “somebody” to meet her and Cathy in Knippa which is about three miles from her grandmother’s house. She asks how the Livestock Show was and wants to know if it was in Brackett or someplace else. The stock show in Brackett was a big deal! Nearly all of the kids in our school showed at least one animal or more. Back then the only animals that were showed were lambs and calves. Later they added hogs but they didn’t catch on too quickly. I did very well that year as I won the showmanship award for lambs and also the overall showmanship award. Pretty good because I didn’t have any lambs of my own but I helped Darrel Paul Franks show some of his. I actually got one of his lambs to place first that went on to win Grand Champion! My Hereford steer also placed third that year which was pretty good for a Hereford because they usually picked a Braham Cross or an Exotic breed for grand champion. I really didn’t and still don’t care for the straight Hereford breed. They have too many problems associated with the Texas sun and the heat. I now run a herd of about eighty head of cross bred cows.

 

She writes that she can’t tell me who told her that Joey liked Denise. “I know a lot of things you don’t know I know.” Mysterious, very mysterious…. She thinks she knows who told me she had the flu saying it was one of her relatives. “I heard about something you said about me to Larry or Gary (her twin cousins) at one of the basketball games. Now I’ll let you do a little guessing”, she joked.  She mentions the picture she sent me when she was little and told me to show my friends a recent picture of her at the same time so they wouldn’t think I was robbing the cradle! I had to laugh!

 

One of her friends knows the Conoly's in Brackettville through their double cousin Jim Conoly whose family lived in Corpus. She asks if that was the same David Conoly I was talking about.  She wants me to catch a ride to Corpus with David when he comes because she wants to show me a lot of things in Corpus. David Conoly would play a not so good role in Pam’s and my relationship at a later date.

 

Evidently she had called directory assistance and had gotten my telephone number or maybe she got it from one of her “boy” cousins? She doesn’t actually say how she got it. This really dates this time frame as she says, “I thought your number was something like JO2-2203 (It was JO3-2203). Well anyway – my number is UL3-4533.” I would definitely call her now that I had her number! She complains about all the memory work she had to do the past week for final exams. I love her humor as she writes, “If I see another test I think I’ll just scream & bury myself in the mud.”

 

The ink changes color after this and she explains that she had to quit writing because she went to Padre Island with Cathy to visit Cathy’s sister and brother in-law. They managed a small motel on Padre Island. They roasted hot dogs but it was too cold to surf so they watched some dune buggies run up and down the beach. Cathy’s sister and her husband are building a dune buggy and she invites me to come down and use their dune buggy and she will teach me how to surf. “That’s like the blind teaching the blind! Ha!” She also tells me that Cathy was taking a picture of her by the water & a big wave rolled in & just soaked her! “Me and my coordination!!!” she writes. She then tells me Cathy is just as bad as she ran into a door and broke 2 toes. “We’re gonna kill ourselves someday!?!? She’s hilarious and makes me smile, a lot!

 

She closes by writing that she is going to watch “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte” or (whatever).  Luv ya, Pam and then her P.S. “Write soon!!!!!  I’ll call you if we’re coming for sure OK? OK!

 

By now we are getting more familiar with each other and I felt our relationship was growing. She is quite a girl with a great personality and extremely beautiful! I remember thinking how lucky I was to have met her.

 

Letter #11. Postmark 1-25-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

Cathy has written me a one page letter that is included with Pam’s letter. Cathy starts with telling me “This is Cathy. I’m spending the night with Pam and she’s doing her homework.” She says they are coming to see me this weekend. She includes a picture of them at the beach. She writes that they just heard Pam’s favorite song, “We Can Fly” and also her favorite song, “Magical Mystery Tour”. She asks what my favorite song was and ends with “Well I better go. Bye! Cathy.”  Pam’s favorite song was released in 1971 and was sung by The Cowsills. Cathy’s is “Magical Mystery Tour” a Beatles hit song released in 1967 and was and still is a huge hit. The Cowsills song “We Can Fly” was not a huge hit. Sorry Pam….but I’m with Cathy on this one!

 

This one is addressed Dear 4th again! I must have told her that I didn’t know her ears were pierced. Back then when a girl got her ears pierced it was a big deal. Many parents did not allow their daughters to get their ears pierced until their sixteenth birthday. I think Pam was proud that she had pierced ears and brags that she has forty-two pairs of earrings. She hopes she can see me this coming weekend. I hoped so too! They are again planning a trip to see her grandmother at Knippa. She writes her mother may bring her and Cathy to Brackett on Saturday. If that doesn’t work out, she suggests that I ask my mother if I can come to Knippa and bring Joey. Cathy wants to meet Joey and so does Pam.  She would like to see Tim but again says that she doesn’t think he likes her. She hopes she can see me “cause” it’s been so long and she has missed me! Then she adds “& everyone else”.

 

She plans to bring her camera so she can take a lot of pictures of everyone from Brackett. She writes that she doesn’t care if I let the kids at school read her letters but writes, “Don’t show them the picture of me when I was five and a half”. I can’t remember if I asked her if it was OK to let my friends read her letters but I assume I did. She again asks for me to send her a picture of myself when I was little.

 

Evidently she doesn’t like typing class as she complains about it for the next half of the letter. She had to write a business letter and says she “really racked it up”. She tore a hole in the paper trying to erase a mistake, then got the carbon paper in backward and had to retype it. Then she only got the first paragraph typed and the bell rang! She says she was so mad and typing ruins her day.

 

“Coordination” struck again as she said she caught her skin in the zipper of her slacks. Ouch! That must have been painful. Then the phone started ringing and she ran to answer it and slipped and fell on her bottom! Poor kid, I felt sorry for her but the letter was amusing to read.

 

She closes with “Well, I’ve gotta go find something to wear to school tomorrow. Luv ya loads, Pam

 

Letter #12. Postmark 2-1-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

This is really a cute letter! It starts with “Happy birthday!!!” and she drew musical notes around it. She got me a gift! But forgot to mail it.Boo hoo!  They were in Knippa and Uvalde the weekend before but unfortunately we did not make contact. She tried to call from Knippa but I was “out of pocket”. This happened quite a bit back in those days. It was about eight thirty at night when they drove into Knippa to call me and almost hit a deer.  

 

Sunday morning Pam and Cathy went to Uvalde with her dad and she got to drive! She loved to drive! Her dad had a meeting with a man, probably to talk about buying a ranch. They left her dad at the café talking to the man and went to get some milk in the car by themselves. She’s so funny! They couldn’t find the café where they had left her dad and got lost and ended up outside of Uvalde caught in a construction zone!

 

She had planned to come back to Uvalde the next weekend but she has to babysit on Friday night. She mentions babysitting a lot in her letters and I’m sure she was great at it! She is sure she will get to see me before Easter as her Dad has an ongoing search to buy a ranch and will be going to Uvalde a lot. She asks when my basketball season ends. I played basketball my freshman year but not football. I wasn’t very coordinated, something Pam and I had in common! I was tall so I was a pretty good rebounder but didn’t get to play much that year. I remember the first time Coach Abbot put me in. We were playing at the Eagle Pass gym and it was a riot! I make three fouls in two minutes and lost the ball twice! Coach Abbot was doubled over in laughter and then took me out. We were so far behind it didn’t make any difference anyway.  I got better at it as the season progressed. Only one way to go, UP!

 

Evidently it was typical February Texas weather as Pam has been wearing shorts all week in 80 degree temperatures! The old saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas just wait fifteen minutes” is spot on!

 

The best part of this letter is her description of her P.E. class and having batting practice in front of the school shop building. There were forty boys and the shop teacher, Coach Goff watching them exercise and do batting practice. When Pam stepped up to bat the boys inside the shop hollered, “Sock it to us Pam!!” And, she did! She hit the ball through one of the shop windows. Luckily the window was open so no damage occurred. The boys now call her “Babe Ruth”! She wanted to hit Coach Goff for letting the boys sit there and watch them. She was so loved by everyone who knew her! What a lucky guy I was to know her!

 

She got a new puppy and sent me some pictures of it taken at Padre Island, in her back and front yard and some over at Cathy’s house. She wants me to send them back to her “cause” she wants to put them in her album. She doesn’t mind if I show them to the kids at school and ads, “Just don’t show them which one I am! Ha, Ha!”

 

She closes with Love, Pam and in her P.S., “Write soon and send me the pictures! OK.

 

Card #13.  This is a “Hallmark” birthday card that has writing on each of the page flaps. There is no envelope so no date but I’m sure this is the next correspondence from Pam as my birthday was February 3rd. She also references us both being fifteen.

 

The front flap of the card is mostly red velvet with a cartoon character jumping and down and waving his arms. The caption is “RE JOICE”. The inside caption is …I remembered your birthday! With (many happy returns) printed down at the lower part of the card.

 

Pam is so creative! She writes the Happy Birthday song and draws musical notes interspersed throughout it and draws a three layered birthday cake complete with burning candles on top. Beside the cake she writes, “Oh wow! A birthday original.” 

 

She opens with, “Dear 4th, I am so, so sorry this is late.” This paragraph ends with, “It’s so hard to find something to give a boy!!” If she only knew that it wouldn’t have mattered if she wrapped a rock up and gave it to me. As long as it was from her I would be ecstatic! As I recall the gift she gave me was Hai Karate cologne a very popular one that was being advertised extensively on television and other mediums. I remember using it very sparingly except when I was with her.

 

She asks how I feel being fifteen and says, “Personally, I didn’t feel a bit different. It’s just another day to me.”  I remember thinking that was kind of sad and wished I could have been with her on her birthday to make her feel special. When she turned fifteen on October 4th I didn’t even know it was her birthday so she didn’t get anything from me. I was determined to make sure she received a special gift from me on Valentine’s Day and on her next birthday.

 

She was going to come to Brackett the next weekend with her dad but she got sick and he put his trip off until the middle of the next week. She wishes she could go with him but she has to go to school. She got her report cards and made three A’s, two B’s and one C.  Not bad I thought. She’s a better student than I was! She did get an “I” for unsatisfactory but she spells it “insatisfactory”. “I just can’t keep my mouth shut in the mornings. I can’t keep my mouth shut anytime, come to think of it”, she jokes.

 

On the back flap she goes into some detail about hating to do experiments in her physical science class. She burnt her finger trying to melt glass to make it bend and then a boy (John Walenta) poured water in her hair. She writes that John and Bobby Marek are always getting Gail and her in trouble. Hum, flirting I thought but couldn’t blame them.

 

She ends with telling me that she had better go roll her hair. (“Ugh!”) She writes. It takes forty curlers! Luv ya, Pam and her P.S. was (don’t forget to send me those pictures).

 

Letter #14. Postmark 2-13-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

Pam opens this letter with “Dear 4th”. She writes that it sounded like I had a pretty good birthday and apologized for the cologne arriving so late. I was just happy she gave it to me! She writes that she is glad I liked the pictures. I had written to her that I was sending them back in my last letter but, DUH, I forgot!  She is so sweet and considerate saying that I can take my pick of one photo and then send the rest of them back whenever I can or when I think about it.

 

She had just finished making a dress while watching “Mission Impossible”. I used to watch ‘M.I.” too and loved it! The dress she made is orange in color, “of course. Everything I own is orange or orange & yellow. That’s my favorite color. What’s yours? An interesting coincidence is that the girl I married loved yellow and she even bought a yellow Chrysler Cordova with “rich Corinthian leather”…. Pam goes on to tell me that she made an orange bathing suit and just bought an orange dress yesterday. “I don’t care what it is, if it’s orange, I like it,” she writes.

 

She found something she wanted to get me for Valentine’s Day but she says she’s “stone” broke.

 

For the next page and a half she writes about her hair length, color and compares it to Cathy’s whose is curly and short and puts straighteners on it and dies it blonde. Cathy decided to try to dye her hair back to her original light brown but things went wrong! She ended up with gray hair with streaks of brown in it and looked like straw! Bummer! She continues with this “hair-raising” story by letting me know that she is letting her hair grow out and she has to roll it every night and sleep on curlers the size of orange juice cans and it takes about forty-two rollers and she hates it! She ends her discussion of their hair by writing, “I sure got carried away with hair problems, didn’t I.” I loved her wit!

 

She asks how our basketball team is doing and writes that her school, Cullen went on to the city championship. She asks if I’m the star of the team “cause” I’m so tall. Oh my, if she only knew! She then asks what position I play.

 

She closes with talking about coming to Brackett and me going to Corpus. She hopes she can come to Uvalde more when her dad closes his ranch deal but says that’s fifty miles from Brackett and she can’t drive so she probably won’t see me. “I wish I could”, she writes. I did too Pam, I did too…”Love, Pam.

 

Letter #15. Postmark 2-19-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background. Written on the back flap is “Write soon!”

 

“Dear 4th, Thank you so much for the box of candy. It was so pretty. I came home from school one day & the postman had set it inside the door. Dumb me, I walked in and tripped over it. When I opened it & saw it, I wanted to cry it was so pretty!!” What a great start of this letter! I remember looking and looking for the perfect box of candy for Valentine’s Day for Pam. It couldn’t be just any old box of candy; I wanted it to be special so she would feel special. Mission accomplished!

 

Evidently she called again and again I wasn’t home but she did talk to my mother for five or ten minutes. I think she talked to my mom more than she did to me. My mom loved to talk and so did Pam so that was a good thing. She had to tell mom that she was calling on her Dad’s Watts line as I’m sure mom was worrying about the phone bill. I guess you could say my mom was very frugal, OK cheap! Mom gave Pam my grandparent’s number as that was where I was supposed to be. Missed me again! Pam writes and I can tell she is a little perturbed, “I wish you would stay home once in a while. That makes the second time I’ve called you & you’re never home.” The then adds, “Where were you?” They are coming to Brackett “cuz” her dad has to sign some papers on the ranch they were buying. She said they were going to buy some cows and raise them. The ranch is fifty miles from Brackett and she wants to know how far my ranch is from Brackett. She wants to see my ranch sometime. She asks if we have cows & things like that on it. She follows up with, “That was a dumb question, wasn’t it?

 

They are supposed to arrive in Brackett on Friday night around ten o’clock and she hopes she can see me. I was determined that this time I would see her and be with her as much as possible! Cathy is coming with her because Pam says she wants to see our show “cuz” she didn’t get to last time. They may go to the Baptist Church on Sunday morning.  She then asks me what church I go to. That was the same church I attended! I was determined to be with her this time so I laid out specific plans on what we would do for fun.

 

Cathy got her wish. Tim took Cathy to the Palace Theater and of course I took Pam! We double dated. I don’t remember the movie but it was wonderful just being with Pam and holding her hand during the movie. I was so happy I could have been starring at a blank screen and I wouldn’t care. As long as I was with Pam!

 

She ends with, “Well I’ve gotta go get a book report done that’s due tomorrow & it’s already 10:15. Love, Pam” and then “P.S. You’re gonna get mad cause I cut my hair. Not really, I just got it thinned ‘cuz’ it’s so thick. It looks shorter though. When it’s wet it’s still to my shoulder though.”  I remember encouraging her to grow her hair long but I really didn’t care. She would have been gorgeous even if she had been bald! Pam’s mother worked as a beauty beautician and Pam was her guinea pig!

 

Letter #16. Postmark 2-29-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

I excitedly tore open this letter to see what she would say about our date to the movie! I wasn’t disappointed. She begins by apologizing for not writing sooner but she has been snowed under with school work. She writes, “Cathy thinks Brackett is the cutest town and certain people there are cute too.”  Pam says she always has fun in Brackett “cause” she gets to see me oh, and Tim. She is glad that Tim went with Cathy to the show and says he is so sweet and then, “I know someone else who thinks so, too. Cathy would kill me if she could see what I’m writing this time.” Pam thanks me for taking her to the show and says it was so much fun. She says that she is glad she got to see me this time and would have been very disappointed if she hadn’t. Wait! This time she didn’t add and someone else! Just me! Oh wow that’s great; I think she really does like me a lot! But the next paragraph kind of worried me.

 

She writes, “The weirdest thing just happened. I was sitting here listening to the dedication hour on the radio. Anyway – some boy just dedicated a song to me!!! I heard some guy say he wanted “Question of Love” dedicated to Pam Homeyer and then they played it.” She added that she almost fainted and wonders who he is. “Oh wow! I’ve got a ‘secret admirer’. Now I’ll never be able to sleep. That’s going to bug me so much until I find out who it was.” My heart sank, I knew she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and was so much fun to be with I guess it was to be expected. I wasn’t really jealous just worried that she would start going “steady” with some guy from Corpus and that would be the end of us. We lived a long way apart. Corpus was about a six hour drive from Brackett. Back then the roads weren’t as good as they are now. I realized that she probably had boys wanting to date her all the time. At that point I realized that I was just a small town ranch boy who probably couldn’t compete with the big city boys. I thought that maybe I should “guard my heart” and the deep feelings I had for Pam. I told myself that it was a fantasy that she loved me as much as I loved her. I decided to be content just to be one of her many boyfriends and decided to keep writing her and seeing her when I could. I just couldn’t give her up under any circumstance. I would try to be content just to be her friend I decided, if that was all there was.  I also began to see other girls again right after that but I did not go “steady” with anyone until my freshman year in college at Texas A&I in Kingsville. I guess I just felt it wouldn’t be right since my loyalty and love was for Pam since none of the other girls I dated stacked up against Pam.

 

She repeats in this letter that she and Cathy are going to come to Brackett during June for about two weeks. That made me happy. She wishes I could come to Corpus in the summer. She thinks I would like the beach. She loves the beach and can’t stay away from it in the summer.

 

She concluded with, “Well, I guess I better go wash & roll my hair & then get those reports done.” In big letters she writes, “Ugh!”  Also in big letters she writes “Love, Pam”. In her post script she asks if Tim liked Cathy and that she hoped so.

 

Letter #17. Postmark 3-6-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with flowers on the flap over a pink background.

 

She’s been to visit the doctor and he gave her a bunch of “gross” tasting medicine for laryngitis! That sucks I remember thinking at the time. She has a horrible cough and writes, “You should hear me cough – I sound like a cow with pneumonia.” She cracks me up, I laughed out loud. A tonsillectomy may be in her future on top of everything else! I hated hearing that. She had to stay home all weekend and was bored.

 

Her dad went to his office the day before and she wanted to go with him so she could call me on the Watts line but she couldn’t I guess because she was sick. She writes, “I was afraid you wouldn’t be home anyway." That was a very good possibility as I was very busy during high school. Living in a small town you are expected to do everything and I did! I was run’n and gun’n back in those days and enjoyed every minute of it.

 

Pam writes that she and Cathy will send us pictures as soon as they can as the weather has been awful, she’s been sick and they don’t have any film.

 

She is going to watch “Dark Shadows” on TV. It is a soap opera that was very popular at that time. She says it is so good. “It’s all about vampires, witches and all those other weird things.”  When she watches it by herself it scares the heck out of her she said. “Yesterday there was a girl laying across a bed and her eyes were poked out.”

 

I must have written about my grades because she says I did “good” on my report card. That’s amazing! She doesn’t get hers until Friday and can’t go back to school until Wednesday due to her laryngitis.

 

She says there isn’t much to write about and that Cathy went to her sisters this weekend and she was supposed to go with her but couldn’t because she got sick.

 

She asks if I think we will come to Port Aransas this coming summer and writes, “I sure hope so. Then you can come see me & Cathy.” Her parting remark is, “Well, I guess I’d better go. It’s almost time for “Dark Shadows”.  Love, Pam then her famous postscript is, “Tell Tim to send Cathy a picture if he has any left. I’ll take one of you too if you have any.” Under her name is written, Write me whenever you can. OK?

 

Letter #18. Postmark 3-15-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on notebook paper.

 

She starts this letter with “Dear Fourth”. She apologizes for not writing me sooner but she had six themes to do last night. She also had to give an oral report in General Physical Science class that was five minutes long and had to be memorized! She says she hates giving oral reports. I didn’t blame her, so did I!

 

There is doodling in the margins and she writes under one doodle, “Don’t ask me what that is. I was doodling in science.”

 

She and Cathy spent the last Sunday afternoon with her class working on the school newspaper that comes out every month. They sold them on Monday during lunch shifts. She got to get out of English class so she was glad she had to sell papers. They made over a hundred dollars and she made thirty-one dollars by herself. This was a precursor to what she would do as a vocation in the future.

 

She has some really good news! She was nominated and elected as The Girl Most Likely to Succeed for the Ninth grade. I was surprised that she didn’t get Most Beautiful! She talks about her report card and writes that she got three A’s and three B’s and all S’s in conduct this time.

 

The next paragraph is in different ink and she draws an upward arrow and says “Well, I was writing that in science, but I had to quit “cause” I almost got caught.”

 

Pam writes that she is going to go to her grandmother’s in San Antonio next weekend.  Her uncle is in the armed forces and is going to Germany. She’s not sure what branch of the service he is in. 

 

Pam says that Cathy typed me and Tim a letter in typing class and she would have too but her friend Gail and she got the giggles and laughed the whole period. She says, “Good luck with whatever ya'll are building. I’m pretty sure it was the 57 Chevy hard top that Tim and I rebuilt that year. She ends with, “Oh! In one of your letters you said you may be seeing me sooner than I think. What did you mean? Are you coming to Corpus? I wish you could. Love, always, Pam” In her postscript she apologizes about the pictures and says she will take them as soon as she can.

 

Letter #19. Postmark 3-22-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same stationary with the flowers and pink background on the flap.

 

I had gone to Corpus with my parents and sister to visit Del Mar College where Debbie was planning to attending after she graduated from high school in the spring. Debbie and Sherry, Tim’s sister both went to Del Mar College and were roommates. Sherry was a couple of years older than Debbie and my parents liked the idea of her having her older and “wiser” cousin with her. It was a fast trip. We got there on Saturday afternoon and took a tour of the campus and then went out to eat seafood. I wanted to call Pam as soon as I could but didn’t get a chance until the next day on our way out of Corpus. That was the days before instant communication and instant gratification! I remember being so disappointed that she wasn’t home. Pam mentions this in her letter saying she was glad I called but was kind of disappointed “cause” she didn’t get to talk to me. They had gone to visit a twelve year old boy and a ten year old girl between 3:00 and 5:30 that afternoon. She asks, “What time did you call”.  I guess I wasn’t the only one who never stayed at home!

 

“Now do you believe that there are 2 cows named Pam & Cathy??” When I read what she wrote I chuckled. She writes more. “I talked to David (Robinson) & he said he had told you that he saw us out in the pasture eating grass. Mooooooo!! Gee, I always did want a cow named after me.” By this time I was laughing out loud!

 

She tells that she knew it was going to be a “good day” today because when she got up she slid into the wall across a slick part in the floor. Plus it was raining and freezing outside. Then in science class they had to sand their desks for the carpenters. Gail and she got sawdust all over themselves! They had taken off their shoes and were running down the halls and “ran” their hose. I remember that a lot of girls wore hose when they had a dress on and to get a “runner” in their hose was traumatic!

 

In English class they were going to have to sing a song and tape it but theirs didn’t tape so now they have to sing in front of the class. “Oh good!” she writes. Then she got into trouble in Typing class but she said I had had enough laughs for one day and wouldn’t tell me what happened.

 

There is a boy in her Math class who has a crush on her and won’t leave her alone. I could understand that! She says she hates him so much. Another admirer…  The teacher made him stay after school but that doesn’t even faze him. Poor guy, I kind of felt sorry for him. I would probably be having the same kind of behavior if I were in school with Pam. But I wanted him to leave my girlfriend alone! To top off her “good day” she tripped while running and sprained her ankle. Two boys offered to carry her to the car but she said, “No I don’t think so.” Cathy was laughing the whole time. She finishes her report of her day by writing, “I had a real good day. It takes brains & I don’t have any.”  Not true I remember thinking, I thought she was brilliant and I was “totally unbiased”. Two more incidents of boys liking her added to my concern……

 

Cathy’s little niece, Melissa is having her second birthday tomorrow night and writes, “She’s so cute & so little!” Her handwriting gets a little messy at this point and she writes in big underlined letters, “I can’t write!

 

Her ending is, “Well, I guess I better go. I think I’m forgetting to tell you something but I can’t remember it. That doesn’t make much sense, does it?  Love always, Pam and then P.S., Good luck with the play. I hope I can see you real soon. Write!”

 

I was in the UIL One Act Play along with my sister Debbie who had a starring role as Peggy. The play was titled “Goodbye to The Clown”. It was about a girl whose father had died and she had invented an imaginary clown to play with and talk to about her feelings. It was a funny yet melancholy story. I played the school principal, a fifty plus age man in the opening act who was trying to reason with Peggy about her behavior. It was truly a “bitter sweet” play. I can still remember my opening line, “Peggy, Peggy! Pay attention when you are being spoken to!”

 

Letter #20. Postmark 4-1-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written stationary with the flowers and pink background on the flap.

 

This letter starts with, Dear 4th. She finally remembered what she was going to tell me in her last letter. They are going to her grandmother’s in Knippa for Easter but she does not think they will be going to Brackett. Her aunt and uncle from Brackett are probably going to be in Knippa for Easter as well so she probably won’t go to Brackett until summer. That made me sad.  She says Cathy is going to Wimberly for Easter. This June she and Cathy will be in Brackett for two weeks! That however; made me very happy! She adds, “This will be the second time we’ve just missed seeing each other”.  Bummer I thought but happily we did get to see each other after all!

 

Cathy and she got new bathing suits and went to Padre to Cathy’s sister’s motel and went swimming. They both got burned to a “crisp”. She says she feels like she is on fire and looks like it too! She can’t move but says she doesn’t care “cuz it will go away. I never peel, it just turns brown anyway.”

 

They had Western Day at school and they dressed up in boy’s slacks, Ritter shirts, pigtails and cowboy hats. She says that someone named Leslie Jones bought her as a slave. She doesn’t say if Leslie is a boy or girl. She had to carry everyone’s books skipping down the hall backwards. Then she had to go up to Coach Brown (football coach) and tell him how cute he was and then kiss him on the cheek while another girl (Sherry Randle) kissed him on the other cheek. “I sure was glad when that day was over!!!!!!!!!! (Ten exclamation marks)  Slave day just doesn’t happen in today’s world due to “political correctness”.

 

Ends with, “Well, I guess I better go cuz I don’t know what else to say. I hope I can see you during Easter. Luv ya loads, Pam.” and then in her P.S. she tells me to work real hard on my play so I can come to Corpus. (One Act Play Regionals was in Corpus that year but we didn’t make it.) Tell Tim hello & a late happy birthday. Was he 15? Write soon!!!” Then in the bottom right hand corner she writes, “I hope you can read it.”

 

Letter #21. Postmark 4-10-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, Six one cent stamps, typed letter!

 

I finally got a typed letter from Pam! As much as she hated typing it was a surprise. It is dated April 9, 1968 at the top. She says she doesn’t know whose time it is to write so she decided to write me because she had not heard from me in a long time. I can’t imagine not writing her back because I would usually sit down and write her right after I received her latest letter. Sometimes it took a couple of days though. Pam says she’s using Cathy’s new typewriter which she says, “It’s really a good typewriter; can’t say much for the person typing, though. I’ll never make it as a secretary.” She cracks me up! Cathy is doing her homework and Pam has finished hers.

 

They had a school holiday the day before because Lady Bird Johnson had come to do a dedication at Padre Island. She says they played hookie because they were supposed to go to the dedication if you didn’t go to school. They ended up going shopping and saw lots of kids at the mall but no truant officers.

 

She asks how the play is coming and wishes she could see it. She writes, “I can just see you as a 50 year old teacher.”  Well, I’m sixty-four as I’m writing this now! 

 

Now she thinks she is coming to Brackett for Easter on Thursday night and will go to church Sunday and then on to her grandmother’s that afternoon. That’s great I thought! She asks how many days we have off for Easter. She then apologizes for not sending the pictures to me and Tim. Says she’ll bring her camera and I can have a picture if we see each other. She thinks they will get there about nine o’clock but the way her dad drives they may get there at five. She writes, “Both my mom and dad are hot-rodders. My mother drives 95 miles an hour on a dirt road and a 120 on the highway.” My parents were hot-rodders too, especially my dad. He was an airplane pilot and was a fast driver. At his funeral one of his friends a highway patrol trooper sang a couple of songs and gave a short eulogy saying, “P.H. didn’t always fly in just an airplane!”

 

I guess Cathy finished her homework because she types a short note after Pam’s letter. She says that her family is going to their house in Wimberly so she won’t be coming with Pam this time. She will come in the summer. Bye, Cathy.

 

Pam types under Cathy’s note, “I have got to go home and baby-sit for my brother so I’ll see you sometime. Tell Tim hello! I’m running out of paper. Love ya’, Pam”.

 

At the top of the page in ink pen is written 10:30 P.M. On the right had corner is written Write me!!!

 

Letter #22. Postmark 4-19-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written stationary with the flowers and pink background on the flap.

 

This letter has the day and time in the upper right hand corner, Thurs. 9:30 p.m.  She says she is sorry she wasn’t home on Monday when I tried to call. They were still at her grandmother’s at 8:30 having left Brackett at about eight or a little before. She writes that she’s happy she didn’t have to ride the bus cuz she didn’t want her flower to get messed up. It, the flower is safe and sound in her room. I remember picking a rose from my grandmother’s garden and giving it to Pam. My grandmother who we called Meme loved to garden. She had a huge garden at one end of her yard and grew the most beautiful flowers, especially roses. The rose I gave Pam was beautiful but not as beautiful as she was I thought as I gave it to her. She had me hook, line and sinker and I was so happy!

 

When she got to her grandmother’s the boys talked her into taking them hunting. She said, “I was walking down a dirt road & they (the boys) started yelling at me to come over there & there was a dead cow. Ugh! I made them all get back in the car & took the little imps home.” After they got back to her grandmother’s she got talked into taking her dear cousins swimming. “Oh boy! Fun! Fun! Fun! I almost got drowned & didn’t even go in”, she writes. I loved hearing about her escapades with her boy cousins. She probably didn’t realize it but they all idolized her! I can understand why!

 

She started back to school on Tuesday and her teachers poured the work on them. Cathy and she had to stay up until twelve Tuesday night trying to finish two English notebooks. She was dead the next day and slept practically the whole English and Science classes.

 

They started track in P.E. and she hates it! She says it feels like her legs are going to fall off after running a mile and a half then after she got home she ran another mile! “Oh pain plus!” I hated to run in track as well.  She wants to know what positon I play in football and asks if we have to run stands. We had started spring practice for football and I was playing split end at the time but moved to the tackle positon once the regular season started. My sophomore year was the best year I had in football. I was a standout tackle on defense making fifteen to twenty tackles per game. That year I was selected for the all-district team for both defense and offense.

 

She has to study for a science test and says, “I guess I’d better shut-up. Love always, Pam. P.S. Tell Joey I’m glad I got to see him this time. Cathy said to say ‘Hi! Hi! Write me! I miss Brackett already & it hasn’t even been a week yet since I’ve seen you and everyone.

 

I remember thinking about the time we got to spend together and wished we didn’t live so far apart. I had someone tell me that long distance relationships rarely worked. Then they said, “Out of sight, out of mind”. That worried me and would come back to haunt me later.

 

Letter #23. Postmark 4-26-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on stationary with the flowers and pink background on the flap.

 

“Dear Fourth, I got your letter Tuesday, but I haven’t had a chance to write you.” Her English teacher, Mrs. Burrows had been pouring the work on them as usual. Since this letter was dated Thursday and she just got my letter the day before I thought this was great! I know I tried my best to write her back as soon as I got one of her letters so I would get another one from her the next week. I just craved hearing from her.

 

Pam and Cathy had planned on going to Hemisfair in San Antonio with the Science Club. They weren’t in Science Club but they had evidently been invited to go. Unfortunately her mom had other plans. She had to babysit on Saturday and also she and Cathy were going shopping. She was resigned to not going saying, “it’s just as well”. I attended Hemisfair several times during the summer of ’68 and enjoyed all of the attractions especially the monorail that circled the grounds.

 

 Hemisfair ’68 was the “official” World’s Fair or International Exposition and was held in San Antonio. The theme was “The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas”. It was held in 1968 to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the founding of San Antonio in 1718.  It was built in the downtown area of San Antonio on 96.2 acres of land and served as an urban renewal project demolishing many building in a blighted area adjacent to the down town area. At the same time the city expanded its River Walk (Paseo Del Rio) to link to the Hemisfair grounds. It was open April 6, 1968 and closed October 6, 1968. The opening occurred only two days after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The VIPs at the opening ceremony included the first lady, Lady Bird Johnson and Texas Governor John Connally. Both of them received death threats and were escorted around the site under heavy security. This was a very turbulent time for America. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing with protests and riots in the cities. The Viet Nam War was also raging and campus unrest with rioting with four students killed and nine wounded on May 4, 1970 at Kent State all marred the ‘60s! Hemisfair attracted 6.3 million visitors and put San Antonio on the world wide map. Unfortunately the attendance did not meet the predictions and the fair lost $7.5 million. It cost an estimated $156 million to build.

 

The two of them went to Cathy’s sister’s motel on Padre Island and went swimming. Cathy’s brother-in- law and his friend Lane almost drowned them! She writes, “I was trying on my bathing suits and not one of them look good on me. I think I’m going to get one of those old-timey bathing suits that start at the neck and go down to the feet!!! Ho! Ho! Ho!” I’m sure she looked great in all of her bathing suits, she was slender and well proportioned, and I thought she was perfect!

 

She talks about having to go wash her hair sometime tonight and that she had her hair trimmed about an inch or a half inch. She says Cathy got her hair cut about three weeks earlier and cut all of her bangs off. Pam’s are about an inch below her chin. She says they will have to send a picture or something.

 

This is kind of cool. They got a phone call from a radio station that was having a contest. The radio station asked who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight. Her father answered the question correctly by saying Charles A. Lindbergh. He won one hundred and twenty dollars in prizes. One of the prizes was a typewriter. She writes, “I sure could use that.” I wondered if she was being facetious as much as she hated typing class.

 

In the last paragraph of this letter she goes on about the Buccaneer Carnival which will be held in Corpus around the first of May. She went last year with Cathy and Steven and had a blast. They are going to the parade and fireworks display this year too. She talks about the rides they have and then asks if David Conoly went to it. “If he does, come with him if you can & we’ll all go.” David’s name kept popping up in her letters like an omen.

 

She ends with “Well – I’ve got to fix supper so I guess I better go. Write me! Love always, Pam. P.S. Tim doesn’t like girls, does he!”

 

Letter #24. Postmark 5-2-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on notebook paper.

 

“Dear Fourth, Guess What! Cathy and I learned to water ski last weekend. We spent the day at Lake Mathis.” She gives a detailed account of what happened, how she got up and how long she stayed up, etc. She also gave a blow by blow account of Cathy’s water skiing escapades as well. It is pretty comical and I remember smiling and laughing at her descriptions. She is such an entertaining writer! She did get a blood blister when Cathy dropped a ski on her foot, ouch! She says they had a giant good time and are going again this weekend. She writes, “If snow skiing is as much fun as water skiing, I can see why you like it so much.” It’s much more fun than water skiing as I wrote her in my next letter.

 

She tells me the ninth grade prom is May the tenth and they are having a good band, called “The Second Faze”. I was hoping she would ask if I would go with her but alas, she did not ask me. I probably wouldn’t have been able to go anyway because of the distance.

 

She says the reason she asked in her last letter if Tim like girls was because of what he said when we drove by Diane’s house. Diane Koch lived next door to the Robinsons. She said that Diane was gone and Tim replied, “Good”.  Pam asked Tim if didn’t like her and he did not respond. “So I thought maybe he didn’t like girls at all.” Hum, I wondered about that too. Diane’s father Charlie Koch was the elementary school principle and was my football coach my sophomore year. Coach Koch was the best coach I ever had and was a wonderful role model. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago.

 

Her last paragraph says she is going to go watch the rest of the Dom DeLuise Show. She likes Jonathon Winters better. So did I but Dom DeLuise was a riot too! She asks if I watched Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. “It comes on Mondays at 7:00. It’s so funny. Cathy & I just sit there rolling when we see it. If you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know why. Well, I’ve gotta go! Luv ya, Pam Write me!!”

 

I did watch Laugh-In every chance I got as well as Johnathon Winters and the Dom DeLuise Show. All of these shows were very popular during this era.

 

Letter #25. Postmark 5-10-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on notebook paper in an envelope with the flowers on a  pink background on the flap .

 

She opens with “Dear 4th, we are having the “craziest weather!  Lots of rain and flooding and then clear skies. Cars were stalled with water up to the windows.” She had to stay at school until 4:00 until the water went down enough to go home. She and her schoolmates had to wade up the streets and couldn’t even find the sidewalks! The water was up to their waists. She writes “It was tons worse than the waters of Beulah & the winds were almost as bad as hurricane force. A group of us (walked is scratched through) ‘swam’ home. Cathy, John, Jay, Ricky, Rusty & me & we were all soaking wet! We rode down the streets on skim boards, surfboards, row boats, inner tubes & anything else that floated. More rain is forecast through Wednesday and there is no place for the water to run off. The town of Cal Allen, a suburb of Corpus was evacuated and Corpus may be next.”

 

“Ya’ll are so lucky. 14 days!” she writes. This is in reference to the last day of school before summer vacation. They may have to go to school all summer to make up for Beulah and the recent rains. “Ho, Ho! No, we’ll just have to go about a week longer than ya’ll.” She says if the roads are flooded the next day she isn’t going to school “I’m not about to wade again with all those snakes.”

 

They went water skiing again last weekend and she is improving because she was able to slalom. It was by accident because she lost a ski but she stayed up! They may go again the day after school lets out if it isn’t still raining.

 

This next news is kind of concerning. She writes Cathy had to have x-rays because she almost has an ulcer. Pam writes that Cathy worries so much about Mrs. Burrows’ and Mrs. Stryah’s classes and so does Pam because they give such hard assignments. She ends with, “Well, I’ve gotta go.” Love always, Pam.

 

Her famous postscript is missing and there was plenty of room to write one so I’m a little disappointed.

 

Letter #26. Postmark 5-17-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on new orange stationary! Her favorite color is orange!

 

May 16 – Thurs. is written in the upper right hand corner. This is May and we are both in the midst of end of school activities like final exams! Pam mentions that “It must be nice to be exempt from two of them!” It was! I had “lucked” out that semester and made two A’s so I didn’t have to take the finals in those two classes. She has to take four English tests plus all of the others. “I can’t wait til May 29.” She mentions that Cathy and she are coming to Brackett in June and will help her Aunt Jenna take care of the boys while her aunt works. They boys swim some every day “so it won’t be very hard. (I hope) We may go crazy.” Mrs. Robinson worked at the school.

 

She writes that she’s glad I made it back alright. She was concerned about us driving in that weather. I believe this trip was to help my sister move her stuff into her dorm room at Del Mar College as she was going to go to summer school. She was so ready to get out of Brackettville! It was a quick turnaround trip. I don’t think we even spent the night. I wish I could have stayed and spent more time with Pam. She says, “Ya’ll shouldn’t have left so soon. I hardly had a chance to talk to you. What did you think of Corpus?” Cathy and Pam went to church on Sunday and then swimming that afternoon. I wished I could have stayed and gone with them. I was already missing her.

 

I guess teenage girls are a little obsessed with their hair as she tells me about this new shampoo that is supposed to make your hair grow two inches a month. Everyone at her school wants to try it and if their hair doesn’t fall out so is she.

 

Cathy and she got some new records and asked me what records I like. Pam had a portable 45 record player that her uncle who was in the Army gave her along with a stack of 45 records. When they came to Brackett that summer we listened to records on it at the Fort Clark pool. They were the “cool” city girls!  She writes that she likes that record “Me, The Peaceful Heart” by Lulu but couldn’t find it. Some of the lyrics are;

 

“Sittin’ in the shade of a rain soaked orange blossom

Thinking ‘bout love that brought us together

Thinking ‘bout love that keeps us apart

Wonderin’ why the stormy weather

Always finds me, the peaceful heart”

 

I was hoping that maybe she liked it because of me. It kind of fit our story, meeting because of Hurricane Beulah. Then there’s that “orange” reference to her favorite color. She’s a romantic girl and I’m so crazy about her at this point!

 

She ends this letter with having to go study for final exams, “so I’ll see ya. Write me sometime. Love always, Pam and P.S. ‘Mary Poppins” is still walking the fence & hasn’t broken her neck yet. Are ya’ll coming down to find out about the charm school.” The reference to Mary Poppins was about herself and Cathy as their house were almost back to back and they would climb the six foot fence and then walk ten to twelve feet along it to get to each other’s houses. They often carried books, purses, clothing etc. but luckily they didn’t fall off and break their necks! Those two were daredevils and I loved it!

 

Letter #27. Postmark 5-28-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

In the upper right hand corner is written, “Friday”.  She apologizes for not writing but it is the end of school with final exams, “Ugh!”  “This was your last day of school, wasn’t it? We’ve got three more days.”

 

She is baby sitting and the parents should be home about one o’clock A.M. After that she is going to Cathy’s house and they are going to spend the night outside. Her parents and brother went to San Antonio to see her grandmother who was in a car accident four or five days before. She had returned to work the night before but is in the hospital again with a possible heart attack.  “I sure hope not”, Pam writes.  The Homeyers were a close nit family with lots of love for each other that they showed. They reminded me of my own family which was good, very good.

 

Pam’s and Cathy’s family had planned to go water skiing the next day. Her brother Greg got a pair of skis for his birthday the day before. She writes that she and Cathy use a pair of white fiberglass skis and are going to take Steven Zogg’s slalom ski.  She can drop a ski but isn’t sure she can get up on just one ski. “I’ll probably kill myself. If I don’t write for a while you’ll know what happened.” She’s such a funny girl, I love it!

 

“The ninth grade girls are having a luau next Friday. The girls have to ask the boys to go as their dates. Too bad you & Tim can’t come down & go. I wish you could.” I did too and I remember trying to figure out how I could go but unfortunately none of my schemes were approved by my parents. I was even considering lying to them and doing it anyway but I knew my plan would be exposed. I remember wondering what boy from Corpus she would invite. I knew it was probably inevitable that she would one day find a steady boyfriend. She was just too alluring for that not to happen. I knew I would have to “guard my heart” in preparation of that day. I was a little sad for a while after reading that.

 

She mentions again that she and Cathy are coming to Brackett about two weeks after their school lets out probably in the middle of June.

 

The closing paragraph reads, “Oh!! Cathy got a letter from Tim the other day. She hasn’t had time to write back yet. I think she was going to tonite or tomorrow nite. Well, I’m going to watch the late, late show it’s some monster movie, but there’s nothing else on.  Love always, Pam. Write me soon!! Are ya’ll ever gonna come to Corpus again?  

 

Letter #28. Postmark 6-4-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

“Dear Fourth, Well, I’m baby-sitting again. Same people too. How are things in Brackett?” She and Cathy went to see “The Graduate on Friday night and the week before they went to see “Gone with the Wind”.  “Both were tons good. I cried through ‘Gone with the Wind’ & laughed through much of ‘The Graduate’.

 

“The Graduate” was a “mega-hit” starring Dustin Hoffman who was a young and upcoming star. The story line revolved around a recent college graduate struggling to figure his life out. He has an affair with an older woman named, coincidentally, Mrs. Robinson. He ends up falling in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter and that’s when things get very complicated. It is a movie I still enjoy watching from time to time. “The Graduate” featured several songs from the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel including the theme song for the move, “Mrs. Robinson” as well as “Scarborough Fair” and “The Sound of Silence”. The soundtrack for “The Graduate” hit number one on the charts after it was released.

 

They spent the night with Cathy’s sister at the motel and swam at the pool all morning and went to Padre that afternoon. She asks if I’ve been swimming at the Fort Clark pool much.  She writes about coming to Brackett and was supposed to come this weekend but her parents couldn’t come and get them for three weeks and were afraid that would be too long for her Aunt and Uncle. I would have loved for Pam to stay three weeks in Brackett!

 

She found the record she had been looking for that she had wanted so long. She bought another bathing suit but hasn’t told her mom about it yet. She just bought a pink one two weeks ago so she’s going to hold off telling her mom. She doesn’t really like any of them. I was beginning to wonder about all the bathing suits. She did spend a lot of time at the beach….

 

She writes, “I don’t understand what you were talking about when you said ya’ll moved back to the ranch? Do ya’ll always live at the ranch during the summer? Well, I’ve got to go. Hope you can read this!! Love, Pam.  P.S. We probably won’t be coming to Brackett for another 2 or 3 weeks. Has Cathy ever written Tim back! Write me!”

 

My parents had rented the house in town for my sister’s senior year in high school. We lived full time at the ranch except for this year and one other when we moved to town for the school year two or three years earlier. We had an entirely different reason the first time, one that I will probably write about later but not now, it is too painful.

 

Letter #29. Postmark 6-18-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

There is some interesting history in this letter. She was watching “The Dating Game” and a couple won a trip to Dallas to see the world premiere of the movie “Bandolero” that was filmed the previous year at Alamo Village! Also on Tuesday the television premiere of it will air at 8:30. Back then when a major motion picture was about to be released they would usually have a television preview sort of like a “trailer’ but spread out over a thirty minute program.

 

She asks how things are going in Brackett and then tells me that she hasn’t been doing much of anything. ”We went to a party Friday nite from 7:30 to 11:30. We cut off all the lights & turned on the scrobe light. (Has sp above it, for spelling it is spelled “strobe light”) We were all sitting in the living room, but it looked like we were jumping all around. I had never seen one before & it was really something” Strobe lights became popular in night clubs or discotheques in the late 1960s and 1970s and were also sold to the general public. Strobe lights were popularized during the 1960s when they were used to reproduce and enhance the effects of LSD trips. Ken Kensey used strobe lighting along with the music of the “Grateful Dead” during his legendary celebrity drug parties he called Acid Tests. I am sure there was no LSD at their party.

 

Judo was a phase in the late 60s and Pam took some Judo lessons. She tried a Judo move on Cathy and nearly broke her arm! She also tried it on her father but “somehow it wasn’t the same. He practically threw me.” She didn’t say this but I will.  ”Coordination strikes ever two minutes Pam!” Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

 

She is very excited about a new TV set her family bought. It was a COLOR TV! This was a pretty big deal because at the time most people had black and white TVs and nearly all of the TV shows were broadcast in black and white. That began to change as more and more shows were broadcast in color and the price of a color TV became more affordable. The “color breakthrough” came about in the late 1960s after NBC began broadcasting the vast majority of its primetime programming (all but two shows) in color at the start of the 1965-1966 seasons. The technology moved at a snail’s pace back then. Pam writes, “We got a Crylvania (?) color T.V. today.  It’s French provincial & it’s so pretty. I’ve been glued to the T.V. set all day.” I’m sure she meant Sylvania not Crylvania. This was very exciting for a teenager to have access to color TV! I still don’t like to see some of the old sitcoms in color like “The Andy Griffith Show”.  I prefer them in black and white.

 

She discusses the Rainbow Girls from Carrizo Springs being in Corpus. They had tried to call her the night before but she had been on the line for two hours talking to someone. The Rainbow Girls is a Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service for girls age eleven to twenty-one. Pam was a member of the Rainbow Girls in Corpus.

 

Pam tells me that they are going to come to Brackett (she thinks) somewhere between the 24th to the 28th of June. She ends with, “Well, I suppose I better go. Love, Pam”.

 

I am starting to get a little worried they will never get to come to  Brackett as many times as the trip has been put off. I was really beginning to miss her! I was not to be disappointed again. Pam would arrive in Brackett soon!

 

 

Letter #30. Postmark 7-16-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

In the upper right hand corner of the first page is written Sun. 10:30. Pam writes, “Well, we finally made it back to Corpus.” Pam and Cathy had just returned from Brackett. Most of our time during the daylight hours was spent at the Fort Clark swimming pool nicknamed the “Old Horse Trough”. The pool was built during General Jonathan “Skinny” Wainwright, IV’s tenure as the commander at Fort Clark shortly before he left for the Philippines during World War II. The nickname, the “Old Horse Trough” was given because General Wainwright sent the first requisition request to build a swimming pool. The request was summarily denied. Wainwright loved swimming and wanted his men and their families to be able to enjoy the constant 68 degree cold waters of Las Moras Springs that fed the proposed pool. After brainstorming for several weeks General Wainwright had an epiphany! He resubmitted the request with one change. Every word that read swimming pool was changed to horse troughs. Since Fort Clark was a Calvary post the head command bought the “little white lie” and the pool was built and is still being used today!

 

The next part of this letter is pivotal for my life because of something very important that happened while Pam was in Brackett in the summer of ’68!

 

As I wrote earlier, Pam and Cathy were in Bracket for almost three glorious weeks! We were together nearly every day at the “Old Horse Trough” and almost every night at the Palace Theater or riding around and exploring! One night just Pam and I went out, I can’t remember where or what we did but what happened at the end of our date I remember with clarity. I pulled up in Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s driveway that led to their one car garage. I’m pretty sure I was in the Road Runner that my dad had recently purchased for “ranch use’. As a gentleman I got out and opened her door and walked her hand in hand into the garage. I can still remember how her slender hand felt nestled into my larger not so slender hand. My heart was pounding so hard I was afraid I would pass out. I knew this was the moment. I had rehearsed it over and over in my mind but I was so nervous. We talked for a few minutes and then she stepped up on the step that led into the house. I knew it was now or never! I tilted my head to the side and kissed her ever so quickly! I then said good night and walked back to my car. She just stood there with a puzzled look on her face as if asking, “What just happened”. Oh how I wish I had turned around taken her in my arms and kissed her much more passionately! Of course it was the first time I had ever kissed a girl and I didn’t even know how to kiss her passionately. As I drove home to the ranch I was so excited that I had kissed Pamela Gail Homeyer! I’m pretty sure my feet didn’t touch the ground for days!  I was so in love and wanted more. A series of events took place after that night that upset me and caused me to “guard my heart” even more. Tim and I left town for a day or two for some reason I can’t remember why. When we got back we learned “through the grapevine” (Pam’s cousins) that Pam and Cathy had gone to the movies in Del Rio with none other than my cousin Joey and my good friend David Conoly. Joey had a date with Cathy and David had a date with Pam. Needless to say, Tim and I were pretty upset. But what could we do? I was so enamored with Pam that I did not want to end our relationship and we weren’t officially going steady. In my mind Pam was the only girl I would or could even consider going steady with. So we pretty much tried to ignore the incident and I don’t think we even broached the subject with Pam and Cathy. We did however attempt to take them to Del Rio to the picture show by ourselves but were told by our parents that since we had only been driving a short while our older sisters had to drive us. After much arguing our case we relented and ended up with Sherry and Debbie driving us to Del Rio, letting us out at the picture show and then they picked us up after it was over. I was pretty much humiliated and so was Tim. We did take them out again in Brackett several times and I got my chance to kiss Pam, a lot! At that point I realized again that she was just too pretty of a girl not to date other guys and since we lived almost five hours apart I knew the reality of our situation. I would add another layer to my “heart guard”…..

 

(I recently learned that my cousin Joey was the first boy that Cathy kissed. Sorry Tim…)

 

Pam wrote me soon after she left Brackett. They evidently made a roundabout trip home to Corpus via Rocksprings, Devine and San Antonio. She writes, “Cathy & I (how about that) took the boy monsters to the show in Rocksprings. We didn’t sit next to any cowboys, but some set in front & back of us. We were going to go to Hemisfair Saturday, but everyone gave up on that idea ‘cause’ it was so hot.”

 

“Speaking of hot – when we got home our house was like an oven. Our air conditioning system went out. Somebody turned the temperature up to 90 degrees & left our refrigerator open. Everything in it was spoiled. Ugh!!” She did not know if someone broke in or not.

 

She and Cathy fixed tortillas for their parents and they were terrible. “Our parents were sitting there with a retarded smile on their faces trying to choke them down. They said, ‘oh yum, this is really good. You girls are great cooks. Cathy & I were sitting their thinking ‘Come on ya’ll fake it out real good now.” She doesn’t think she will make a good cook or anything else for that matter. (Especially not an English teacher) She did not like her English teacher.

 

Pam talks about her trip to Brackett and she writes. ”I sure did enjoy my stay in Brackett. I hope we didn’t get ya’ll in trouble too much. I’m glad I got to spend so much time with you this last trip. I guess you’re glad not to have to correct me anymore. Reckon’!”  I laughed when I read that. I remember saying “Do you reckon” quite a bit when she would say something that wasn’t totally accurate. I was just kidding her! I wished I was with her every day to “correct” her! Just be with her was really all I wanted. Sadly it was not to be.

 

“Love ya’ always, Pam P.S. I hope you can read this. It gets worse instead of better.”

 

Letter #31. Postmark 7-31-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

In the upper right hand corner is written, Wed. 10:00.  I went to Corpus and she wasn’t home again! Pam writes “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here when you came to Corpus. I felt terrible about not getting to see you. I’m glad you called & I got to talk to you. We just can’t seem to get together! I wish we could have too. I remember being so disappointed.

 

She and Cathy went shopping for school clothes and she spent seventy dollars in about ten minutes. That was quite a bit of money in 1968! She asks if I had seen the Super Slide in Corpus. I remember seeing them and wanting to ride them but we didn’t have time.

 

They went to Seymour on Cathy’s vacation. She says they didn’t have a good time. A few quotes about the trip to Seymour; “I don’t want to ever hear ya’ll say Brackett is dead again. Brackett is like New York City compared to Seymour. ‘See less in Seymour’. That’s what all the kids say & that’s the truth.”

 

She ends with “Well I’ve gotta get this mailed & go wash my hair. Love always, Pam. P.S. If you see Mickey, tell her to write me. P.S.S. Next time you come to come to Corpus I promise I’ll be here. Bring Tim with you if you can.” I remember being so glad to see her write this. I would keep trying!

 

Letter #32. Postmark 8-10-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color!

 

This is pretty cool! The night before she saw my sister, Debbie and my cousin, Sherry on the ten o’clock news! At first she didn’t recognize them because they had cut their hair. They were advertising for a fashion show that was to be held at Del Mar College where they both attended. Also their picture was in the morning paper. She wants to know if my mother came to the fashion “deal” at Del Mar. She asks, “Is that what you were talking about when you were here last?”

 

She says they went water skiing last weekend but the big news is that her parent’s eighteenth anniversary is coming up! She is going to go with her dad to buy her mom a present. Her dad and her were close and remain close today. So sweet! Sadly Pam’s mother passed away on May 24, 2012. Her father is still living and doing well at the time of this memoire.

 

They are supposed to come to Brackett around the 26th as her dad is taking some more of his vacation. They plan to go to Pecan Grove and then to Brackett for a day or two and she is trying to talk Cathy’s family into letting her go. Wow, I was very excited that I might get to see her again!

 

She ends with, “Well, I’ve gotta go. Write me!! Pam P.S. Hope you can read this.” (No Love, Pam….I’m crushed.)

 

Letter #33. Postmark 8-21-1968, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on orange stationary her favorite color, this is the last letter on this stationary

 

“Dear Fourth, Gosh, I didn’t realize that it is only 2 weeks from today that school starts. When does school in Brackett start?” She then explains that they are going to come to Brackett on Monday the 26th and stay until Thursday.  This really makes me happy! She goes on to explain their trip’s agenda in detail then writes, “Scratch out what I just wrote on the previous page. All plans have been changed. I told you we never know what we’re going to do til’ the last minute. Don’t be surprised if we turn up around the 26th anyway.” The change involves first spending a couple of days at the house at the lake. They should be in Brackett on Friday the 30th and spend the night and then got to Pecan Grove. “I hope I can catch a glance of you as I pass through. Will you be in school that Friday.” I was a little upset that she wasn’t going to be able to stay longer but just the chance to “catch a glance” of her was enough!

 

Cathy’s cousin, Micky was there so they went out to Cathy’s sister’s motel on Padre and went swimming. She says that yesterday was Cathy’s birthday and she got a new telephone with her own private number. I was impressed! Only rich people could afford a private line back in those days. There was no possibility of me ever getting a private line due to we were on a party line with eleven or twelve other people! Even cooler is that the telephone Cathy was getting had been used only once by “none other than the vice-president Hubert Humphrey when he was in Corpus a few weeks ago. So now we’re all going to vote for Humphrey just so Cathy can say the President of the United States used her phone. Ho! Ho! Ho! She wishes!!” 

 

“Love always, Pam P.S. Write! Me! Tell! Tim! Hello! For! Me! She got very creative with the exclamation points, I love her creativity!”

 

  *There is a ten month skip between Pam’s letter postmarked August 21, 1968 and her letter postmarked June 23, 1969. That is a long time in the life of a teenager! I’m not sure exactly what happened to those letters. Hopefully they may still turn up. If they do turn up I will write an amendment to this memoire. My mother had dementia in her later years but I’m pretty sure I had put the letters in a “safe place” before her dementia set in. The other possibility is my sister was notorious for throwing away any item she deemed unnecessary. She even destroyed the registration papers for my mother’s registered Hereford cattle. I remember that we started talking more on the telephone but I’m sure there are more letters that Pam wrote to me. February 3, 1969 was my sixteenth birthday. My parents put on a dance for the celebration at the Country Club up at Fort Clark. They even paid to have a live country and western band play. The band was “The Border Beat”. Steve Terry from Comstock was the band leader and they were good! I remember asking Pam to go as my date but she wasn’t able to. I remember being disappointed and my mom told me to ask someone else. I couldn’t think of anyone I wanted to ask other than Pam so I went “stag” to my own sixteenth birthday dance! I just danced with all of the girls that were there and had a great time. It would have been greater if Pam could have come.

 

Letter #34. Postmark 6-23-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on a card with orange background and butterflies & flowers, it is written in orange ink her favorite color.

 

“Dear Fourth, Remember that letter I told you that I wrote? Well, I had to tear it up. I told you everything on the phone that I had written in the letter so --- I’m writing to you again. I didn’t want you to have to sit through a re-run.”

 

“I’m so glad you called the other nite. It was good to hear a familiar voice & it really put me in a better mood. I was so depressed & I didn’t have any reason to be. Worried about how things were going to turn out, I suppose. I try not to think about that stupid operation as much as possible. I know I should be thankful that there is an operation that can correct it now. Five years ago they didn’t have one. I am thankful for that, but I can’t help being scared.”

 

Wow! The feelings I had about what Pam was going through hit me hard! I wanted so to do something, anything and I felt so helpless. All I could do was listen to her and try to reassure her. I’m glad she wrote this it makes me feel like I wasn’t as useless as I felt back then.

 

Pam’s little brother Greg and one of his buddies have been selling Kool-Ade for the last three days and it is driving her out of her mind! She bought a glass and drank it, “I think I’m going to be very ill. It’s not just real great. Fer from it! They’ve really been rolling in the money though.”

 

She took Cathy and one her cousins to the beach in good ol’ “John Henry”. John Henry was the name she gave to her Chevrolet Corvair.  The Chevrolet Corvair was made between 1960 and 1969 and was the only American designed passenger car to have a rear-mounted air cooled engine. It was scrutinized in Ralph Nader’s Report “Unsafe at Any Speed”. They didn’t stay long at the beach because the undertow was so bad and some boy told them he had seen a shark out on the second sand bar.

 

She writes that she is going to the drag races at Corpus Christi Raceway. This will be the first time she’s ever been.

 

“I wish you and Tim could come to Corpus for a few days. I know mother wouldn’t care if ya’ll wanted to stay with us. I hope you can come to Corpus sometime after I have my operation cuz’ it’s for sure I can’t go anywhere for a least 5 months. I’ll be so glad to get all of this over with.” I wish I could have gone to Corpus too. I hated it that she was dreading the surgery so much but I certainly understood why. Wish I could have done something……I should have just run away from home and gone to Corpus to see her!

 

She ends with “I guess I’d better go get something done. The house is a total wreck & guess who gets to clean it up. Love you always & always, Pam P.S. Send me this year’s picture of you if you have any left.”

 

Letter #35. Postmark 7-15-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on pink stationary.

 

“Dear Fourth, Well, I guess you know by now that I didn’t make it to Brackett that Saturday. The roads were wet & my dad didn’t want me to drive because of that other wreck I had in rainy weather.”  She did go to the picture show in Leakey one night with Mary. She says she will never say another word about the Brackett theatre. They saw a show that had been on T.V. twice. It took three and a half hours because the projector kept breaking down. “Not to mention the strange people we saw there!! I was so disappointed because at the time I realized it would have been my last chance to see her before her surgery.

 

She has been looking for a portable color television set before her operation. She found one she wanted but has to wait for her dad to O.K. it. She has to get some more glasses and contacts. “I’ve got so much to do & so little time to do it. It’s only about 2 weeks now & I’m going crazy worrying about it. I remember going straight home after getting this letter and calling her just to hear her voice. I was worried too….

 

Pam writes that she never stays home anymore and goes out with her friends all the time. I sure understood why as her freedom was soon to be drastically curtailed.

 

“Well, I’ve really got to go. I just had to drop you a quick note so you wouldn’t think I hated you or was mad. I probably won’t write too much more before my operation, but afterwards for that 3 months I’ll try to write you a bunch. If you can read this, you’re lucky. It’s a mess. Love ya’ always, Pam

 

It would be almost a month before I got another letter from her.

 

Letter #36. Postmark 8-9-1969, Houston, TX, $.06 stamp, written on psychedelic spiral stationary.

 

The return address is Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas where Pam’s back surgery to correct her Scoliosis was done. My wife Lynda had her brain tumor removed at Methodist Hospital at Houston in the neurological wing and had three other surgeries on her skull through the years. Could this just be another coincidence? Maybe not……

 

“Dear Fourth, I hope you can read this ‘cause I know I’m having trouble writing it. I’m lying flat on my back & writing this on my stomach.” Pam had to wear a “body cast” for about seven or eight months after her surgery. It had to be so uncomfortable…poor baby! “Half the time I can’t even see what I’m writing!” I wondered how she was able to write on this crazy stationary too but she was a determined young lady! I was so glad to finally hear from her. I had checked with her cousins every time I saw one of them so I knew she was OK. She writes “the nurses are really great”. They check on her all the time. “And you know how I like to yak! If they didn’t come in I’d go crazy talking to myself!” Still has her wonderful sense of humor even while going through this horrific ordeal. She writes that she wants to get up so badly and can’t. I hated that! Instead of being two inches taller she is only an inch to an inch and a half taller. She will be about five foot six inches tall rather than five foot seven like she had originally been told. She tells me, “I’m sending you a really gross picture!!! I had forgotten how bad they were. Anyway now you have something to throw darts at to keep yourself busy.” The only thing I would throw at her picture was kisses because she was so gorgeous and I was so crazy for her! “Well I’m running out of room on this crazy paper so I’ll close for now. Miss ya muchly!! Love ya, Pam Write soon!! I knew this would be a long process and probably wouldn’t get to see her as much during her recovery but I was going to try!

 

Letter #37. Postmark 8-18-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on new stationary that has cartoon like drawing of a “mod” girl on the front.

 

On the front flap it has printed, ‘i really don’t deserve anyone as wonderful as you…(inside it has printed)…..but who am i to question your obvious good taste and judgment.’ I thought the stationary was so cool that I showed it to all my friends!

 

“Dear Fourth, Well I finally made it back to Corpus & it’s really great to be home. The nurses were great, but there’s no place like home & I was getting pretty sick of that hospital food.” Cathy told me that Pam’s parents borrowed their station wagon to bring Pam home from Houston. She writes that she has so many letters & thank you notes to write that it is unreal! She has never gotten so many gifts in her entire life “and look what I had to go through to get them. Everyone has been so sweet to me & I’ve had so many visitors already. There is always someone here so I haven’t gotten too bored yet. But just wait…my time is coming.”

 

She says she is so glad my mother is back home and doing so much better and that it sounds like she had a pretty rough time. She was in San Antonio the 26th of July (the day before she went to Houston) and she was going to call the hospital to check on my mom but she forgot to ask me what hospital she was in.  The she writes, “I’m almost as dumb as this stationary is.” No Pam you are not dumb, far from it! My mother had a hysterectomy performed by Dr. Ruppert Lundgren, Sr. at the Nix Hospital in San Antonio. Right after her surgery she was fading fast and her doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She had slipped into a coma and was near death when her doctor called his son Dr. Sandy Lundgren, Jr. who was a resident at the Nix. Within just a few minutes he diagnosed hemorrhaging and actually performed surgery in her hospital room to stop the blood loss due to her weakened condition and the urgency of the situation. She began to recover almost immediately. My mother always credited Dr. Sandy with saving her life that day. Dr. Sandy Lundgren, Jr. was my wife’s OBGYN for both of our children. I had planned to visit Pam at the hospital in Houston but was unable to due to my mom’s condition. 

 

Her dad bought her a fourteen inch black and white portable T.V. (Zenith). She was going to get a portable color T.V. but it wasn’t available as small as she wanted it. She didn’t have room for a bigger one. It’s kind of any early birthday present she says. She had to have one or she’d go crazy!

 

She hopes the four months that she has to stay in bed pass fast! She can start walking a little by October 29th but won’t really be up and around until the end of the 4th month which is about the first of December. This part cracks me up, “I get my cast off on February the 6th & I can’t wait. This blob of plaster is already getting to me. Hey! I get it off around your birthday don’t I? I’ll send it to you for a birthday present. Wouldn’t you just love that! Ho!, Ho! I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Even my worst enemy, which you’re not by far! I probably would have loved to have her cast but even more I would have loved to be with Pam!

 

“I can’t even sit up in a car for 9 months!! And I can’t drive a car for 1 yr. poor ‘John Henry’…. He’ll just be sitting there. He’s safe for a year! I won’t be able to wreck him!! Well I’ve got to go get some thank yous written or mother is going to throw a fit. Love ya’ always & always, Pam (below her name with an arrow drawn pointing to her name) Remember me? I remember you!! I just read this letter & it doesn’t make much sense but then mine never do!! Notice the spelling!!!”

 

Letter #38. Postmark 9-24-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on psychedelic spiral stationary.

 

“Dear Fourth, Sorry about this paper, but I couldn’t reach anything else. I am so sorry I haven’t written to you in so long. I haven’t written anyone in ages & I’ve got to get started.” It had been a month and six days since her last letter. We had talked on the phone a time or two since so I knew she was snowed under with school work. I had injured my back in football practice and had told her about it so she wouldn’t feel so all alone. It gave us something in common to talk about. She referenced my back injury, “Gosh, that is so terrible about your back! What have you heard from the specialist? I hope it’s all right now & wasn’t too serious. You had better write & let me know!! (That sounded like a threat didn’t it?) Sorry! I didn’t mean to threaten you but I just got worried about ya way out there.” She’s so sweet to be so concerned about my back when she has just gone through major back surgery. That was Pam and that is why I loved her! She says she has been lying there growing old as her seventeenth birthday is just two weeks away. She writes that seventeen sounds so much older than sixteen. She says time is passing quicker than she thought it was mostly because of all the school work she has to do. She only has one more month before she can get out of bed. “I can’t wait!” She is really looking forward to getting the cast off.

 

She closes with, “Well, I’ve gotta get back to homework. I can’t even begin to tell ya’ how excited I am about that! Take care & write when you can. Love ya’ always, Pam. Sorry about this messy letter but…at least I got one written & that’s what counts, even if you can’t read it!! Do you realize that I met you for the first time two years ago around this time?? Think about it…” I did, I thought about that time we met a lot! One of the best days of my life! Thanks to my perfect storm!

 

Letter #39. Postmark 10-21-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on new stationary that has cartoon like drawing of a “mod” girl on the front.

 

This stationary with the “mod” girl has printed on the front flap, ‘tell me again and again that me and you are truly good for each other. tell me over and over that this madcap affair is clean and good and real….(on the inside)….i keep forgetting!!!’ It felt like that was an honest description of our relationship, truly good for each other, clean and good and real.

 

This note is dated Sat. 18th written three days before it was mailed. This letter is in printing not in her beautiful scrip as all her other letters are.  It starts, “Dear Fourth How’s the big city of Brackett? I’m not believing that you’ve got mono on top of everything else. You’ve really had it lately, haven’t you? You & me both. Now I’ve been exposed to infectious hepatitis. So… the nurse had to come out and give me a shot. Don’t worry because this all happened a couple of weeks after you left. So you have no chance of getting it,… not from me anyway.”

 

My junior year in football was my worst year! A back injury and then Mononucleosis! I’ll never forget how the discovery that I had Mono came to light. We had played South Side in football in San Antonio. I had been dragging in football practice all week and was so tired I would go home and go straight to bed.  I was on the kickoff team for the South Side game and I literally could not run down the field. In fact I could barely walk I was so tired! Coach Moore began to chew me out in front of the stands and said, “Coates if you can’t do any better than that you don’t deserve to play!” I just stared at him and said, “OK coach, I won’t”. I sat the bench the whole game and Coach Moore refused to even look at me. I was so tired I didn’t care. We went on to Corpus after the game was over to see Debbie and my parents promised me they would take me to see Pam. Even though I was exhausted I was excited to be with her again! We were finally left alone in her room by our mothers and got to talk freely for about an hour. I wanted to hug her so much but couldn’t as she had to lie flat on her back with her body cast on. I could tell she was uncomfortable not being able to sit up and I felt badly for her. It was so hard to see her having endure this. I was about to leave and wanted to kiss her so much. She laughed and said that I would have to kiss her because she couldn’t get up. Just as I was leaning forward to do just that the door opened and in walked our moms. Rats! This however turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

 

On Monday after we had returned home my mother insisted that I go to Dr. Paret the team doctor in Del Rio rather than go to practice that day. She wrote Coach Moore a note telling him I had a doctor’s appointment. After blood work was completed the doctor came in and said, “Son, who have you been kissing?” I thought this was a strange question and then he said, “You have Mononucleosis also known as ‘The Kissing Disease”. I instantly though of how much I wanted to kiss Pam but had missed the opportunity.  He told me the symptoms which included extreme fatigue and it all made sense. I asked for a note to take to Coach Moore so he would know I wasn’t just being lazy. He lived up at Fort Clark in the Forty-Niners which were tile duplex apartments. When he came to the door I didn’t say a word and just handed him the doctor’s note which spelled out what the symptoms of Mono were and also how long he thought I should lie out of football which was a month, almost half of the season. Coach Moore said, “Mono, huh? Well Hell!”

 

The blessing in disguise was that I didn’t get to kiss Pam and didn’t give her Mono. After I got home and told my mom that the doctor said I had Mono she asked, “Did you kiss Pam?”  I responded, “Thankfully no.” I would have been devastated if I have given Pam Mononucleosis.

 

This is exciting news! “It’s only five days until I can start making use of my feet again. I haven’t used them in so long that they’re probably forgotten what they’re there for. I’m getting kind of bored now & I can’t wait to get up.” I was so happy for Pam!

 

She asks how Brackett is doing in Football and says her school, King is doing well, and they are second in the city. The Brackett Tigers were not doing as well as we had the previous year. We were district champs my Sophomore year and should have gone on to the state playoffs but some of the guys on the team were “tired” of football and wanted to get back to going to “Lando’s Hide A Way Club in Acuna, Mexico every weekend. I remember playing my heart out at the bi-district game at the Uvalde Honey Bowl. At half time we were behind by two touchdowns and I did my best to rally the team but nope, they had already decided not to win.

 

Her uncle who is in the army came down to Corpus from Seattle where is stationed. “He has got the toughest car. It’s a Plymouth Barracuda. I would love to have one, but Dad’s all set on getting me a Challenger and I want a new car so I don’t knock it.

 

“Must get back to this football game before the 3rd quarter starts. (UCLA and California) Love ya’, Pam. P.S. I’ve never had mono, what’s it like? Oh! Send me one of your school pictures, please!

 

Letter #40. Postmark 11-15-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on a card with orange background and butterflies & flowers.

 

“Dear Fourth, It’s about time I wrote back, isn’t it? Between school and this walking business, I’ve had it! I’m supposed to walk 40 minutes three times a day, but I usually end up staying up longer. I’ve really had it with this 3 months in bed & once I get up, they have to drag me back. I walked up to the school today & put everyone in shock. I got started talking to everybody & wound up staying at school for over an hour. Mother was just super happy about that!

 

Her dad has been in San Francisco for the past three weeks and doesn’t know she has the doctor’s permission to ride in a car. She is going to meet him at the airport the next night and surprise him. I know that was a “Kodak Moment”! She says it’s been “absolutely boring” in Corpus lately.

 

Some good news is that she and Cathy are going to get to take a cruise to Jamaica the summer after they graduate from high school, next year. It will be their graduation gift. Cathy’s dad has to go on a business trip and they will get to spend a week on the island. “Can you see me on a boat for 5 days? Not too seasick. My luck & we will have a hurricane! Well, I’ve gotta get back to my term paper for history. Isn’t that wonderful! Love ya’ always, Pam. What you wrote on the back of your picture was really sweet, and it was a grand picture!” I remember spending what seemed like hours trying to write something meaningful for her. I finally decided to write, “Pam, I think about you a lot, but I wish I could see you every time I think of you. Love ya always, Fourth.” I tried to write it more like a “true” love letter. I missed her so much at this point and ironically I didn’t realize that I would not see her again for forty-four years…..

 

Letter #41. Postmark 12-8-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on a card with pink background and butterflies on a tree limb.

 

The letters are now coming about a month apart but that is to be expected with all the things she has to do during her recovery period. I would try to call her as often as possible, just to hear her voice was a real blessing for me!

 

“Dear Fourth, I just heard that you called last night, and I’m so sorry I missed you. Seems like I hit the jackpot last night. I spend the night away from home for the first time in 4½ months and I got three phone calls. Oh well, that’s my life story right there in a nutshell.” She apologizes for taking so long to write back. It took her two weeks to get over the Robinson’s visit. “Those boys drive me completely out of my mind, especially David. He can be such a pest sometimes. From what he has told me, he must bug you to death! All I can say just try to ignore him as much as possible. I know he can really get to a person after a while.” David was my source of information about Pam and how she was doing. I really looked forward to talking to him just to hear the latest news about Pam. I would later learn some news from him that was a blow to my heart.

 

She got to see the Brackettville annual over the Thanksgiving holidays. “It was really a grand annual. All of your pictures were so good. Your mom said you had eleven, but I only counted ten. Where was the eleventh one? Never mind. You don’t know which ones I saw so you couldn’t possibly tell me which one I missed. I’m still not believen’ how dumb I am! Dad keeps telling me that the operation effected my brain, and I keep telling him I never had one to affect.” Not so! Pam was the wittiest and smartest girl I knew!

 

She writes that she is up and around more now and almost wishes she wasn’t because her mom is starting to throw the work at her. “Can’t say I’m too happy about that!” She is getting rid of the hospital bed the next day and will be able to put her room back together. It has been four months and a week since her operation and in two weeks will get her cast taken off. “TA-DUMM!” She writes in closing, “Must go cause I’ve only got one more line to say I love ya & sign my name so…Love ya! Pam (almost didn’t make it, did I)”. Actually she didn’t make it (the make it, didn’t I) part was written on the front of the card…funny girl!

 

Letter #42. Postmark 12-20-1969, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on new blue colored stationary that is longer than normal.

 

This letter is dated Dec. 19th in upper right hand corner of the first page. “Dear Fourth, Takes me long enough to write back, doesn’t it!” Actually this letter was only eleven days after her last one so that’s a lot closer than previous ones! She’s sleeping over a Cathy’s house because, “I’m so sick of staying home all the time. It’s just driving me up the wall. That three months in bed has made me so lazy! If they gave an award for ‘bum of the year’, I’d be a sure thing. I’m up a lot now, and I think I can like it… but I’m still’ not believen’ how lazy I am.”

 

She gets her cast off in only one month and three weeks but has mixed feelings about having it off. “You know, I say how I hate it and how I’m counting the days until it comes off, but I bet I’m gonna miss it. I’ve gotten so used to it that it’ll feel like their taking off part of my body!” I could understand why she felt that way.

 

She read in the Corpus paper about a body that was found near Brackettville and says, “That really shocked me when I saw the headlines ‘Body Found in Brackettville’. Watch out for yourself.”

 

Her cousin David told her that my sister Debbie was getting a new car and Pam wants to know what kind it is. She jokes, “Not too lucky I’ll end up getting a wagon with a motor on it or better yet a skateboard with a sail or something fine like that.” I laughed out loud when I read that!

 

She asks what Santa is bringing me for Christmas and writes that she peeked at all of her presents. “I can’t stand surprises! They just worry me to death until I have to open them.” I agree Pam; I always say that the best surprise is no surprise! She says her dad is giving her a baby cow and then says, “That’s a calf, isn’t it? I hate to tell him but I don’t know one thing about raising a calf (cow struck through). He’s making a big mistake cause he’s going to have to take care of it!! Not I. Well, Cathy’s already gone nighty so I better close for now. Love ya’ always, Pam. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! Are ya’ll going skiing again this year?”

 

Letter #43. Postmark 1-13-1970, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on gold colored stationary that has the horoscope sign Libra and the symbol (balance scales) for the sign on the flap and on the left hand corner of the first page, the paper and envelope are gold in color.

 

The sixties are officially over, it’s 1970! Pam writes, “Dear Fourth, I bet your ready to shoot me and I really wouldn’t blame you. I have no excuse for not writing, other than laziness which is no excuse.” It had been almost a month since I received her last letter.

 

“Thank you so much for the bracelet. You are always so thoughtful and I’m not. At least I haven’t been lately. I am so ashamed of myself for not writing & thanking you sooner and I’m really sorry. I know you must think me the most ungrateful person you’ve ever known.” I didn’t think that but I was wondering if she liked her gift. I bought her a turquoise bracelet at the Indian Store at Alamo Village. I remember it was a nice piece and pretty expensive. I spent most of my stash for it and wouldn’t have been able to afford it if Virginia Shahan hadn’t given me the family discount. Virginia and my mom were “coffee friends” and I used to get her son Tully’s hand me down clothes. I especially remember getting a white tuxedo jacket that I wore to Mrs. Harwood’s piano recitals.

 

This next paragraph was disturbing and I struggled about what I should do. “Things haven’t been going great at all for me lately. Its less than a month until I get my cast off and I’m getting scared. I’m afraid the doc’s gonna tell me something, I don’t want to hear. My backs been hurting a lot more than usual the past 2 or 3 weeks, and I just know something has gone wrong. I haven’t told mom & dad yet. I’m going to wait a week or so & hope it gets better. The only person I’ve told is Cathy & now you. Maybe nothing has gone wrong & I’m just imaging it. I keep hoping anyway. Three months in bed seems short now, but I couldn’t go through this again. No way!” I called her after I got this letter to check on her and to see if I could convince her to tell her parents but I could tell she was dead set against telling them she kept saying that the pain was much better now. I didn’t buy her story but I finally stopped trying to talk her into telling her mom and dad. One thing I’m good at is keeping a secret! I was glad that she trusted me enough to tell me since the only other person she had told was her best friend Cathy.

 

Poor Cathy is having problems as well. She broke her shoulder at ski camp. She doesn’t have to wear a cast but has to wear a “sling type deal” for four weeks. “They’re calling us the two Crips around her now. When we’re over at each other’s house, we can never take off our shoes cause neither of us can tie our own shoes much less each other’s. You should see us trying to fix lunch the other day. She couldn’t open the cokes & I couldn’t bend down to get the ice. I don’t know what we would have done without each other’s help. Probably starve to death.” Cathy told me that she was sliding down the slope on an inner tube and hit a rough patch and it threw her off and she landed on her shoulder. At first she just tried to ignore it but the pain kept getting worse. To make matters even worse she had to ride a school bus all the way to Corpus and her shoulder was killing her with the pain getting worse and worse! When they stopped in Lubbock she called her mom and told her what happened. She said she fashioned a sling from a scarf which helped a little. He mom picked her up when the bus arrived and took her straight to the doctor’s office. Sure enough she had broken her shoulder.

 

Pam writes that she may go back to school at semester to take one class because she needs the credits. It will have to be a class where she can move around in and doesn’t require her to sit all the time.” At least I’ll get out of the house a little more even if it is just to go to school.”

 

She got to go to a movie! The first one since her surgery seven months prior! It was a student council fund raiser at the school. She had already seen the movie but went because they take pillows and blankets and lay down on the concourse floor to watch the movie. “Sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? It’s fun though & I got to see everybody & I didn’t get tired or anything.” That made me smile.

 

She has to close as she has two research papers due before the semester ends. “Fourth, please don’t get mad if I don’t write as often as I should. Love always, Pam. What kind of tape deck did you say you had? It was an 8-track tape deck that I bought at “White’s Auto Store” in Del Rio. I mounted it in my Road Runner under the dash so I could change the tapes easily.

 

Letter #44. Postmark 2-12-1970, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on the same gold colored stationary that has the horoscope sign Libra as the letter before.

 

My birthday was February 3rd. She didn’t mention it. She didn’t send a card because I remember checking our P.O. Box every day around my birthday. I knew she had her boat loaded!

 

This letter arrived almost exactly a month after her last one. “Dear Fourth Finally got my cast off Friday! (Friday was February 6th three days after my birthday) Cathy went with us and we spent three days in Houston. I can’t get used to being without the cast. It’s really a change. I get tired a lot quicker now cause I don’t have the support from the cast. But…it gets better every day.”

 

I remember being so relieved after reading this next paragraph! “The doc said I was doing great so I did all that worrying for nothing. (I had been praying for her every day.) I passed the breathing test and I gained 5 lbs. since surgery. I’m 5’5¾” and I gained a degree in correction. I was 13 degrees instead of 14 degrees in correction. In other words, I’m one degree straighter now, than I was right after the operation. You probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but its good, so that’s all you need to know.”

 

She says there is a different procedure now for the postop process for Scoliosis corrective surgery. The cast is worn for nine months “BAD NEWS!” They have to wear a cast with a metal neck piece for six months and then  one like Pam had for another three months. The patient is able to start getting up as soon as they get home instead of staying in bed for three months. Pam says she prefers the way she did it.

 

She started back to school Monday for one class. She likes the class but doesn’t like getting up at six thirty because she was used to sleeping until ten or eleven.

 

She asks if I know Diane Conoly. “I’m in the same Y-Teens club as she is & she told me she knew you. I know she’s kinned to David Conoly, but I didn’t know ya’ll knew each other.” David Conoly is Diane Conoly’s double cousin. David was still on my black list for trying to steal my girl.

 

She signs her name with a big L in “Love ya’ Pam”.

 

Letter #45. Postmark 3-12-1970, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 stamp, written on new stationary that has cartoon like drawing of a “mod” girl on the front.

 

I received this letter exactly one month after the last one. On the front flap is a drawing of the “mod” girl and printed is, ‘Before i met you…(inside)…..my diary made pretty dull reading! She asks how things are in Brackett and says she’s been hearing a lot about me lately. ”Ho, Ho! Got you scared haven’t I? David, dear cousin David, wrote and told me that you’re car is sick. Did you wreck it?” I was driving the Road Runner my dad had bought for ranch use. The suspension was raised so it could traverse our rough county. I got to drive it when dad didn’t need it so it pretty much became my car.  The engine was blown as of this writing. It had three different engines as the 383 Magnum Engine was a real P.O.S.! Pam talked to Diane Conoly and she told her she saw me the past weekend. They had a Y-Teens meeting and made flowers to decorate for their Mexican visitors. Diane told her that Debbie is not going to school at A& I and was working at Dillard’s in Corpus. She says she will go by and say hi to her as Dillard’s is only about five or six blocks from her house. She can even see it from the end of her street. “Aren’t you excited by that news? I thought you might be so I just threw it right in.”

 

She saw “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. She liked it and said it was funny. She may go to see “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” on Saturday with some other girls. It is showing at a kiddy theater but they are embarrassed to go. “Besides that, I don’t care for the bubble gum on the shoes.”

 

She writes, “I almost wrote and asked you to go to Carroll Senior Girls next weekend. (I think this was a formal dance) Don’t ask me how I got an invitation to Carroll’s when I go to King? But…. I did. No really, I know some girls that go to Carroll and they sent it to me. Anyway – I started to ask you, but I can see you driving 300 miles just for that!! It’s the thought that counts though, isn’t it??” If she only knew, I would have driven a million miles to get to take her to a dance! Since my sister was living in Corpus at the time I probably would have been able to go.

 

She writes that Diane Conoly also told her that my cousin Sherry was getting married but she can’t remember when the big date is. “That’s really grand. I know she’ll be happy. Well, I don’t know, but I hope she will.”

 

“Gotta go finish my homework. Teach comes tomorrow. Take care and write if you can. Love ya’, Pam How’s school this year?”

 

Letter #46.  The date on this Postmark is smeared and is unreadable, Corpus Christi, TX and 9PM is the only thing that is legible, $.06 stamp, written on the stationary that has cartoon like drawing of a “mod” girl on the front.

 

On the front flap is the “mod” girl standing in a bathroom holding a tooth brush who looks like she is about to brush her teeth. On the front flap is printed, ‘i think of you all the time, except when i’m asleep…(inside)….then i dream of you! I just loved that and wished it were true… Since this is the same stationary she used in the last letter and she references Sherry’s wedding I’m 99.9% sure this is the next and last letter she ever wrote to me. If the same interval of Pam writing me about once a month holds true then I would have received this letter in April or May of 1970.

 

Ironically she starts out by complaining about the things that her cousin David has told me, mostly about her not being able to ride in a car and not driving. She says she’s been riding in a car since last November. “In fact, the past few weeks I’ve been driving a car. Good ol’ John Henry…But that’s a no, no. I really shouldn’t be driving cause theirs always the possibility of having a wreck, but theres that possibility every time you get in a car regardless who’s driving.”

 

She and Patty Raine are having a “grand time”. She related that Patty had the same operation two weeks before she did. They go “haulin” around when everyone else is at school. She has one class at one o’clock and Patty has two classes and then they go “fooling” around the rest of the day. They go to the beach, to the pool, shopping, out to eat or to a movie “while everyone else is taking tests”. She is having too much fun and it’s going to be tough going back to school next year for the whole day.

 

“I went to see Romeo and Juliet” for the 4th time Saturday nite. Have you seen it yet? If you haven’t, you’re missing the grandest movie ever made. I’ve practically got the show memorized, but I’d even go see it again.” After I went to see it I thought of Pam as my Juliet!

 

She says she’s been in Dillard’s three times and hasn’t seen Debbie yet. “Who is Bob? You said you, Joey, Tim and Bob were going to be ushers at Sherries wedding, but I can’t figure out who Bob is? (Bob was Joey’s little brother)

 

She is going to go to a Y-Teens slumber party that should be interesting because of all the weird people in the club. They are supposed to go to a Jewish Church before the slumber party. “I’ve never been to a Jewish church, so that should be interesting.” All day Saturday she is going to paint posters for their Senior Banquet. “It took me almost 2 weeks to make one so we probably will have to paint all nite to finish the rest. Boo!”

 

“Must go. Tell David I said to stay out of trouble!! Love, Pam”

 

This is the last written letter I ever received from Pam. I’m not sure if there are more that disappeared with the other letters in the gap between August 1968 and June 1969 but I don’t believe so. Either way our correspondence ended abruptly right after this letter. I continued to write her but did not get any letters in return. One day I saw her cousin David and asked him how Pam was doing. I told him she had quit writing and I was wondering if she was OK. I had tried to call her a couple of times but had missed her each time. I’ll never forget what happened next. David got a funny, almost sad look on his face and said, “I hate to tell you this Fourth but she has a “serious steady” boyfriend in Corpus”. I just thought I had “guarded my heart” enough in anticipation of this day but I had not. What happened after I left David was a blur. I remember driving home to the ranch, sort of…... My emotions were raw; confusion, sadness, anger but the worst was Pam had given me no inclination that she was dating someone “seriously”. I was feeling pretty wounded so I saddled my horse, Little Blue and struck out for the back pasture. I must have ridden all afternoon because it was dark when I got back to the corrals and my mother was calling me for supper. I remember being quiet and morose and did not talk much during the evening meal. My mother finally asked me what was wrong. I almost burst into tears and finally chocked out that I had just learned from Pam’s cousin that she has a “serious steady” boyfriend in Corpus and it was over for us. My mom tried to console me by telling me that I would find someone else to eventually fall in love with. At the time it didn’t really help but years later my mom’s words echoed in my ears as I stood at the alter and married not my “first true love” but my “love of my life”, Lynda Gail Light! Pam’s and my relationship had created a “benchmark” in my heart and mind for the type of girl I would or could fall in love with. If it hadn’t been for Pam I would never have found the “love of my life” and married her. Thank you Pamela Gail Homeyer! You taught me how to love, to love wholly and deeply from the bottom of my heart! No “heart guard” needed……

 

Christmas card #47. Postmark 12-17-1970, Corpus Christi, TX, $.06 Christmas stamp

 

When I saw the card in our post office box my heart leaped! The return address, 1021 Berkshire Dr. Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 had brought me so much joy throughout Pam’s and my relationship. Maybe, just maybe she’s broken up with her “serious steady” boyfriend and wanted to rekindle our relationship? When I opened the card my heart fell. There was no “Love Pam” or “Love ya always & always” or just a simple “Love ya”…... 

 

This correspondence was a Hallmark Christmas card. On the front flap is a drawing of an elf like Santa sitting on a high stool checking his list. Inside it has printed, Hope your holidays are happy days! Pam writes below in her beautiful handwriting; Merry Christmas IV! Pam Homeyer (At least she had written my name….)

 

It was the saddest Christmas card I had ever received………..

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

It has been fifty years since “My Perfect Storm”, Beulah made landfall on the Texas Coast and I met my beautiful “refugee” who I would fall in love with and who would affect my life for the rest of my days. I recalled the time I made the decision to remain friends with Pam even if she found a “seriously steady” boyfriend.  I would be content just to be a friend I decided, if that was all there was.  

 

I was sitting in my office approximately sixteen or seventeen years ago when one of my employees called me on the office intercom and said, “Fourth, there is a gentleman here who says he knows you and wants to see you.” I asked who he was and she said, “Rex Homeyer”.  I remember the memories of my distant past washing over me like a warm summer rain. “Rex Homeyer, are you sure?” She responded in the affirmative. “Give me just a few minutes and I’ll be there.” Rex Homeyer is Pam’s dad. I pulled myself together and went out to meet Mr. Homeyer. I invited him into my office and we sat and talked about the “old days” for fifteen or twenty minutes. We chit chatted about other things and then he left. He continued to come by the office from time to time to visit. I found I really enjoyed his company. A few years later I moved to a neighboring county in the same business. After I had been there about a year I heard a familiar voice out in the front lobby. I walked out and to my surprise there stood Mr. and Mrs. Rex Homeyer who were talking to one of my clerks about some paperwork. After they finished talking I invited them into my office and we had a good visit with them for over an hour. They had just moved that year in order to be nearer to doctors and hospitals. Mr. Homeyer continued to stop by to visit and we went out to eat lunch from time to time. He reminded me of my own dad who had died of lung cancer in 1997. We had a lot of common experiences and we seemed to think a lot alike. He kept me apprised of how Pam was doing. She was living in Colorado and had a job with an electrical company. She had divorced her first husband but had remarried a very nice man. She had two children from her first marriage, a daughter who was married and lived in California and her youngest a son who lived in New York. He said she was doing well.

 

I never anticipated ever getting to see Pam again but the opportunity presented itself in July of 2011 to meet with Pam and her best friend Cathy! Her dad called me and asked if I would join him, Mrs. Homeyer and Cathy and Pam for lunch at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant. We had a great meeting! It was like being transported back in time. It had been forty-four years since Pam and I had first met during Hurricane Beulah 1967 but in some way it seemed like yesterday to me! The meeting was awesome! Pam was as beautiful and sweet as she had been when we were teenagers. We did not talk much about the past but caught up on what had transpired since those days of our younger years! It was great to see her looking and doing so well!

 

Pam and I email each other on a pretty regular basis. We now mostly talk about our grandchildren, our children, her dad, our spouses, and our friends from the past, including deaths, births and weddings of people we both know. I emailed her when David Conoly’s wife, Katherine recently died. She asked me for David’s email address and I gladly gave it to her. David and I have kept in touch with each other throughout the years and we are still good friends.

 

Also my daughter has been helping her dad with his legal matters.

 

Our emails are not that much different from the letters we wrote back in the late 1960s. There is something comforting in that. For me a “heart connection” never dies and sometimes reinvents itself into a wholesome and constructive relationship like the printed message on the “mod” girl stationary she used to write me on, tell me again and again that me and you are truly good for each other. tell me over and over that this madcap affair is clean and good and real…i keep forgetting!!!”


© Copyright 2017 P Setaoch. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Romance Short Stories