Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Postmark: Sikeston, MO, 1946

I am reading, with joy, letters that my Great-Grandfather wrote to his son, my grandfather, back in the 40s.

My Granddad, Phil Leslie, had moved his young family to Hollywood to work as a comedy writer during radio's Golden Age. His father, Leroy Leslie, shared his advice and concerns in a series of long, eloquent letters.

I marvel at the wisdom and the timeliness of the words he wrote 60 years ago. And I'm tickled to see how history is repeating itself.

In one letter, Leroy applauds his son's plans for a fishing trip. My Granddad was planning a fishing trip with his own young son, and decided to let the boy take some time off of school, hoping that missing school might make the trip a bit more appealing.

Leroy wrote:

"Not every father would have shot that angle of it, and you made a good investment. I know that from my own experience. Such time and attention as I have given my boys in the years past not only gave me a lot of pleasure at the time, but continues to pay phenomenal dividends."

Earlier this year, my husband Craig grumbled a bit about spending $110 on fishing licenses for himself and the three kids. But as he wrote the check, he told clerk "It's really a small price to pay to keep your kids close." And I know he meant it, because any chance they get, the four of them are out trolling on Whiskeytown Lake.

Makes me smile, to think of carrying on family traditions, and I'm eating up these words that reach across time and give me a bit of the picture of where I come from.

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