Thursday, August 12, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Letter from Grandma

On March 15, 1963, Sue Lasiter Godwin received a birthday card in the mail from her maternal grandmother, Eva (Dennis) Benson. It was addressed to Sue at the home of her parents: "Mrs. Sue Godwin, 3720 Park Ave, Ft Smith, Ark." and the sender's address was "602 S. 2nd St., Marlow, Okla." It was postmarked "Marlow, Okla, Mar 12 1963" and had a 5 cent stamp on it.

The card was textured and slightly discolored, even though it had remained in the envelop for the past 47 years. The front cover displayed a nice flower bouquet and greeting of "For Granddaughter on Her Birthday." The back of the card displayed the card manufacturer to be Laurel Cards, Inc out of Waukegan, Illinois, USA.

Inside the card the left side boasts another smaller flower display and the right side with an inscription of the following: "A Birthday "Hello" To a girl who's so dear She's loved a whole lot Every day of the year! Happy Birthday." Sue's grandmother Eva added in her own hand, an address "To Sue" and "Loads of Love, Grandmother" with a small note at the bottom "over."

You might have guessed by now that this was one of those cards that was folded over and comprised a total of 8 pieces instead of just the 4 you see in most cards today. Grandmother Eva took advantage of this to add a letter to her card. She wrote the following:
Dear Sue - How are you and Marilyn getting along? Sure wish you send a line my way some time and give me your address. Hope to see you all sometimes this summer. Yet don't no what time but should real soon. Say Hi to your Bud & all rest for me tell Louise I love her. Also give me add & name Company you work for. Love you all. 

My Grandmother Sue was married to a Marine in 1956. She decided military life was not for her or her little girl, so they moved back home to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her grandmother might have tried writing to her in the middle of all this when Sue had not yet settled down which is why she mailed her card to her parents' house. The "Louise" she told her to say hello to above is Sue's mother and Eva's daughter.

Eva Benson lived until 1983. In fact she was still around until I was 6 years old. You can see 5 generation pictures of us here. She had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren who lived near her in Oklahoma to keep her busy enough, but she still found time to come to Fort Smith to visit with my family. I was fortunate enough to connect with this part of my family in OK via email and Facebook, even though they are somewhat scattered throughout the world.


  1. As I look at your locations, I see our families danced all around each other.
    I love the card. I have some like that they are still dear to my hear.

  2. I was really excited to find this card among my grandmother's belongings. She kept everything!

  3. We don't keep many things anymore such as letters. I think art of letter writing has fallen by the wayside - especially with the new texting generation. It is nice to find these treasures.

  4. Thanks for sharing. How very, very special. (Interesting - as a Sue Godwin myself!!!) I am kicking myself, as when I cleaned out Dad's place 2 years ago - and TONS (literally) of stuff from Mom and Dad and Dad's second wife after Mom passed away, I found boxes and boxes of old cards. I knew I couldn't keep everything, I was exhausted (10 days of non-stop sorting/keeping/tossing) - and I tossed the boxes of cards - I regretted it as soon as I got over my fatigue. (If we'd lived closer and I wasn't working "under the gun", I'd like to think I'd made wiser decisions. At least that's the only thing I'm aware of at this point on which I goofed.

  5. I wrote to my 9th grade English Teacher for 20 years...until her death in 2009. I also write to my grandmother and I ask her questions about her childhood and about my dad and his sisters growing up. I save all of their letters. But you are right, who will I write to when she is gone?

  6. Sue,
    My grandmother kept all of her cards as well. This one in particular was in her Mother's belongings. I haven't even begun to go through all of the cards that my grandmother kept. When she died, though, I took all of the letters I had written to her when I was a child through my college years because at the time I knew my Mother wouldn't let me keep anything. Just last year my Mother told me to take it all home with me.