Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pen Friends

Long Life!

It's probably only my generation that still puts store by what were once called 'pen-friendships'. Yet they have been a source of pleasure to many over the years.

This-morning I received an email in which my German pen-friend, Gerhard, asked Clark, from China, the meaning of the above inscription in his doctor's surgery. I suddenly realised how long it is since I've been a regular correspondent with these two gentlemen, and with Jussi, a Finn and the other member of the group. I know it's ten years ago that the email friendship formed. I treasured our joint letters then and I treasure them now but, as you will see from the verses, something intervened.


I can't recall how the four of us ignited the first spark;
The other three I wrote to were Gerhard, Jussi and Clark.
Gerhard comes from Germany, he's a very with-it man,
Lecturing, and walking in the mountains when he can.
Clark, who I think of as Mr Tang, is a well-known engineer.
Designing dams is his forte; he travels far and near.

Jussi (pronounced Yersy) is from Finland, in the snow.
A very energetic man, full of get-up-and-go.
For years and years we corresponded, often with quick replies.
I learned a lot, for all of them are amusing a quite wise.
Jussi and Gerhard, Europeans, spoke of the currency
And how they thought the future of the continent would be.
Gerhard and Clark, both scientists, spoke more of engineering,
And of the new inventions that were frequently appearing.
I was rather a hanger-on, without much contribution,
But my three friends never mentioned this. There was no retribution.
Politely they responded to my domestic chatter,
And all of them knew charming words with which they aimed to flatter.
We visited Jussi in Finland; he gave us a wonderful time.
The efficiency of that country is something quite sublime.
We called in on Gerhard in Germany; Elisabeth was there;
We enjoyed the hospitality of this delightful pair.
But along came Blogging! I was hooked! My letters became few.
Finally they almost stopped; in a year just one or two.
But they've been on my conscience, these three old friends of mine,
And every now and then I think 'I must drop them a line.'
But I'm a Blog fanatic, as they will surely see
When they read these few verses dedicated to the three.
Greetings, Jussi, Gerhard, Clark! 'Long Life!' to one and all.
If you're ever in Australia, don't forget to call!
Note: A fifth member of the group, William, an American,died some time ago.


MsRay said...

Back in late 70's when I was still in high school and the internet was unheard of in the Philippines, I used to correspond with girls of my age from Finland, England and Austria. When I started working, I became too busy and lost touch with my pen friends. With the advent of the internet and email, I wish I knew where they are (and their email addys) so that I can continue with our friendship.

Your post brought back memories.

Marie Reed said...

My hubster also wishes that he could find his old pen pals from his childhood and searches every so often for them online! How wonderful that you have such a strong connection .. even if blogging has taken over:)

Jo said...

Brenda, this trend was popular while I was growing up as well. Only I never kept it up like you did. Well done. Wonderful that you visited two of them. Thanks for sharing.

Delwyn said...

Hi Brenda

These are contacts too valuable to lose. Do you email now or write snail mail?

I joined up with the postcrossing group earlier in the year but found I would rather spend time blogging.

Happy days

Darlene said...

In my youth I spent hours writing letters to pen pals. Many of them were GI's in WW II and lonesome guys. It was a sad day when one of them was missing in action. He was on a submarine and, of course, missing meant they were unable to retrieve his body.

Now I can't read my own handwriting so I use my word processor when it's necessary to use snail mail.

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

Hi Brenda, It was always exciting when I received a letter from far my letter writing has ceased due to e-mail. Some have e-mail and the contact has continued, with others it has ceased. Blogging is a sort of fun substitute as one can contact many this way. I enjoyed the op-shop "song". My middle daughter goes to op shops she has really the eye for the special things she finds. When I was last with her we went to op shops and I bought her a few items for her "in the bush weekender".

Anonymous said...

It is fine to hear about your experiences concerning pen friends. I see also that you have had some from Finland. In fact I think that it is a special + if one can meet his/her pen friend personally. I have had that possibility and I met Brenda and her husband Malcolm from Australia here in Finland and Turku. Because Australia is on the other side of the globe so it is very valuable to meet so wonderful persons. Today it is much easier to mail short messages by net. It is also easy to change opinions concerning so many things around our world because our world today is much “smaller” and big news are everywhere very rapid. We have even so many opinions of them. I’m very thankful of the friendship with Brenda. jussi

Kat said...

You've invented the BLENDS.....!!!

and you're so much in touch with communication technology, that you breeeze thro' in and out, in the net - with soooo many blends :-))))