When I was in the 8th grade, I was always dreaming of far away lands. I had decided I wanted a pen pal in another country. Since this was before the internet, that was the thing to do if you loved to write. My decision came down to picking which country I was interested in most. I realized it had to be an English speaking one or we wouldn’t communicate very well. I picked Australia but how in the world would I find someone to pen pal with…
My dad suggested I write a letter expressing my interest to the Chamber of Commerce in Brisbane, Australia. Brisbane is a large city and hopefully they would pass my letter on to some local girl my age. But instead, they sent my letter on to their local newspaper. They printed it. So lo and behold, I received 102 real letters in the mail of waiting applicants. Wow. Holy crap! In addition to letters, I got gifts, pictures and all sorts of things. The whole neighborhood thought it was hilarious. Our local paper got wind of it and came over to my house to do an article and picture on it. At the time of the article, I had received 79 letters. More came in afterwards.
Knowing I could only keep up with a few, I picked my favorite 6 of them all. All the rest I passed out to my classmates @ school. By the time it was through, we all had pen pals overseas. I’m not sure how long I kept up with mine but needless to say, I have no contacts left in Australia and don’t remember any of their names. Otherwise, you know I would be looking them up on Facebook.