What Old Love Letters Can Teach About Communication

Part of the Beloit Diary Project–A farm girl’s diary from New York in the 1930s.

We got to go into the archives today for my Photo/Text class and look at old diary entries. Fred Burwell the archivist is starting the Beloit Diary Project where he’s collecting people’s old diaries from around the Country. “The lives of everyday people are important,” he said.

A girl who went to Beloit in the 1950s saved a ton of letters she got while she was here. She must be dead now or in a nursing home. I can’t think of a good reason for why a living and fully conscious person would give away their letters. The letters were still in their envelopes. They were tan and rough and heavy in the way good old paper is. Oil from hands touching them over the years made them weighty.

People were way more passionate back then. This girl, Evie or something was her name, had a guy writing her long letters asking her over and over again why, for the love of God, she would not kiss him on the lips. I wonder if she ever responded. It sounded like she saw him around, and treated him like dirt. He kept complaining how she made fun of him. He’d write things like that, and then say “but what a great night we had.”

This goes to show that mixed signals have been around forever. Confused people have been confused and are still confusing each other at this very second! I wish we still wrote about our confusion in detailed letters. Giving time and space to communication is important.

Goals: Call more, Text less, Write so much that people I love most will recognize my handwriting.

Downtown Beloit today. Still hovering at zero degrees Still snowing.

One thought on “What Old Love Letters Can Teach About Communication

  1. Fred sounds like he’s on to a great idea! From the day to day, comes the patterns and musings that make us all human. P.S. I recognize your handwriting. It’s got big loops, has trouble staying inside the lines, and oftentimes leans to the right like a runaway train.


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