What follows is a letter I wrote, with input from my parents, to my two brothers who were spending much of the summer at our grandparents’ trailer in northern New York State near the St. Lawrence Seaway. It’s a fanciful look at life in our home in the rural town of Pluckemin, New Jersey. I was 17 and had my first manual typewriter, probably not for very long. I made the letter in the style of a local newspaper, perhaps inspired by Walter R. Brooks’ “Freddy the Pig,” who among many other avocations was the writer, editor and publisher of his own newspaper on the Bean family farm, as seen above. The Freddy books were fun and funny, and I identified with Freddy’s literary asperations. Here’s the entire four-page letter, notes follow.
I believe this is the only issue of the Pluckemin Weekly Bulletin. It was a lot of work, and I doubt there would be much left to say in the following weeks. I know I had fun doing it. Some notes:
On page 1 the paint sample has fallen off and is long gone, as are the shutters. My mother lived in the Pluckemin house until about 1995. It’s still there, and looks the same from the front, but is greatly expanded in the back.
The swimming pool was next to our back yard, and we were often invited to swim there.
Buxton’s was a local restaurant specializing in burgers and ice cream. The Farmer’s Market is where I bought a lot of books and comics at discount prices. The depiction of our family as moneyed is VERY fanciful, though we were doing okay, and firmly middle class.
My dad was a hunter, and belonged to several hunting clubs over the years. On page 2 is a description of one he apparently formed himself, which I don’t recall. Some years he brought home a deer, and more often some pheasants. They supplemented our food supply over the winter.
I particularly enjoyed rereading my mom’s Editorial on the last page. I don’t recall if she typed it herself, or if she wrote it out and I copied it in. Despite what she says, we did play a lot of those games when we were growing up.
So, if blogging were a thing in 1968, this is perhaps what I might have been posting. If you enjoyed this you might like other posts on the REMEMBERED page of my blog.