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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey

It All Started With Archie Comics

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

In September 1998, I went back to the States to visit my mother in Illinois.

She had moved back to the Illinois Valley from Irving, Texas the previous year and was living in a 5-room house east of LaSalle on Rt. 6.

In one of the rooms she had this old trunk which I remembered first seeing in the attic of the house we once lived in Oglesby back in the 1960s and 1970s. That trunk had followed her to Texas in 1981 and had come full circle when she moved back home.

One day, my mother told me she had some of my stuff in that old trunk, which was almost fifty years old by that time. "You ought to go through it and see if there's anything you want to keep," she said.

Curious as to what was in that trunk, one afternoon I went through it. Most of it was my mother's stuff, family photographs and stuff like that, but she had also kept this letter that I had received from Archie Comics in 1969 informing me that a fan letter I had written was going to be published in the December 1969 issue.

I had no idea that she had kept that letter all these years. When she moved to Texas, she had thrown away a lot of stuff, but for some reason she had hung onto that letter. I had forgotten about the letter, though I still remembered the 5.00 check I got from the Chase Manhattan Bank, my first "royalties" as a writer. Of all the things she could have held onto of mine, she had held onto something that was simply priceless, not to mention that it had been safely ensconced in that trunk all those years. I felt like an archaeologist stumbling across an ancient artifact like the Rosetta Stone.

Ten years later, in 2008, a very dear friend of mine, Bob Patelli, surprised me with the issue of Archie Comics in which my fan letter appeared. It was one of the nicest and most endearing gestures of friendship because I had received it not long after my mother had passed away.

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