Pushing The Envelope: Letters From The Basement

When the temperature hits the 90s in Portland the most comfortable spot in my house is the basement. Last week was a scorcher, so I decided that  the moment had come for a major cleanup and reorganization down cellar. This involved sweeping away years of cobwebs, throwing away burned-out fireplace grates and towel racks ripped out during bathroom renovation, and finally unpacking the last boxes remaining from when Eve and I moved here in 1995. Inside one of them was a handful of old letters with decorated envelopes I sent to Eve over the years, which I’m adding to the batch my friend Geoff Seaman gave me after he moved last year. The top envelope is a portrait of the lovely Eve done before we were married; the four faces on the long narrow one belong to the vocal group The Bobs. I’ve also included a couple of envelopes sent to my grandmother, which my mother recently found in a box in dead storage.

I’ve sent hundreds of letters over the years, and I’m hoping to  eventually get enough together for a collection like Folon’s Lettres à Giorgio. Former pen pals within reach of this blog are hereby invited to help in this effort by scouring their attics and sending me scans.