Personal comments on writing The Letters Part 1
When I started working on this project, I began with looking at all the pictures of our family past and present. I came to the realization that some of the most interesting things we had we’re in my grandmother Louisa’s Saratoga trunk. As a child it was the beginning of my knowledge of family history. But one of the most amazing things I found that I had completely forgotten, were the 21 letters that my grandfather had written to my father from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s. I had always remembered these letters as being love letters from my father to my mother. While there are a few of those, there are far more of Joseph’s letters to his son Joe Jr. His last communication was written less than three months before he died. It has taken many months for me to decide the best way to present the actual content of the letters. I left the spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors exactly as my grandfather had written. Over time there will be two more installments to complete the timeline of a fathers sharing of the family’s events with his absent son. As Joseph grows older, he begins to share more and more of his personal philosophy with his son. In reading each letter, I began to come a better understanding of my own father and his becoming the living embodiment this roadmap of moral values and views that in turn he instilled in me. Unbeknownst to my children and at times to myself, I was passing on this same moral code that had been instilled into my father. While we recognize that the influence of parents on their children lasts throughout their lives, in reading these letters it was a true moment of bringing in focus that much of the advice my grandfather gave my father was almost the same advice and set of life values my children had received from their concerned mother more than 70 years later. It is my hope that as I share the family stories that we can come to a better understanding of how each member brings a richness to the family tapestry of life.