Opinion Maker for The Herald-Palladium

‘As I write this letter…” Those are the opening words to an early Beatles hit, “PS, I Love You.” The ’60s had lots of songs about letters. “Please, Mr. Postman” (The Marvelettes), “Return to Sender” (Elvis) and “The Letter” (The Boxtops), are just a few that come to mind. Writing letters was a much more common practice in the ’60s. We even had lessons on it in school. Anyone recall writing “friendly” and “business” letters in English or typing class?

During these pandemic months, I’ve taken to more letter-writing as a hobby, an outlet and an attempt to brighten the days of my own family and friends. In fact, today, I’m sending a letter to an old friend. I’m sending him a recent Beetle Bailey comic strip that I clipped from this paper. In the strip, Beetle contemplates rescuing Sarge from a cliff. My friend had a similar real life (he’d call it “near death”) experience many years ago, when another mutual friend saved him from falling off a steep Lake Michigan bluff. The falling friend grabbed onto a bush, and the savior pulled him back onto the bluff.

John Jarpe is a retired educator and lives in Bertrand Township, near Niles. He taught and coached in Detroit, at Lake Michigan Catholic, and at Brandywine. He was a principal and special education director in St. Joseph and retired as superintendent of Brandywine in 2017. Email: jarpejohn@gmail.com