April 19th, 1965 – A Letter from Ethiopia






letter5Fifty one years ago today I wrote a letter to my bride from my post in Ethiopia (now Eritrea).  I was 22 and she was 19; we had been married for 16 months and separated for half of that time.  I was in the army and very far away.  There was no internet; no iPhone; no Snapchat.  There were only letters and periodic tape recordings.


I was going to be in Ethiopia for 18 months and was planning to take a month’s leave in June 1965.  And indeed I did.  I rode a cargo plane to Europe and crossed the Atlantic on a DC-3, hitch hiking rides with the Air Force.  It seemed to take forever, France to the Azores to Newfoundland to New Jersey,  but I made it.

All of our letters are still in my garage.

I could  not know when I wrote this letter that 39 years later, to the day,  she would pass into memory.  She is gone a dozen years today.  Her lipstick is still on the seal of her letters to me.  Sealed with a kiss.



About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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4 Responses to April 19th, 1965 – A Letter from Ethiopia

  1. jmsabbagh says:

    Heartfelt,compassion and love .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, that is so beautiful Toritto! It brought tears to my eyes. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jfwknifton says:

    Very poignant, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete says:

    Kind of you to share such intimacy with us, Frank. Your enduring love for your wife is an inspiration to us all.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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