AgingOrdinary Lifewriting

My Old Self is my Young Self

I’ve been working on a sequel to The Exact Place, and have been reading old letters from the past, dare I say, 50 years? An incident I had completely forgotten about came to the light. A letter I had written to a “Miss Ganon” who managed Bailey Hall on the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus.

University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus

It was December of 1965. I had just turned 18 and had completed my first quarter as a college student. Before I left on quarter break, I spent the night with a friend in her dorm and before we went to supper that evening, I hid my next quarter’s tuition under the seat cushion of the chair in her room. I didn’t want to carry $125 with me for fear I might lose it.

Forgetting all about it, the next day we drove the 8 hours home to northern Minnesota. I had worked hard to save that money and at the time it was a lot to lose. I was sick with worry.

Even back then, I was asking myself the unanswered question of a life time: How could I be so stupid? (Still no definitive answers to that. And further more, an argument that my current forgetfulness is not due to age, but to what? Genetics? Diet?)

A week or so later, I received an envelope from Miss Ganon with the letter I had written and all my cash. A most welcome Christmas gift, at the time. Today, I’m not certain whether to be dismayed or encouraged.