Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Recommendation

I’d like to recommend a book to you, especially if you are a baby boomer. Read the description below from and then I’ll tell you about my role in the book.

Drawn from an extraordinary collection of over four hundred perfectly preserved personal letters, “Sealed with a Kiss” is a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a glimpse of an America poised on the brink of change. Anyone who remembers having a pen pal, scribbling envelopes with codes like S.W.A.K, or even just falling in love will recognize themselves in its story--and savor its vision of not just a unique moment in time, but also a timeless love.

In 1957, Bob Zielsdorf is thirteen and living an ordinary middle-class suburban existence in York, Pennsylvania. On a trip to Massachusetts to visit a friend, he meets fourteen-year-old Fran Jordan. Though they spend less than an hour together (admittedly, an hour that includes some kissing, thanks to a local variation on Spin the Bottle), they agree to write. Remarkably, they do, beginning a correspondence that will last for eight years, encompass hundreds of letters, and end with an enduring marriage.

As Bob and Fran move from middle school into high school and college, they never live in the same town or even the same state. Long distance calls are still too expensive to be a relationship staple. Instead, the teenagers' bond, which begins as friendship and only later deepens into love, is forged through writing. Describing high school and college, family and friends, home and travel, frustrations and dreams, practical jokes and serious car accidents, companionship and “chemistry,” the letters paint a vivid and unselfconscious picture of two lives in transition from childhood innocence to adult choice.

The “friend” Bob was visiting in Massachusetts was me, and I appear in several places in the first third of the book. If you grew up in the 1950s and 1960s you’ll appreciate the descriptions of life back in the day. The book is an easy read, and it’ll take you down memory lane, especially if you were a teen-ager during that time.

“Sealed with a Kiss” by Bob Zielsdorf, ISBN-10: 0991317408, Publisher is Two Shores Books, Vero Beach, Florida. Available through Amazon. Paperback

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