The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

September 21, 2013

Jim Bailey: Era of pen pals gives way to social media

It was very recently that inexplicably the name of Arne Sandli popped into my head. I hadn’t thought about that name since my grade school days in Minnesota when we were briefly – very briefly – pen pals.

Our teacher set us up with pen pals that year. I think we were fifth-graders, and European students who were learning English and liked to practice it by writing letters were a little older than we. I was given the name of Arne Sandli, who lived in Norway, and his address. I sent a letter asking a few questions about his country and getting into my affinity for radio programs in the era before TV became popular.

Eventually he replied. I don’t recall everything he wrote, but he simply answered my main query by saying, “I have a radio.” It was later in the summer before I wrote again. This time I didn’t get a reply. End of pen pals.

Back in those days pen pals were one method of reaching out to someone from another location or even another culture. In fact letter-writing in general was much more common than it is today.

One friend, whose father was our pastor in my early elementary years, moved away and we corresponded for a while. That too fizzled out eventually; out of sight out of mind, you know. I did run into him a few times later, twice in Michigan and once here in church camp-meeting-type settings. And I’ve encountered his older sister a couple of times in adulthood. But he and I have lost touch also.

The phenomenon of social media, however, has rejuvenated this type of contact. Going on Facebook, Twitter and so on, people are finding and friending others they’ve known in past lives.

Text Only
Community
  • FEA - HB0822 - PHHS band - DH - 001 PHHS marching band, Directors Jazz Orchestra to perform The Pendleton Heights High School Marching Arabians Band and Directors Jazz Orchestra are putting on a show for the community at 6 p.m. Sunday at Falls Park.

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • United Way wants community to pull together United Way of Madison County decided to encourage the community to pull together – literally.

    August 21, 2014

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 22

    A compilation of community news items as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0821 - camera exhibit - DK - 016 Historical Society opens camera, photography exhibit Photos freeze moments in time to look back on, and now the public can catch a glimpse at how photographic technology has evolved.

    August 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • Jim Bailey: School days, school days, good old August dog days Those of us who didn’t start school until after Labor Day are still trying to digest all the changes in the school calendar as educators tell us kids are more likely to retain what they learn if they aren’t off too long in the summer.

    August 20, 2014

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0819 - Mommy Monday - JC 3 Mommy and me time

    Babette Bargo of Anderson said she brought her daughter to Community Hospital’s first Mommy Monday to meet other mothers and children after her sister-in-law told her about the event.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 19 A compilation of community news items as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 18, 2014

  • FEA - HB0818 - Park Place Arts - 007 Drawing parallels A collection of Stephanie Cochran's work is on display at Park Place Arts’ newest exhibit, “From the Smallest Among Us…” The show opened Aug. 1 and runs until Sept. 13.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 18 A compilation of community news items as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 17, 2014

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin