Jim’s Letters – Short Stories of a Good Life

Have you ever summed up your life in six words? Try it sometime, you might be surprised. My story:

“Serendipity is my friend, yet again.”

Was it pure chance that led me to Cal’s Office Supply that day when I needed some paper for a project? Some might say it was the hand of God leading me to the right place, I prefer to think of Serendipity guiding me. I could have gone to the other office supply store in town, but I didn’t.

Jim could have been on the road that day. He wasn’t.

Jim at sea during WWII

Jim at sea during WWII

I just walked into the store to ask for some paper for a kids newspaper. By the end of that year I had a “substitute” father and mentor who helped me through the challenges of being a teenager, college student, and young professional. Beyond the little newspaper that only lasted a couple of issues, Jim and I enjoyed camping, old Cadillacs, the Red Skelton Show, and so many other activities. He loved writing, and when I asked him for fifty-two stories from his life he lit up, pulled out his portable Underwood-Olivetti typewriter and religiously sent dozens of stories.  His first stories describe life on a farm in northern North Dakota, continue to Massachusetts, diverting to the South Pacific for WWII, and returning to North Dakota for a successful career in Jamestown. We saved copies of the letters and had them bound, titling the collection

Short Stories of a Good Life

Below is the introductory letter I wrote and the invitation letter to him describing the story project. He was very proud of his autobiography, sharing copies with many friends.
Grandpa Guy Havelick


 

Invitation letter

Jim Letter002

Introduction to Jim’s letters

Jim Letter001

Grandpa Guy Havelick

 


Originally published 2014-09-22
Updated 2016-10-30