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


 

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