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Northwest Territories

ANNE CROSSMAN: Columnist enjoying going through old letters



ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, NS – I come from a line of letter writers.

I certainly remember my mother sitting at her desk writing letters to people across the country, the United States, England and Germany.

That’s how she stayed in touch with me for years. I was always the one who was far away, so a letter had to be written – in reply to hers.

She kept in touch with the people she knew in Chester, England. We lived there during World War II. There was the nice lady who used to take me for a walk in the park next to our apartment. There was a dear friend who ran a cafe with her husband not too far from us and there was my godmother who lived in Chester. There was her dear friend who was a bit “wild” and wrote what was considered quite scandalous at the time. Her husband had gone to war and “she didn’t want him back”. I have some of these letters.

There was the nice lady who helped mom after my youngest brother was born. She lived just across the border to Germany from our home in Echternach, Luxembourg. It was fun listening to them talk – Mom had learned German at school but that was some time ago so she was studying all the time. They exchanged notes and Christmas cards every year.

When you move, all sorts of odds and ends from drawers, cupboards and boxes come to light.

I just reread my grandmother’s wedding book. Written in 1914, it has all sorts of details about the when, the who, and the what in it. There is an itinerary of my grandparents honeymoon to South Carolina by train. And at the end of the book she listed all her grandchildren and when they were born. Included in this wonderful sheaf of papers is a description of her journey to join us in Echternach in 1954. It was wonderful to read what she saw and learned while she was there.

My uncle owned a weekly newspaper in what was then Beamsville, Ontario. Over the years he has written books on various places and subjects. He also wrote a weekly column for many years. To my delight, I learned that Uncle Bill had lived in Yellowknife and worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company. His description of what it was like was great. When I ended up living in Yellowknife, I worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper and also got to write a few columns.

One of the better ideas I had at the time was to ask my mother to keep any letters I wrote her from up north. She did and I went through her. What fun it was! The ones she kept from 1978 to 1981. They covered a lot of ground – from Yellowknife, NT, to Prince Rupert, BC, to La Ronge, Sask. I know there were more, but she kept this one.

In a way, my weekly column is a letter. It’s a letter to people I don’t always know. And it is a letter that I hope you will enjoy reading.


After lots of chatting about our new Chevy Bolt EUV, it’s now sitting safely in our garage. We need a degree now in all the new technology. That includes our cell phones and emails and a screen in the car big enough to see the TV news.


Columnist Anne Crossman's new Chevy Bolt EUV recently arrived at her home in Annapolis Royal.  - contributed
Columnist Anne Crossman’s new Chevy Bolt EUV recently arrived at her home in Annapolis Royal. – contributed

Anne Crossman is a former journalist and media executive. She now volunteers at her community, Annapolis Royal.

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