Thursday, February 19, 2015

TOP STORY >> Letter from '78 finally arrives

Leader staff writer

A letter mailed to Cabot in 1978 from Greenville, Texas, nearly 37 years ago, was delivered last week by the post office.

When Bettee Pacheco of 17 Morgan St. went to her mailbox on Thursday with her
11-year-old granddaughter, Kyla Welsh, they found a letter addressed to Eva Bratcher of 14 Morgan St. The envelope did not have a return address.

Postal markings show that the letter was first canceled on March 18, 1978, and then again last week on Feb. 11 in Little Rock.

A note said it was from Mandy, and the letter was marked “Do not destroy.”

Neighbors believe that Bratcher passed away in the 1990s. Her home was across the street from Pacheco’s. The house is no longer there, and the property is owned by the school district.

Pacheco said the envelope was torn when it was delivered.

Inside was a two-page letter written on lined handwriting paper.

The letter was from Mandy Bratcher, a first grader from Greenville, Texas. It was dated March 18, 1978.

“I’m surprised it went through another cancelation on a machine,” Pacheco said.

Having worked as a postal clerk in Little Rock for 26 years, she speculates that the letter might have been stuck in a sorting machine for years.

“It makes me wonder where it’s been all this time,” Pacheco said.  

Cabot postmaster John Gentry said, “This is very rare, having something this old.”

He was shown the letter on Friday and said the envelope was the oldest he’d seen come through the post office.

Here is the letter’s text as it was written:

“Hi Grandma an Sandy.

“I miss both of you. I wish i was going to be there Easter.

“So that Sandy could hide the egg’s for me.

“I love both of you.

“love Mandy Bratcher.”