A box of old love letters – The Teenage Romance of Michigan

May 7, 2023

The following book should be out in a few months. And that is The Teenage Romance of Michigan.

This is probably the most wonderful historically true love story that I have ever read. Not because of my literary skills. But because of the content. It all began for me two years ago. A lady living in the US contacted me via the internet. And began her message saying she had read my book “ How Grim Was My Valley “ and thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded her of her own childhood in the heart of Michigan U.S. It seems that Weedon Bec Northamptonshire UK has a twin then?

She went on to say “ Would you write my late Mom and Dads story “? But how could I ? I didn’t know them. I gave her my address and thought no more about it. Two weeks later there was a bang on my front door. A very large, well protected box was waiting for my signature. A present I thought. I opened that box and it changed my life. Inside was over a thousand love letters dating from 1948-1954. I removed a letter from the envelope and soon realised it was in the wrong place. The letter and envelope didn’t match. But that didn’t matter, because I couldn’t read the faded writing. The letters had been stored under the stairs for seventy years. And never looked at by anyone.

My first thought was to return them to the trusting lady in the US. But something told me to wait. A short while later I heard a rustle. My rescue dog Saffy was looking in the box while wagging her tail. I removed her smiling face from the box and again picked up an envelope. This time I managed to read it. Six pages long. It had such heartache and love and passion and need and want rising from the pages. I needed to read more. But it was a box of chaos. Letters didn’t match envelopes. Dates could be faded. But that day something happened. I needed to tell the story from the teenagers, from Flint Michigan, seventy year’s previously.

During the past two years I have sat down with Saffy, a coffee, numerous pads, dozens of pens and a magnifying glass. And I have transcribed every single word, every single, paragraph and every single letter. I have then matched every envelope with the letter. And I have started to write their story. I have wept and laughed whilst walking their path. The story will be spread over five books, and will hopefully remind you what is important in life. All set in a backdrop of hardship, turmoil and war. Believe me when I tell you this. It is a love like no other.

The second in the five book series is “Don’t Separate Us”. This should be out a few months after the Teenage Romance of Michigan. It is being typed as we speak. The youngsters are falling deeper in love. All they want is each other. Every waking thought is of each other. Her parents won’t let her marry until she is 18. But war in Korea is going on in the background of their busy lives. And avoiding conscription is not an option for the lovestruck Bill. It seems that everyone wants them apart. But can love conquer all?

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Email:  chris@chrisgriffithsauthor.com

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Chris Griffiths Author

Chris Griffiths Author

A British Author

Do you know why I prefer dogs to some humans? Because they are consistent. Today myself and Saff were reminded about sympathy and empathy. On our morning walk we bumped into our friend the post lady. We call her Mary, but it isn’t actually her name. I started calling her that ten years ago and it made her smile. So we left it right there. She has been struggling recently because her Mum is very poorly and has dementia. Mary is a wonderful daughter who goes to the hospital straight after work. I stopped and had a chat with her today for about twenty minutes, and I watched as a tear rolled down her cheek. My heart broke for her as Saffy nudged her for a stroke. Saff could also see she was upset. Our moment of sadness was interrupted by a very abrupt man who said she had put the wrong mail through his letterbox, it belonged to next door. She apologised and he tutted. Her head was bowed as she carried on with delivering. I walked in the same direction as the angry man and quietly said that Mary’s Mum was poorly and she was having a tough time. He just shrugged his shoulders as if to say not my problem. My exact words to him were as follows. “My mate Micky was right”. He curiously responded “What”. My answer was “ He always says you cannot educate pork”. There was complete silence as I looked directly through him. What makes people heartless? What teaches us empathy? It reminded me of when I was eight years old. There was a tiny boy in our class and we nicknamed him Budgie. One day the horrible headmaster Mr Newman stormed into our classroom bellowing “ Who has walked dog muck into the school”? Us small children were petrified as we all checked our footwear. He was a believer in the slipper, hand and cane. A horrible man by anybody’s standard. A heartless, soulless bully who terrified us kids. Poor Budgie had dog muck on his tiny monkey boots. Mr Newman dragged him out of the class, punished him, and made him wash his boots under the tap. It wasn’t his fault that all the village people let their dogs go to the toilet outside the school, people didn’t pick up then. I remember tears flowing down my face because Budgie was crying. His Mum had died a couple of years before, and his Dad was left to raise him. Even at that very early age I realised that even the educated adults can be bad. And people who have a limited education can be very good. ... See MoreSee Less
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Myself and Saff were looking out into the garden. I have been working on the new book, deep in concentration. She is snoring away now but I still chat to her as she sleeps. Since I have been doing that she hasn’t had one of her epileptic seizures. Talking constantly in a gentle tone keeps her calm. Over two years without a fit. But if she does I just lay on the ground beside her, and hold her shaking body into mine. Keeping her calm keeps me calm. It is strange how life works if you sit and think about it. As humans we can send people to the moon. We can build great big metal ships that can float. We can make bombs that will decimate the planet. But we cannot invent cures for certain illnesses. And we cannot control the emotional pain we feel when we lose someone out of our lives. I saw something that amused me earlier. My first reaction was to share it with someone. Momentarily I forgot they were no longer around. For a minute I felt that heartache again. Then I had to put it back in that pain box. It is wonderful to have the nice memories. But the reality is everything has an end. ... See MoreSee Less
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It is days like today that my heart is full. I am not the wealthiest man in the world but I feel rich. I am not the fittest man in the world but the air that I breathe is clean. I do not want much but I have plenty. The sun was shining down as we dug and planted. Saff was no more than a few feet from my side. I felt her presence beside me and I received every ounce of her love. She leaned in and pressed into my neck. That moment made me well up. Tomorrow will not be that great. Next week will no doubt have challenges. But today is perfect. Please have a wonderful Sunday. ... See MoreSee Less
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Myself and Saff are blessed to know some really lovely people. I was invited to a wonderful ladies 40th birthday party today. But I decided that this afternoon and evening I was having a dog only day. I had seen enough people and my quota was full. Hence I didn’t turn up to her celebration. But the kind hearted beauty sent myself and Saffo a doggy bag each, filled with cake, candy, fruit and all kind of delicious items. ... See MoreSee Less
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That look on Saffy’s face is disbelief. She watched as her very cheeky daddy got out cheeked by an octogenarian. We went to the garden centre to pick up essentials for the summer garden look. I threw on my blue shorts, very casual sweat top and trainers, and had a devilish vibe going on. As we wandered amongst the blooms and compost two old girls started fussing Saffy. One of the ladies said “Aren’t you beautiful “? I cheekily replied “ Why thank you honey kitten”. She raised her head and said “Did you dress yourself today”? Nearly speechless I said “Actually I look like Russell Crowe “. Her answer before they guffawed very loudly was “More like a scarecrow”. When did old uns become so ruthless lol? This is middle England for you. But I did join in with the laughter. ... See MoreSee Less
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