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Old Match Trick Would Have Been Welcomed

Hill Country Living
By Coulter Fussell

It’s a Wagner Week and here’s a letter to Ed from Minnie. I don’t know what the Peace Institute is and the letter didn’t have an envelope, so I couldn’t determined from what post office it was mailed. So that remains a mystery to me. I do know that Minnie’s fortune-telling match trick is something I’m going to try out.
All we ever did when we were kids to figure out who we were going to marry was twist the stem off an apple. If we had only known that we could determine our futures while simultaneously playing with matches! I’m not sure how to address the banana-eating except for to say that eating a dozen bananas is eating entirely too many bananas.

Friday night
Peace Institute
March 12th, ‘87
Dear Ed,
I have been trying to decide for the last few minutes whether I should write to you, read my book, or go down in the Kindergarten and dance. At last, I have decided to write to you. Now don’t you feel complimented? I have such a splendid book too.
Well, I reckon I’ll have to forgive you that shameful treatment, as you say you will be a “good little boy” and not do so anymore. And I don’t want you to be “wretched.” But I don’t believe that anyway.
“Oh! That waltz!” They are playing such a lovely one downstairs. I can hardly sit still. We have some fine times here Friday nights but I hardly ever dance because I would rather read.
Ed, did you ever try your fortune with a match? Light one and hold it in your hand until it burns out. Name over all the letters of the alphabet and the one you’re on when the match goes out is the initial of the girl you’re going to marry. Try it and let me know how it comes out. Mine burnt out on __, guess what? I can’t vouch for the truth of it.
Just think 12 weeks from tonight I will be in Salisbury. Won’t you all be delighted to see me again. Now, you had better say yes whether you mean it or not, just to save my feelings.
By the way, Bessie came in to see me the other day and we had a long talk about that party. She asked me if I remembered how many bananas you and HK ate. Well, I should think a dozen, wasn’t it? She also wanted to know about that ring but she did not get very much from me. I can tell you I’m going to get me a Peace Badge soon, they are so pretty.
Well, who is your latest mash now? Is it still Sophie? Or Pauline or Alice? Or have you a new one? There was a girl here who went to school with Sophie in Greensboro.
Well, I must stop – Bye-Bye! Think sometimes of your absent friend – Minnie

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