A reminder -- some portions of these letters have been blacked out, or names have been changed to protect Lady Darley's privacy.
From July 25, 1989:
Dear Chris,I had explained the fiasco to Lady Darley surrounding my previous job prospect at a Burger King.
Yes you are right. Your letter didn't reach me before I got back off holiday. But never mind, I did get it and that's all that matters. Before I tell you about my fantastic holiday, I shall try and answer your questions.
I'm glad you enjoyed Boys' State. It makes things a lot more bearable if you can enjoy them as well. Today my sister has gone to Denmark to visit an old friend of her called [Redacted Redacted Redacted]. I'm really jealous as I would love to be going on holiday again.
That place you were supposed to work in sounds really bad anyway. I'm sure if you'd have worked there they would have treated you like dirt. So you are probably better off not going yet. So don't worry about not getting that job. My job at the coffee mill is a little weird at the moment. [Cathy], my boss has got a full time job during the week -- 7 till 7 and she doesn't really want to home the cafe at the weekend. So really I'm losing out on a job. She's only opening during the week and I'm due to go in today at 12. The only problem is [Hester's] there. I've never met her and I'm supposed to be working with her for 3 hours. I really am a quiet person so I shall probably find it very difficult. But I hope everything will be all right. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Even though I will be there even before this letter is posted to you. Anyway it sounds very good to say it to you.I'd taken the ACT test and thought I'd done well in spite of not getting all the math questions answered. My score: 28. That's high, but not enough to qualify for Missouri's "Bright Flight" scholarship, that free ride that would save me a lot of money and sweat. I needed 29.
Bad luck on your ACT results, one point short is really too bad. I think I'd rather be ten points short than just one. I do know what you mean about thinking whether it was worth it or not. But if you think about it, in the long run it is worth it because it helps your future.Dearest Lady Darley... always the optimist.
It's the same here as in America. The weather has been very good here. My mum really likes the hot weather and so do I. But Dad doesn't. He is always complaining. But I think it's nice.Now back to one of her old flames, and his nasty habits.
[Alex] does smoke drugs I think. But at the moment, [Rose] and him have split up. I think they decided that they had grown apart. They were still friends, but they wanted more out of relationships that they both, as a couple, were prepared to give. So I think if anybody wants to get [Alex] off drugs, it will be somebody else. [Rose] won't be back for 3 weeks and I don't see him.She returns to the person who bossed me around at my Food Barn job.
This Kurt guy sounds very worried and shy about something that happened to him but very nice. You should try and get him off that road and onto the right one.She then returns to the subject of her unfinished novel and my request to read what's she's got.
I'll do my best about writing something down about my first chapter. But I think I shall have to rewrite some of it because I'm not satisfied. When I wrote it I thought it sounded really good, but when I read it, there was a lot of faults. When I do, I shall type it out and send it to you. I sent a story to a magazine in London. I'm not sure if they like it. But if they do, I'll send it to you to read. Maybe you'll get both soon. Yes, some of my novel is autobiographical. A lot of the people in my novel are my friends. I always imagine myself as the main character, and my close friends, imagining what they would say.Now it's time for a trip to the cinema, or not.
I was going to see Ghostbusters II in Paris, but I didn't have the time I haven't had a lot of time to go and see films, but I hope to see a lot of them over the summer.I don't remember. Or I just didn't save it, like all these other letters.
Before I left school I got my (grade) report. It was quite good, but I am the sort of person who is never satisfied. I always want to be better. I got two A's and six B's and a C. I got C for games and B for R.E. History, French, Typing, Maths and English. I like Sociology and I got A for it along with Chemistry.
I hope next year, now that I have applied for a full passport that I will be able to come to America. I will be pleased to be going but scared as well. What if [your friend who introduced me to you] wouldn't like me, what if I didn't like her? Or what if her friends don't like me? But even though I'm scared about it, I would still very much like to see the America I long to go to. I want to go to Florida and to Disney World to see all the skyscrapers and have lots of fun. I'll have to ask [your friend] nearer the time! Did you get your postcard?
About my holiday. About my holiday, well I had a very good time. It was absolutely brilliant. I went to Brussels, Kufstein in Austria, Florence, Rome and Sorrento. Then to Chamonix and on to Paris. We visited lots of shops and places even though I didn't buy many presents.I smile to myself, in a British accent, "Lucky bloody you." I thought I would never see the day my family finally got to go to Disney World, or anyplace else besides New England to visit my Royal Aunt. After several years of this in the 1980's, my parents finally realized their children needed some diversity of scenery. In 1986, we took a long road trip winding through Florida (Disney World) and up the east coast, passing through Colonial Williamsburg (my first time there) and Washington D.C. before trekking back to Missouri. That was tripping.
On my holiday, I became friends with lad from Southport near Liverpool. It was on the third day of my holiday before we started talking. But I liked him before. Even though I thought he was gay when he first got on my (tour) bus. [Lem] was really nice to me, he would buy me drinks and make me feel special. I would talk to him and he really seemed to understand me very well. I would answer his problems and him mine.
But when we were due to come home, [Jeff], the lad [Rose] was talking to passed her address and telephone number. But [Lem] wouldn't give it (that number) to me. He said I was too young. I couldn't understand what he meant. Everybody has friends of different ages, so what was so wrong with me. When we came back, I rang him up for photos. I expected him to be horrible, but he wasn't. He talked to me, and we laughed. [Jeff] and [Lem] are coming to see us on August 19th and 20th. But still [Lem] says I'm too young. Why, I still don't understand!
[Lem] told [Jeff] that he likes me a lot and may go out with me. But why doesn't he tell me? He tells me different stories. Which is the truth Chris? Can you tell me?
Dearest Lady Darley, if I had the answer to that question, I wouldn't be dateless... or clueless.
My simple answer: he's playing the game. But I doubt I told her that.