August 21, 2018

The postcards found their ways to Robert even though the street number was wrong. Even more surprisingly the cards were coming despite the wrong zip code.  They were coming from all over America. From the north, south, and west. Robert could see images of the Great Wheel in Seattle, the Parthenon in Nashville, and the Gateway Arch in Saint Louis. He could imagine steps down the Mammoth Cave, a place he has never seen. He recognized the view from Acadia National Park, but not Lexington Arch in Nevada, although he drove through that state. The bison from North Dakota and Tinker Bell from Florida joined Jesse in sending greetings. Just this month three postcards arrived from Washington DC.  There was a picture of the steam locomotive “Charlotte” taken at the National Museum of American History, there were cherry blossoms beautifully framing Arlington Cemetery, and there were pictures from the Holocaust Museum’s The Wall of Remembrance.

There are so many cards from Jesse that Robert found it appropriate to build a wooden postcard holder. He built it with very little help from dad, just in time for the last three cards. Still, from time to time he takes the cards away, spreads them on his bed and then he tries to organize them, never sure how to do it right.

I have never seen Jesse.  I heard about her — not from Robert who cannot tell me much about her, but from Pam.  On Monday nights,  Pam used to accompany Robert to Applebee’s restaurant.  There they met Jesse, the waitress and the artist with green hair.  If the restaurant was not too busy, they chatted.  Jesse and her friend Cara Leigh were planning a flight to Alaska and trip back to Boston in a rented car.  She asked Pam if it would be fine with Robert’s parents to send him cards from different parks they were planning to visit.  Of course, the parents agreed, doubtful if any card will ever arrive.  After all, beautiful, young women would be preoccupied with thousands of things on their long trip.

But the cards kept coming. They were coming, as I said, despite the wrong house number and the wrong zip code.  At first, Robert didn’t know what to do with them. he was turning them back and forth.  He had to be encouraged to read them.  But with every new postcard, he became more and more interested in both the writing and the pictures. He even began to check regular mail for his name.

It really helped that he constructed the card holder, since it gave him a chance to take cards out and then put them back.

Whenever he does that. I do think of Jesse, a young artist with abundant heart and green hair.