Archive for the ‘Don Reents’ Category

Strangeness in the 1970s: Actual, Physical, Letters

October 2, 2007

In the old days, people wrote letters (not e-mail)!

Here is an example of a chessic correspondence. Click several times to enlarge.


A couple of things to note.

First of all, note the zeitgeist use of the word (Miss) in parentheses. Secondly, I have no idea what happened to this Evans book I supposedly won, nor do I remember ever seeing it. Thirdly, I have no idea what happened to RHM Press. And why did they have an office in Puerto Rico? At some point Burt Hochberg (the chief editor) got mad at me in the early 1980s, but more on that later.

Letters were not confined to contests. I would also routinely get mail regarding receipt of an entrance fee (particularly amusing were missives from “Peter Morris, Stoneyfields Lane, Edgware, Middlesex” for Lloyds Bank entries) and also post-event congratulation letters, even for menial prizes. For example, I got an 8th place congratulations (!) from Franklin and Marshall College after the 1974 US Junior Open. They might have not written the letter if they had realized chess players had trashed their reading room with an indoor frisbee contest. For more information on that brutal frisbee flinging spree, please contact Don Reents or James Keith Melbourne.

Here is that letter.  I’m telling you, physical (actual) letters should be brought back – makes chess very classy. 🙂


See?  Heartwarming. I offer F&M College belated apologies for the absurd indoor frisbee fight that took place in their sedate, intellectual, reading room.