Lost Letter to a Friend in Holland Found After 50 Years!
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|Envelope||Front Page of Letter||Back Page of Letter||Previous Address||Chuck & Life Magazine!||Frans & Uncle Anthony||Frans & Chuck!|
|Note: I received a letter and a photo from Frans in December of 2005 detailing the bombardment of his neighborhood and the destruction of his home when he was seven years old. You can also see where he lived after moving back to his neighborhood and where he played in the ruins of the houses.|
When I appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1946, people from all over the world wrote to me and also sent me gifts. An Army Private sent me a coconut from Hawaii. That was a big deal! I also received wooden shoes from a family in Holland and gifts from England and other countries. One family that wrote to me was the Everlo family and their son Frans, living near the Hague. I also received a gift from Frans' uncle Anthony, who was an army-officer in the cavalry. He sent me a leather book cover when he was stationed in the Netherlands Indies during the war which resulted in them becoming part of Indonesia. We corresponded with the Everlo family in Holland for almost seven years. Then I lost contact with them. Read on for an interesting story about the letter that my sister found in the autumn of 2003 after going through boxes of letters she had kept, after more than 50 years!
1953 - Old Address: Frans Slot tot Everlo - Emmastraat 29 - 's-Gravenhage - Den Haag - Holland - 2595 EG
I wrote this letter to my friend Frans in Holland in 1953. He and his family had been corresponding with my family since I was on the cover of Life Magazine in 1946! My sister had been married in the autumn of 1952 and when I wrote this in May of 1953, my mother was suffering terribly from cancer and she passed away that autumn. It was a horrible time for me and for several years I was very depressed as all my hopes and desires I had made with my mother would never happen.
So this letter failed to get mailed and I lost contact with the Everlo family. Now, after over 50 years, I tried to locate Frans and his family and was successful in my endeavors!
Reading the letter is interesting as I just saw a TV show on the big flood in Holland that happened in 1953 and in the letter, I asked about it! I also made comments about how expensive it was to have photos printed, in New York City no less, for my sister's wedding. Now we have instant gratification, digital photos! I did a search on the web and did come up with a location of the address on a map. The address is about 30 miles, 50 kilometers, from Amsterdam!
May 18, 1953: This is the date the letter was written to Frans and never mailed.
March 20, 2004: On March 15th I wrote a letter and included the information about the 50 year old letter. I sent it to the address on the original envelope along with my email address. Today I opened my Yahoo mail and the Spam folder contained almost 80 messages. I selected them and deleted them. As they were being deleted I notice one subject that pertained to Frans Slot tot Everlo, I had written that letter to either Frans or the Current Family in Residence. As the files were deleted and I could not retrieve the one on Frans, I did backup the browser and I found the name of the person who sent the message, what ever that might be! Her name is Valerie de Ridder but the email address associated with her name did not work! So I did find her phone number on the internet and the address is the same as the one on the envelope from 50 years ago! I asked the operator how to call the Netherlands and she informed me it was 3:45 AM in Holland so not a good time to call!
March 21, 2004: This morning at nine AM I called Valerie in Holland and left a message about my deleting her message and would she please resend it or call me at my home address. Will be interesting if she does resend the message.
March 22, 2004: I received an email from Valerie as she had gotten my phone message in Holland. She indicated that the Everlo family did not reside there any more but..... she was kind enough to do a search on the Netherlands web pages and found several people that may be in the Everlo family. She also indicated that perhaps the name isn't Slot, but rather Sloet. She said it was a name associated with royalty!
March 22, 2004: I wrote a letter to one of the people Valerie had found on the internet in Holland. I asked if she was related to the family and will wait to see if I get a response!
March 23, 2004: I opened my mail and there was a letter from Pauline Everlo who responded by saying, "Yes, Frans is my father!" What a shock! Then I got a message from Frans, see the e-mails from Pauline and Frans! He said his daughter emailed him and then called him to tell him about me. He has all ready downloaded my itinerary and would like to meet me, if possible, when I am in Holland. Isn't the internet fabulous! Frans is 65, retired, and living close to where the family lived when I wrote to them. So it will be interesting if I get to meet him for the first time, after knowing him for almost 60 years!
2004 - New Address: Frans Slot tot Everlo - Arnoldsonstraat 2 - 2286 AH Rijswijk - Netherlands
Rijswijk has approximately 50.000
inhabitants. It has rich history, but rich presence, too. The most
significant historical event the 302nd anniversary of which was celebrated
in Rijswijk in 1999, was the signing of the peace agreement called
"the Rijswijk Peace" in 1697. It is a seat of many rich
companies as KLM, Alcatel or Shell.
March 24, 2004: Frans wrote a long letter and said he was responding to my letter from 1953! He said they do have electric lights in their home! But he said the house was built around 1901 so has the pipes in the ceilings for gas lights! He said they live close to Delft and since I will be visiting there, his family would like to meet me and perhaps take me around. I do have a free day so it would be nice to do that!
April 15, 2004: Frans and his wife picked me up at the ship in Rotterdam and took me all over Delft and finally to their home to see their house and look through old picture albums to view pictures we had sent to Frans in the early 1950s!
This picture was taken in 1952. Frans, his mother, father and uncle, took the kitchen table out of the house and put it in the back yard.
There they took the books we had sent them and were reading them. Frans had a shirt on that I had sent him. They posed for this photo specifically for my family to see how much they enjoyed the package we had sent them!
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