Thursday, April 5, 2012

Buried Treasures

I am, by nature, a hoarder of things that hold significant memories for me. Often they are small things that sit hidden away in a shoe box or similar, lying there for no other purpose than for me to discover them when I am looking for something else or, as happened most recently, when I am having a clean out. Each time I have a said clean out, the buried treasures are whittled down, yet there are some things that I simply cannot part with. Every time I see them they evoke such strong memories, and I like to revisit them.
One such treasure is a letter from Roald Dahl, the famous children's author who died in 1990. His book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was the first novel I ever read aloud to a class - my first class - Room 16/Standard 4, Otumoetai Primary, 1986. So began a love affair with his books for this class, which we all wrote to him about.
I remember feeling so special when we received a letter back from him! He had called me "Gorgeous Lynn", which certainly made the kids laugh. The mis-spelling of the school's name as "Otumaebi" has stuck in my vernacular, and from time to time I still refer to my first school as "Otumaebi".
But the poem itself gave me the biggest thrill, and while it is great to see it in print again, it's a poem I can recite at any time.

The letter is dated 3rd November 1986, and goes like this...

Hello gorgeous Lynn and all the clever children at Otumaebi Primary School. Thank you so much for sending me your lovely letters.

Dear children, far across the sea,
How good of you to write to me.
I love to read the things you say
When you are miles and miles away. 
Young people, and I think I'm right,
Are nicer when they're out of sight.

Well, didn't we all think we were just so special to receive a personalized poem from our favourite, famous author. It wasn't until some time later that another teacher friend told me her class had also written to Mr Dahl - and received the same poem back! My bubble was well and truly burst. Not sure if she was called gorgeous though...

1 comment:

  1. I am kinda reliever really to discover I am not the only 'closet' hoarder - I too do the same things!
    How cool to have received a letter from THE Roald Dahl (even if the poem was generic). Last year his books worked a treat with my class, we got through 4 of them in the second half of the year :)