When we began writing, Simon was living in Northampton. One of his earliest letters discussed the Moscow Olympics (which the US was boycotting), the difference between his cold English weather and my warm California weather, and our mutual interest in Charles Dickens. Over time, he would relate the ups and downs in his life, and his progress from living in a remote English city with few friends of his own age, to a full social life in London.
Over the following several years, each of us would write nearly 20 letters. I'll be recalling some of these letters over my next few blog entries, seeking out clues to a mystery: After five years of correspondence, Simon abruptly stopped writing to me. In his last letter, he expressed interest in my upcoming first visit to London, and our opportunity to meet for the first time. We would never meet, however. In fact, I would never hear from him again.