Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Mystery of Simon Gamble

Recently, I re-discovered a stack of letters I received from a British friend, Simon Gamble.  I never actually met Simon; we became "pen-pals," writing to each other for about five years, beginning when I was nineteen.  In 1980, the internet was unknown, and so the world was still a lot bigger.  My sister related her experience with having international friends, and I thought it sounded interesting.  I saw an article in the Cal State Northridge college newspaper about an organization that matched up people with similar interests, and before long, I began writing to Simon.

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.


Anonymous said...

I've wondered about this myself. I'm sure you've run a web search for him -- haven't you?


Simon said...

hi my name is simon gamble but some of what you say doesn't relate, just wanted to say search on, tat comes up with many links to different things