My Misspent Youth
One of the first things I remember writing was letters to movie stars I idolized at ages 11-14. I’d read or been told that if I threw myself into writing something memorable, I’d get a letter back. Or, at the very least, receive an autographed picture not signed by an assistant or a publicity person. I don’t know where this fallacious information came from, but the letter writing turned into a hobby that my best friend, Karen, and I shared. Twelve is an odd age for non-athletic girls—too old for dolls, too young for boys. This hobby, in some way, bridged those two interests.
It took an effort to find studio addresses in the sixties although the plethora of movie magazines we spent our meager allowance on provided some help. Once or twice a week, we sat down with our research material and penned alarmingly mature letters to our favorite stars. We chose different ones to pursue, seeing something sordid in writing to the same man. We also painted ourselves as considerably older than the twelve or so years we were. Our collections of TRUE CONFESSION and such literature helped us to adopt a more mature tone. I’m afraid in some of the correspondence we intimated our readiness to accompany potential partners to a nightclub or dinner theater.
I never got a letter back. Probably the audacity of the letters was frightening if indeed they ever got read. But Karen and I netted a nice collection of signed photographs, which you can see above my bed. My favorites were Troy Donahue, Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, George Maharis and Tony Perkins. You can see that my taste in men made any correspondence or a relationship most unlikely.
Patti Abbott’s stories have appeared in more than 100 print and online venues. Two ebooks (MONKEY JUSTICE and HOME INVASION) are available. Her new novel, CONCRETE ANGEL debuts in print and ebook in the U.S. and UK in 2015 through Exhibit A Books (Angry Robot).