Letter Home by ethelperry

Letter Home

During the 1950’s I was at University in Adelaide and wrote a letter home every week to my parents in Broken Hill. The letters would travel by “ordinary Mail “ on the train and this stamp covered that. I was too poor to afford airmail very often and when doing so would need an Airmail sticker as well as a more expensive stamp. My mother saved every letter, numbered the envelopes and stored them in order in a shoebox. I still have it.
Broken Hill was a thriving mining town in those days, set in a landscape of pinnacles and salt bush plains. It was 300 miles from Adelaide, across the SA border and the train journey had to negotiate two different rail gauges. I was an inveterate train traveler and had to wake with everyone in the early hours of the morning and “change trains” at Terowie in South Australia. I can still hear all the steam hissing and “soot in your eye” as we negotiated those hindrances.
The letter used here was thanking my Mum for sending me a bunch of Sturt Desert Peas for my birthday.
This is a lovely shot .. and I can see by your story has stired many memories... fav..
May 29th, 2015  
Fantastic shot. One thing necessary with a multiple exposure shot is a story. A big fave for the shot and the story.
May 29th, 2015  
Nice work! First thing that came to mind when I read Broken Hill was the tv series Flying Doctors :)
May 29th, 2015  
Fantastic photo and story Ethel :) It's terrific your mother kept all your letters so now you have a treasure of memories. Love how you have done this! So how did you? fav
May 29th, 2015  
I love the story Ethel and love how you have created this image. fav :)
May 29th, 2015  
It's all there in the picture, which is wonderful. (except the numbered envelopes which is really quite sweet)
May 29th, 2015  
Great story and I love the way you have processed this Ethel
May 29th, 2015  
I loved reading your story Ethel - magnificent! FAV
May 29th, 2015  
Fabulous shot and what a lovely story too.
A friend of ours was born at Broken Hill and worked in the mines there as a young lad. He went away to university and worked in mines all over the world becoming a mine manager. David is photographing and cataloguing his huge mineral collection at the moment. He has some fabulous specimens.
May 29th, 2015  
Oops forgot to say fav.
May 29th, 2015  
I love what you have done here, Ethel. It is so personal and thoughtful and well put together. The shot on its own is a story and your narrative is so interesting. How nice that your mother kept every letter and now you have them, such memories.
May 29th, 2015  
Wonderful composition Ethel
May 29th, 2015  
I love the layers that you have incorporated into this shot. @golftragic also does something similar. Wonderful.
May 30th, 2015  
@onewing I was Ethel Fairweather when this story was happening. I am delighted to hear of David's involvement in the mineral collection of your friend. Such work needs to be saved for posterity.
May 30th, 2015  
@marcoh Delighted to hear that the flying Dr. Service is known in your part of the world. It was/still is a very important service to "The outback" of many places in Australia.
May 30th, 2015  
@ethelperry Thanks Ethel, I will ask my friend if he knows of any Fairweather's in Broken Hill. His name is Denis McMahon and he must be about 82 years old now I think. I will ask David if I can post one of the photos of the minerals on my 365 when he has finished. Denis has such a fabulous collection, but unfortunately, none of his kids are interested in keeping them.
David is going to surprise Denis by putting the photos together in a photo book. I am sure he will be delighted.
May 30th, 2015  
@gilbertwood It would be hard to explain fully how I did this. I worked in Photoshop and challenged myself to combine three layers (each layer is a different photo), and ended up with four when I popped the Sturt Pea in there. Layers and masks - I have been gradually learning more about them and have a long way to go, but the journey is most gratifying. books and videos are a great source of learning for me.
May 30th, 2015  
@onewing I knew some of the McMahon family and also remember them at Broken Hill High School scattered here and there in classes as were the Fairweather family. Small world.
May 30th, 2015  
Lovely consept and great you found layers in photoshop its great fun...well done
May 30th, 2015  
@ethelperry Small world indeed. We were with Denis and his wife Ina at a friends house for lunch today. I meant to ask him if he knew you, but forgot. Will ask him next time I see him.
May 30th, 2015  
What a wonderful photo to go with such wonderful memories.
You are so lucky to still have all of those letters. FAV
May 30th, 2015  
Wow Ethel!!! I LOVE this!!! I love that it's so personal and a wonderful memory piece! You KNOW I'm totally excited that you did this and also know you loved making it! It's fabulous! Do you think you might print and frame it? I know there's someone in your family who would love it! If you have time to look at my posting for Mar 30, you might be surprised to read my caption as it echos much of what you shared...
May 31st, 2015  
Beautiful story Ethel. Beautiful image. Fav
May 31st, 2015  
This is a real gem Ethel, love it, love it and the narrative too. Fav.
June 22nd, 2015  
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