THIRD CLASS -- do not bend

I was shopping in Jake's parent's attic for things to put above the cabinets in our kitchen. Jake's mom was up there with me and we were looking in a box of things that they'd found in cleaning out an old office building. It contained many things from the "Hodges." One thing was a year book from the 20's, though in thinking back, it seems much older. The piece I found to be most interesting was a letter from the White House. It's in an old manila envelope...It's states: The United States of America honors the memory of HOWELL HODGES. This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country. It is signed by Lyndon B. Johnson. I've never seen such a letter. It's still in perfect condition, not even a slightly bent corner. It's on thick paper that wasn't bent. I wonder if people hang them up. Anyway, it was sent to a Mrs. Earnestine Hodges, whose name is really Ernestine. She died in 1984, but lived about a mile away from us when she received the letter back in 1965. I believe Howell is her son, though I haven't found any record of him. I think it's interesting, lives that have been lived and all that played out between the beginning and the end...

I don't know how the postal system works all the way, or if it's any different between then and now (other than the stamps were only $.04), but if I was receiving a letter telling me of the honor bestowed on my loved one for their sacrifice and service, I would like to see first class on the envelope, besides my name being spelled correctly. Though if I were opening it, that would probably be the least of my concerns.


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