Pen Pals

    When I was a kid I had pen pals.
    I didn’t have a typical childhood with video games and tons of toys and watching lots of T.V.
    I spent my free time reading books and playing outside in the mud with my brothers. I loved to write and draw and writing letters to my pen pals, including hand drawn pictures of horses of course, was way more fun than watching cartoons to me.
    I wonder today if kids even have pen pals any more. Do kids even write letters anymore?
   I remember I was always so excited to drive to town with my Mom and Dad to get the mail and see if I had a letter from one of my many pen pals I had when I was between nine and fifteen. If I had a letter in the mail it was just so exciting to catch up with the friends I made who lived anywhere from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin even in Europe.
   I used to read a lot of horse magazines when I was younger and I found pen pals in the classified section of the horse racing magazines.
   I can’t imagine some one letting their children do this now, it would be so convenient for perverts and child molesters! It seems the world is just so different now than when I was a kid, its so sad in a way.
   I had a great time communicating with other horse loving children my age who lived across this nation. My pen pal Lori in Pennsylvania, I kept in contact with the most even found me on Face Book last year, after at least fifteen years of not being in contact!
   When I was about twelve and really started to get into horse racing, I started writing letters to different horse trainers at different race tracks, asking for autographed pictures of my favorite horses.
   I had written a letter to one trainer, Mike Mitchell, a popular Southern California trainer and he put me in contact with his daughter, Shea, who was my age and we were pen pals for a year or so.
   Last year I was at Santa Anita for the food truck festival with friends and they had Shea Mitchell singing the National Anthem! How cool is that? I was so excited, I told my friends that I was with, hey that girl used top be my pen pal when I was a kid!
   I kind of just got a look, like, pen pals? What are those? I guess having pen pals is kind of a small town thing that city kids didn’t really get when they were young.