(Click on the letter to enlarge it.)
Sandra had mailed the envelope the day before "A Springtime Adventure" was posted here, so the back-to-back timing of that post and my receipt of the above letter in her packet was purely coincidental. We've emailed since then, and both of us now suspect that the "One Spring Day" piece referenced in the letter might be "A Springtime Adventure" under a new title. The letter mentions 534 words in "One Spring Day." I counted 520 words in "A Springtime Adventure," but if Audrey changed the title, she might also have tweaked the story to add another 14 words. On the other hand, if it's an entirely different story, we'd all like to read it, right?
The Missouri Farmer has since changed it's name to Today's Farmer. I'm sure they have better things to do than search their archives for stories submitted 54 years ago, but maybe there's someone there who likes solving puzzles as much as I do. It never hurts to ask, so today I did. Today's Farmer has a Facebook page, and I sent them this message:
"It's my understanding that Today's Farmer magazine was once called The Missouri Farmer. I've just received a copy of a letter sent to my late grandmother in 1959 by The Missouri Farmer in which a check was enclosed as acceptance of a story she had submitted for publication. Naturally, our family would love to know more about that story. Do you know if an archive exists anywhere of issues published that long ago? Thank you for any information you can provide."We'll see what happens. Do you think we could get that lucky? While we wait to find out, if any of you readers know anything about "One Spring Day," how about sharing with the rest of us?
UPDATE - Friday, May 3, 2013:
No later than 40 minutes after I sent the above message to Today's Farmer, a helpful staffer there responded, volunteering to do some research and get back with me. I quickly supplied Grandma's name, the title of her story, and the date of the acceptance letter. This morning I received a followup message from the magazine:
"Hello again Linda. We've looked through all of 1959 and 1960, but do not see an article that fits your description. It is possible that the piece was purchased but not published."Any disappointment I might feel that the story wasn't found is more than adequately offset by the kindness of strangers who took the time and trouble to look for it. Thanks, Today's Farmer!