Heidi A. Macfarlan Johnson of Rhode Island was the successful bidder. I made a $355 donation this morning to the official Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund that was formed by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. Thank you to Heidi and everybody who bid!
Heidi sent me this e-mail message. I was touched by her parents’ love story…
Let me tell you why this purchase was important to me. I think this is the first purchase I’ve ever made for myself on ebay. Years ago, I may have bought my daughter some shoes she saw on the site, but that’s probably the last time I even looked at anything on there. Hearing about what happened to Seaside Heights during Hurricane Sandy personally affected me, even though I have never been there. After I bought the People magazine which showed the picture on the front cover of the rides under water, I was haunted with constant thoughts about the seaside town. You see, my parents met in Seaside Heights, and I lost them two Christmases in a row, in 2008 and 2009. I still miss them terribly. They were the best of parents and also became people I’d choose as friends. My mom was born in Glen Rock and my dad, although born in NY, spent most of his years growing up in Jersey. My dad was a Rutgers New Brunswick grad as was my mom’s brother, my brother and me. My father was five years older than my mom, but both of them were working one summer at one of the hotels/motels in Seaside Heights (I’d say in the early 50’s, as they were married in 1953). As they both described it, they met during nighttime activities after work (I think dad worked in the kitchen and mom waitressed), playing a game of charades (I think it was even on the beach!). My mom had a clue to act out and didn’t know how to do it, and my dad was teasing her. The rest was history. They were married 55 years. I wish there was some way I could find out what hotel or motel they worked at back then. Before all this I happened, I remember trying to see if there were any hotels or motels that had been in Seaside that long, but I couldn’t find that kind of detail. So I wanted the postcard package to give me information about the beach community which was the origin of my parents’ love. I didn’t plan on spending as much money as I did, but someone had one of those “max” bids in, that kept outbidding me, and the competitive spirit my dad taught me kept me bidding until I FINALLY found the appropriate limit!
One last note…I am a believer in our loved ones speaking to us from beyond or giving us confirmation that they know what we are doing. As I started to look through the postcards, the oddest thing happened. First there were a few that had no writing on them. Then came a few that had been sent to people. The first one that was written on was signed, “Love, Maude.” Maude was the only mother figure my father ever knew, who died when he was 12. She “took over” for his biological mother who died of cancer in my dad’s first year of life. My father always talked about Maude and after he passed, I found some beautiful photos of her, which I had framed. On my dad’s last day of consciousness (he died at home), I brought him down the picture of Maude that he had on his bureau, because he was talking about the people he wanted to see in “the promised land.” What are the chances that the first postcard I looked at with writing on it was from someone named Maude? Oddly enough, the second one with writing on it was signed “June,” which was my father’s sister’s name. She, too, is gone, and loved and adored my dad and me. I think all signs say they were happy I made the contribution to such a significant cause.I am so glad you wrote that book and offered this for auction.