Tag Archives: staying in touch

Day 128: Dale & Leslie

Dale grew up a few blocks away from both houses I lived in in Mechanicsburg, PA. We went to the same schools and played on the same baseball team. After graduation, we went separate ways and I lost contact with Dale. Then came Facebook and we were in touch – well sorta. Facebook is kind of a pseudo connection.

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My thank you note in front of a print that I bid on and won at the auction. That’s the Georgetown harbor in 1865.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to get a Facebook message from Dale on Tuesday asking if I was free on Thursday – he had a few extra invitations to a charity fundraiser in DC – two blocks from my apartment no less.

It was a lot of fun. The event was nice, I got to meet Dale’s wife Leslie, his boss Mr. Bunn, and hang out with another high school friend, Justin. I’m thankful that Dale reached out – it was a great night and I enjoyed spending time with old friends.

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Dale and Leslie,

It was great to spend time with you on Thursday – the gala was a lot of fun. Thanks for thinking of me and extending the invitation to join you. I get back to Mechanicsburg a couple of times a year – it would be great to get together on one of those visits.

Thanks again!

P.S. Please pass on my thanks to Mr. Bunn as well.

Day 127: María

Day 127-2I met María in 1998 when I was sent to Madrid on a business trip. Working for my company as a public relations manager, María was one of my favorite colleagues.

Now 17 years later we remain in touch. She occasionally goes to New York and we tried to meet up last year, but it didn’t work. And I’ve been talking to my Dad about traveling to Spain – a place that he says that he’d like to visit. But that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe this year will prove successful.

Today is her birthday – Feliz cumpleaños María!

Day 127

(translated from Spanish)

Dear María,

Happy birthday! I hope that you have a wonderful day. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve been friends now for 17 year. I’m sorry that I’m so terrible at writing – that’s part of the reason I started the Year of Letters, to be better at maintaining contact with the people that are important in my life.

I hope that this year we are able to get together – either NYC or Madrid?

A big hug,


Day 115: Adriana and Mauricio

mbrasilThere are a few people in Brazil that I would like to send letters to this year – here is the first one.

In 2003 I moved to Brazil to start a subsidiary operation for the company I worked for at the time. It was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. Part of what made it such a memorable experience was the people.

Mauricio joined the company 12 years ago and was not only a terrific professional, but also a great all around guy. He and his wife Adriana later moved to Washington, DC and I got to know them both better while they lived here. I occasionally get to see them when they visit DC or I go back to Sao Paulo – but it would be nice to see them more frequently.

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Adriana and Mauricio with their running team

Adriana and Mauricio with their running team

Adriana & Mauricio,

Greetings from Washington, DC. I hope that my note finds you both well. I probably should have tried to write this in Portuguese, but I will save you the painful experience of reading all of my errors.

It has been 12 years since we first met in Sao Paulo. It was a very special time in my life – living in Sao Paulo and working to build Comptel in the Americas – we had a very special team. I haven’t been part of a similar one since.

Things are good here. I’ve been focusing a lot of time on the Year of Letters and a new venture that I am launching that takes art from talented artists who are experiencing homelessness and turning it into commercial products that will give them a revenue stream. It most likely won’t be enough money to fully provide for them, but it will hopefully help them in their journey of finding housing and reentering the work force.

Maria Helena and I are working together again – now at World Wildlife Fund. It’s been fun seeing her there and everyone I meet says how great she is – of course. We don’t work so closely together, but from time to time we’re in meetings together or we just get coffee and catch up.

I don’t have any plans to travel to Brasil right now, but would like to at some point in the not too distant future. How about you guys? Any marathons in the US that you will be running this year? Even if your races don’t take you to the US, you are always welcome here and have a place to stay.

I miss you both and hope that you are doing well.


Day 105: Domi Sanchez y Familia

Valladolid-spain-mapSpring semester of my junior year in college I studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain. A mostly industrial town in the northwest of Spain, Valladolid is quintessential Castilla y Leon. The Spanish spoken here does fair justice to its heritage and arguably is the heart of this beautiful country.

I lived with a nice family who regularly took in exchange students. Their 6th floor apartment was just across the Pisuerga River from the downtown. It sounds far, but I walked to the city center every day to go to class.

I lost touch with the family but this spring marks 20 years since my stay there and I figured it was about time to find them. I knew I had kept a letter from their oldest son, Pako (yes, spellcheck, he spelled it with a “k”), which I had received about a year after returning to the U.S. I found it this morning and decided to drop them a letter. Hopefully they still live in the same place.

I’ve translated the letter below.

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I included a recent photo of me with my Dad.


Dear Domi,

I hope that this letter finds you well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in touch – I’m lazy to write and even more so in Spanish.

When I finished my University studies I moved to Washington, DC. There is more opportunity to find work here and it’s also very close to my brother (and his wife and two daughters). My father still lives in Pennsylvania – in the same house where I lived as a child. My mother died in 2006 – she had heart trouble for many years – even before I stayed with you.

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Pako’s letter from 2006

I haven’t gotten married and don’t have any kids that I am aware of 🙂  I have a consulting company that helps people and companies improve their strategic communication. I used to travel a lot, especially to Latin America – I lived in Brazil for three yeas from 2003-2005. I’ve been back to Spain – but just to Madrid and Barcelona for work.

How are you all doing? Mr. Manuel, Pako, Manolo? I’ve tried from time to time to find you all on the internet but failed. This morning I found a letter that Pako wrote to me in 1996 and it had your address – I had forgotten it.

Well, I hope that you are all well. It would be a great to hear back from you.

A big hug,
Jason Reed Sandridge

P.S. Sorry for my Spanish – I don’t get to practice it much anymore and I’m forgetting it.

Day 97: Reyes

Postcards that Reyes sent me from her travels through the south of France.

Postcards that Reyes sent me from her travels through the south of France.

Buenos dias! I lived in Valladolid, Spain 20 years ago as part of an exchange program between Indiana University of Pennsylvania and La Universidad de Valladolid. It was a fantastic experience. I lived with a host family while I was there, studied a little bit, explored the city and had a girlfriend for a while too: Reyes.

We’ve stayed in touch on and off for many years – with Facebook it makes it a lot easier. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a nice handwritten note from her along with some post cards from the south of France recently.

I should have written to her in Spanish – but I was feeling a bit lazy this morning and besides, she’s living in London, so English is fair game!

Day 97- Reyes

Day 97- Reyes-2Dear Reyes,

It was so nice to receive your note and beautiful post cards from the south of France. I’ve actually been there about 8 or 9 years ago. It was amazing. Winding through the countryside, you find the most breathtaking little villages.

I know you love France – how about the U.K.? I don’t remember how long you’ve been in London. I’ve really only been to London twice, so I don’t feel that I know it very well. Didn’t you spend some time in Ireland? I love it there.

Thanks to social media we are still in touch 20 years later – but there is nothing like receiving a handwritten note from someone you care about. Thank you and stay in touch.