Top News

Daughter of Springdale's mystery love letters author located in San Antonio

The Balzen family at Paul and Minnie’s 25th anniversary.
The Balzen family at Paul and Minnie’s 25th anniversary.

Part of the mystery surrounding some old love letters left at the steps of the Springdale library has been solved.

 

Laura Matthews of San Antonio, Texas — the daughter of the author, Mr. Paul R. Balzen — was amazed to learn of the existence of the five letters written to her mother Minnie in 1943.

However, she wasn’t surprised her father wrote home to his wife — nor the loving words — in San Antonio while he was away in New York.

“No, not at all,” she said via telephone from San Antonio. “I came from a very loving family.”

He referred to her only by “Sugar Pie” and “Honey,” not by the name that remained a mystery to Springdale librarian Judy Hamilton until recently. She received the letters in an envelope addressed to Judy Pynn — the maiden name she hasn’t used in more than 30 years. She looked to find out who the mystery couple was, and exactly how the letters ended up in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the doorstep to the library.

The late Mr. Balzen died in 1988, 22 years before his love Minnie died. His military service lasted about six years, according to Matthews, and he was not declared an active service member. That military history is a bit of a mystery to his daughter. She knows he worked on an air force base in San Antonio as an airplane mechanic, but that he was a civil servant.

She said most of their family history was destroyed and lost, so to hear of the existence of these letters is special. She is anxious to see the handwriting and read the words of a father she lost so long ago.

“I’m just amazed,” she said.

Link to previous article: http://www.thenorwester.ca/news/local/2016/11/3/springdale-librarian-looking-to-solve-mystery-of-love-letters-.html

 

Laura Matthews of San Antonio, Texas — the daughter of the author, Mr. Paul R. Balzen — was amazed to learn of the existence of the five letters written to her mother Minnie in 1943.

However, she wasn’t surprised her father wrote home to his wife — nor the loving words — in San Antonio while he was away in New York.

“No, not at all,” she said via telephone from San Antonio. “I came from a very loving family.”

He referred to her only by “Sugar Pie” and “Honey,” not by the name that remained a mystery to Springdale librarian Judy Hamilton until recently. She received the letters in an envelope addressed to Judy Pynn — the maiden name she hasn’t used in more than 30 years. She looked to find out who the mystery couple was, and exactly how the letters ended up in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the doorstep to the library.

The late Mr. Balzen died in 1988, 22 years before his love Minnie died. His military service lasted about six years, according to Matthews, and he was not declared an active service member. That military history is a bit of a mystery to his daughter. She knows he worked on an air force base in San Antonio as an airplane mechanic, but that he was a civil servant.

She said most of their family history was destroyed and lost, so to hear of the existence of these letters is special. She is anxious to see the handwriting and read the words of a father she lost so long ago.

“I’m just amazed,” she said.

Link to previous article: http://www.thenorwester.ca/news/local/2016/11/3/springdale-librarian-looking-to-solve-mystery-of-love-letters-.html

Judy Hamilton looks over the five love letters that were dropped off anonymously at the Springdale Public Library recently.

Local connection unknown

Matthews knows of no possible family connection to Newfoundland and Labrador. She surmises the letters were lost in the mail. However, she is uncertain whether her father may have been stationed in the province during the war at some point. With the rich American military history in the province, it is possible he was here and the letters were left behind. She knows he was stationed in England at some point.

The letters were addressed to the childhood home of Matthews, where the family lived until she was about five-years-old.

Mr. Balzen returned to the United States and started his own service station, continuing to work as a mechanic. Later, he began selling cars and became a dealer for Studebaker and Packard in the 1950s. He was a partner in the first Volvo and Mercedes Benz dealership in San Antonio, according to his daughter.

Despite, the well-articulated letters and nice penmanship, English was a third language for him, said Mathews, behind German and Spanish.

Paul and Minnie had two children. Her brother Paul Jr. died in 2008.

Matthews and Hamilton have been in contact, and Hamilton was to email her copies of the five letters. It is expected Matthews will someday get the originals, but both agree they will keep them out of the mail.

“I hope to one day pick up the originals in person,” Matthews wrote in an email. “I would love to visit you all in the warmest part of the year. I am sure it is very beautiful there.”

Hamilton is thrilled to have found a family member — the rightful owner of the letters. However, the remaining part of the mystery remains puzzling. How did the letters come to be in Newfoundland and Labrador, and who is the anonymous person that dropped them off in her name.

Anybody with any information can contact Hamilton at (709) 673-4169.

Latest News