Personal Lives

Legal secretary shares love letter apparently carried 100 miles in tornado's winds


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A love letter apparently carried 100 miles in the wind from tornado-ravaged Washington, Ill., to a Chicago suburb has been saved and publicized, thanks to a legal secretary.

Anne Ortman tells Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass that her daughter found the letter and brought it into their home. It had an address in Washington, Ill., and it was written by a member of the military. The story is here (sub. req.).

“Yes, it came by tornado,” said Ortman, a legal secretary at a large Chicago law firm. “We live in Shorewood. The tornado hit Washington. That’s more than 100 miles away. My daughter found it in the street. She ran into the kitchen, saying, ‘Look what I found!’ “

Ortman dried the letter in a crock pot and then read it. Kass published parts of the letter, without the names and identifying details, so the recipient could claim it.

Here are some excerpts:

“Weather changes rapidly here, sunshine one minute, hailstones, snow, sleet the next. I’m sorry I can’t concentrate my thoughts on you but every minute I live is for you sweetheart. …

“The day is coming along faster with each forgotten kiss. … You’ve never known me to talk or write this way but loneliness is making me almost cry. See you soon and please write the very first chance you get. I need you …

“In the next letter, kiss it a bit and send me all your love. … Still love me as much when I get home. My teasing days are over.”

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