The story of the mysterious found letter written to Clark Moore by his then-girlfriend Vonnie in 1958, a letter that somehow failed to arrive at the California University of Pennsylvania, where he was a junior, at the time, has captured the romantic imaginations of people who want to believe in love everywhere. The letter arrived inexplicably last week in the school mailroom after 53 years of transit or being stuck behind a file cabinet, setting off a search for the recipient and his lady letter writer, who signed it “Love Forever, Vonnie,” and wrote, heartbreakingly, “I still miss you as much as ever and love you a thousand times more. Please write me real soon.”
This romantic-comedy-ready tale of an epistolary miss — in the movie version, Vonnie would be sitting alone pining after Moore and Moore would be licking his wounds with no idea why he’d never heard again from Vonnie — but the two would never have forgotten one another and would suddenly be reunited via the intervention of a younger human/pet corgis/sharing the same nursing home/becoming part of the same senior citizen crime ring and fall in love, more than ever, forever, is actually a bit more real than that. The Washington Post writes that Moore has been located.
Moore, however, is no longer named Moore. Moore has converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Siddeeq. And Vonnie has not been sitting and pining, because despite the letter never arriving, the two married later that year, had four kids, and then…divorced eight years later.
Now they don’t really talk, and Siddeeq, who is 74 and lives in Indianapolis, has “mixed emotions” about the letter.
“I’m curious, but I’m not sure I’d put it under the category of ‘looking forward to it,'” Siddeeq told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Vonnie, for her part, didn’t want to talk about the letter and “was upset that it had become public.”
Overall, kind of a love bummer — a depressing indie movie at best. This is why, in these modern days, we have things like Facebook and cell phones and email addresses, so you can unfriend or delete your exes completely. No paper trail, no love letters lost for 50 years behind a snack machine. How’s that for progress?
Love letter delayed 53 years wending its way to recipient in Indiana via western Pa. college [WP]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2011