In 1971 a six-year pen pal relationship came to an end this week when the participants, a 19-year-old English girl and a 19-year-old Smiths Falls boy met face to face. Linda Murrish of St. Ives in Cornwall, England, picked the name of Darwin Boles from an international pen pal grouping six years ago.
They have been writing ever since. Linda, who was told by her mother that Canadians ate nothing “but hamburgers and drank Pepsi” flew into Toronto International Airport and was visiting with the Boles family in Smiths Falls. Linda felt “right at home” with the Boles; thinks Ottawa is “fantastic;” has a slight problem understanding our currency and may just stay on in Canada. Her tour of Ottawa included a visit to Carleton University where Darwin is a third year student in sociology.
Linda (Darnell) Susan (Hayward) Knight always hated her name, because in class there were at least three girls with the very same name. So, much to her Dad’s opposition, she decided to change the spelling of her name to Lynda. After all, if she was going to be a famous fashion designer, her name had to be slightly cool or have an edgy spelling. She was so enamored of the way her name looked now that she began sending away for free stuff. Every day after school she would walk across the street, march in to the Post Office, and open up the family’s mail box. Her father would not touch the mail addressed to Lynda because he thought she was being ridiculous. Most days, the box was full of the many free travel brochures she had requested; all addressed to someone named Lynda not Linda. She decided that once she got out of school, she would travel the world designing for the rich and famous, so she really needed this incoming travel information. Lynda entered contests daily by the loads, all with her newly made up name. She won a pen on the Canadian TV show, “Razzle Dazzle,” hosted by Alan Hamel and a talking turtle named Howard. She loved Howard and he read her winning story aloud on the air, and then carefully spelled out her name as L y n d a.
Linda Knight Seccaspina