firstname.lastname@example.org August 17. 2015
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Home improvement projects can reveal surprising discoveries.
On Friday morning, Andrew Bevan was removing old wood paneling in a basement room with the help of his daughter. The plan is to make a playroom.
Andrew tore off a waist-high piece of wood and found half a letter underneath. He quickly exposed the other half.
The letter was written in 1983 by a little girl named Sara, who was 10 years old at the time. Andrew’s daughter, Sarah, who is 10 now, read it. “It’s a long time ago,” she said.
The letter, dated February 25, 1983, reads, “My name is Sara Weston I’m in the fifth grade at Central School 1982-1983.”
Sarah Bevan is about to enter fifth grade, which is now at Great Works School, and she previously attended Central School. Sara Weston wrote she had two brothers, Erik, 13, and David, 7. Sarah Bevan also has two brothers, Miles, 8, and Alex, 4. Sara said her parent’s names are Janet and Mike. Sarah’s parents are Amy and Andrew.
Andrew and Sarah dropped their tools and raced to the Internet. Within 15 minutes, they learned that none of the Weston family lives nearby but that Sara Weston, 32 years later, is married and lives in another state, if their research is accurate. Rather than try to find an email address for Sara, Sarah decided to write a letter and send it through traditional mail.
Sarah wrote, “Dear Sara, My name is Sarah Bevan … Today my dad and I were changing (sic) the basement into a playroom and we found a letter of yours in the wall.”
“I thought it was really cool to find out who lived here in the past!” Sarah tells Sara.
Sara and Sarah both like swimming, biking, soccer and skiing.
Sara Weston wrote about liking the Celtics, but Sarah Bevan makes no mention of the legendary players Sara liked in 1983: Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Quinn Buckner and Nate “Tiny” Archibald.
The Bevan family also found the heights of the Weston children marked on the newly-exposed walls of the soon-to-be playroom.
Andrew said he knew that the 90-year-old Dutch Colonial was once owned by Berwick Academy and that the academy ran a day care center in the basement room; they found children’s scribblings on the walls. Most recently, Andrew had his winery in the room, but after moving the winery to a larger space in Eliot, the family decided to create the playroom.
“The reason I’m writing this autobiography is that so you can find something about this house and the people in it,” Sara Weston wrote in 1983.
Sara signed the letter with what could be the first happy face.
Sarah Bevan asks in her letter, “Do you still come to South Berwick to visit? If you do I would love to meet you some time!”
In a p.s., Sarah, probably trying to find another connection, asks Sara, “Did you like Fame [the 1980 movie]? My parents did!” She copies Sara’s happy face on her letter.
Sarah Bevan plans to drop her letter in the mail and await a reply. Andrew and Sarah said they will leave Sara Weston’s letter under the new wall of the new playroom, perhaps for another father and daughter to find a few decades from now.
Asked what she knew of the ancient times of 1983, Sarah inquired of her father, “Did they have those old cars then?” Andrew, thinking back, said, “You mean station wagons?”