Texan Rests Christmas Card For First Time In 61 Years

WHITEHOUSE, Texas (AP) – A Christmas card that has crisscrossed the country as part of an old joke between two Texas men will rest this holiday for the first time in 61 years.

Acker Hanks said he mailed the card to his former neighbor and good friend Lee Kelley in 1950. Kelley, a prankster, mailed it back a year later.

“I probably didn’t even read what was on the card,” Hanks, 89, told the Tyler Morning Telegraph “We were constantly pulling jokes on one another.”

And so began a tradition that continued even after Kelley died; his widow loyally put the tattered message in the post for more than a decade. Last year, though, the card returned to Hanks unread. He believes Kelley’s widow, Rose Ann, has moved to a nursing home.

The worn card is decorated on the outside with a Christmas tree and a holiday message.

The inside has a list of years and places, documenting the card’s journey as it followed Kelley, who worked for the U.S. Forestry Service, from post to post.

Pennsylvania. New Hampshire. Washington, D.C.

All places Kelley lived, while Hanks remained in Texas.

Next to many of the dates and places are brief updates of what was going on in each man’s life.

About 15 years ago, Hanks and his wife, Bobbi, travelled to Wisconsin to visit the Kelleys. Two years later, his friend died.

Now the card will be framed, a memorial to a lifelong friendship.

“I always looked forward to getting the card,” Hanks said. “I don’t think it’ll ever leave me now.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. Pam Roemmich Thomas says:

    What an awesome story!

  2. Bill says:

    Reminds me of the two sisters who mailed the petrified hotdog back and forth to each other, and the brothers with the pair of jeans.

  3. oldmarriedforever says:

    And I thought the Valentine Card that hubby and I have passed back and forth was probably the only card done that way. It will be 50 yrs this coming Valentine. Hmm never thought of framing it, great idea. And good for those two guys, it is such fun to do things out of the ordinary.

  4. Robert Harrington says:

    Silly? Sure! But it is things like this that make our lives just a bit more fun. A sense of humor and playfulness is good for any relationship. I for one am sorry to hear that these two friends tradition has come to its final conclusion.

Comments are closed.

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