We were sitting together at our summer home in Massachusetts when Linda, my cousin, presented an old box to me. She explained that she had found this box called “LETTERS” in her mother’s attic after her mother, my dear Aunt Betty, had died. Betty is the baby girl laughing on her father’s lap in the collage above. The box was left to his daughter, Betty, but she did not open it.
How “LETTERS” had remained untouched and unopened all those years is part of the mystery, like a sleeping tree. How do hearts hide so many untold memories? Painful pieces were buried far below the surface of the unspoken past. With time all could have been forgotten. One would even have called what was as though it were not. Betty died and left its untold secret behind. But because of God’s love he found a way to get the “LETTERS” into hands that care. These stories and pictures, articles and inspirational writings are now being shared. Like treasures found under the sea, we are delving into history.
In “LETTERS” the legacy and vision of our grandfather, S. Ralph Harlow, is brought to life along with another story. Taken from its very heartbeat where the Reverend S. Ralph Harlow lived from 1912-1922 with his family lies a piece of the history of Smyrna. The picture of the clock tower, which still stands tall on the NATO Allied land Command Base today, was taken when the base was the International College. In fact, this picture of S. Ralph and his daughter Betty was taken when the College was in full swing hosting International Student Conferences. The town was called Paradise. I will be explaining who is in these pictures in the future.
PARADISE STUDENT CONFERENCE
28 – 30 APRIL 1916
In these next posts I will be opening the “LETTERS” one by one for all to read and view. My prayer is that they impact you as they do me and their legacy will help to regrow the Smyrna tree.