In a time when a “happy birthday” can be sent instantly, via cell phone or on Facebook, two long-standing friends continue to stick to the old fashion way by sending a card.
Interestingly, it has been one card that has been sent back and forth for the past 40 years.
It started in 1972, when Julie Momber, of Greenville, sent a Peanuts birthday card to her college friend, Julie (Jokinen) Morehouse, who now lives in Baraga. On the front of the card is the lovable character Linus saying “This is the age of ecology!” Inside the card, it suggests the reader to “recycle to a friend.”
Morehouse remembers she had the idea of sending it back to her friend the following May (Morehouse’s birthday is May 17, Momber’s is May 9).
“I figured I could send it back to her since she already signed our name to it,” Morehouse laughed.
And so she did, and unbeknownst to the both of them, what started as a gag has turned into a fond tradition.
Though the card is weathered and worn, with Scotch tape reenforcing the fold, it has expanded into a memoir between two friends.
“We’ve added like three to five pages in it. It has a lot of our signatures but also a lot of notes about us and our families,” Momber said. “We don’t get to see each other as much so it’s nice to have this. I didn’t anticipate this to be a tradition.”
Morehouse didn’t realize it would last this long, either.
“I didn’t expect it to last 40 years. It’s really cool though because that card has a lot of family history in it now.”
Momber said the hardest part of the tradition is hanging on to the card for a year until the next birthday but it is Morehouse that has to keep track of it.
“The nice thing is my birthday comes first so when I get it I just have to send it back to her within a week,” laughed Momber. “She’s moved several times but she eventually comes through and finds the card and sends it to me.”
Momber is a retired school administrator. Morehouse was retired but has decided to continue working part-time as a speech pathologist.