• Chloe O'Sullivan

The Unposted Letter


I have a confession to make. My name is Chloe, and I'm a hoarder. Now, I know that word evokes visions of a house filled with newspapers piled head high, a year's worth of unopened tuna cans, and cat poop that has been left so long it has formed a small coffee table. Thankfully I'm not at that level. I do however have a three-car garage filled with furniture and keepsakes from several relatives who have passed away over the span of the last 30 years.

 

There were so many boxes that have been moved and repacked over the years, but there seemed to be no real logic or order to them. So even though they were dusty and may have at first glance appeared to be full of things that could be discarded, each one had to be checked.


I was so lucky to find photos of my grandfather and my mum as a child that I had never seen before. Photos of long-dead relatives and property that I could identify thanks to careful and extensive note-taking on the back. I even came across a letter to my great Aunt from Banjo Patterson's son Hugh.


Thankfully, having listened intently to family stories over the years, I knew why this would be there. One of my blood relatives is mentioned in Clancy of the Overflow, and the family was certain that he had been the inspiration for The Man from Snowy River. Hugh had written to let my Aunt know that his dad had always said that the famous Australian poem had been based on parts of several people, although not one in particular. Still nice to have, given the letter itself w