To: The Makers of Cheerios, Maple Plain, Minn.
From: Lars Trodson
I am wondering if you can mend my broken heart. My mother was rummaging through her attic (no doubt to package up more junk to send to her kids), and found a little postcard that contained a promise. No, it contained more than a promise. It contained the dreams of a little boy.
It turns out that in May, 1970, I received a promise from you that my Pan Am 747 Superjet model was on its way. Sure it would take 10 weeks, but you said you were "working around the clock to fill hundreds of thousands of orders like yours." Well, obviously you were working around the clock to fill hundreds of thousands of orders -- minus one! Because I never got my jet. Maybe your boys knocked off at a minute before midnight.
"Thank you for your patience" is the way you end the card. Patience, indeed.
The cause of the nagging, empty feeling that has been following me for the past 40 years is no longer a mystery. When I was 9 I had dreams that my life would take me to faraway, exotic places -- I could fly! In July 1970, I began to feel a little grounded. This little boy didn't soar any more. Now I know why.
If you have no more in stock, I understand. I have your beautiful postcard, with a color photo of that gleaming jet, offering the fulfillment of a promise, which at one point seemed just a few weeks away.