At the peak, there were two US Postal bins of letters stacked on my porch every day for a week. It peaked and waned – but I was getting letters for years after I posted the ad in Teen Beat’s penpal section.
At twelve years old, I was writing a wide variety of people from all over the world – all with little quirks; a boy that would write about his little sister and how they liked to “rock-n-roll all night long”, a talented tattoo artist who sent me a drawing every week from the USS Lincoln until he was dishonorably discharged for mental issues, and a singer in Texas that wore a sock on his penis when he performed (and sent pictures to prove it).
I actually went back and forth with these people – I had stashes of pornographic mail in my room. I kept them going somehow but don’t recall what I wrote back; I imagine I did what I said I would do, talk about Duran Duran.