East Bay Yesterday

“Dear Brown Eyes”: How a stash of old letters helped heal a family

A few years ago, Aussie Holcomb was going through a divorce, and her relationship with her dad wasn’t going well, either. Feeling lost and lonely, she began reading her grandparents’ old love letters, which had recently been uncovered after sitting at the back of a dusty closet for more than 60 years. As Aussie made her way through bundles of envelopes, the emotions captured in those letters spilled off the pages and infused her life with the contagious joy of young love. Wanting to retrace her grandparents’ path, the letters sparked an adventure that led Aussie to a remote corner of California, far from home. In this unlikely place, she found reconciliation with her dad, and much more.

Listen to the full episode now to hear the love story of Ray Hertz and Ginny Stewart, as told by their granddaughter, Aussie Holcomb, and their son, Mark Hertz. Ray and Ginny’s letters, which were written between 1949 and 1951, are read by their dear friend Carl Weinberg and their daughter Tracy Hertz. You can stream the episode at Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

photo: East Bay Yesterday

Playlist

ArtistSongAlbumLabel
The RavensCount Every StarDoo Wop Pops (Volume One)MERLIN - Revived
Studio Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel, Victor Young, Walter HustonWeill: Knickerbocker Holiday: September SongWeill: Mack The Knife - Songs Of Kurt Weill (1929-1956)
The Ames BrothersSemtimental MeThe Day Should Never End With YouFantastic Classics
Artie Shaw & his Gramercy FiveSummit Ridge DriveThe Essential Artie ShawVintage Jukebox
Studio Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel, Victor Young, Walter HustonWeill: Knickerbocker Holiday: September SongWeill: Mack The Knife - Songs Of Kurt Weill (1929-1956)
The Ames BrothersSentimental MeMother's Day - Greatest CollectionHoliday Classic Records
Studio Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel, Victor Young, Walter HustonWeill: Knickerbocker Holiday: September SongWeill: Mack The Knife - Songs Of Kurt Weill (1929-1956)
The Ames BrothersSemtimental MeThe Day Should Never End With YouFantastic Classics
Studio Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel, Victor Young, Walter HustonWeill: Knickerbocker Holiday: September SongWeill: Mack The Knife - Songs Of Kurt Weill (1929-1956)
The RavensCount Every StarDoo Wop Pops (Volume One)MERLIN - Revived
Artie Shaw & his Gramercy FiveSummit Ridge DriveThe Essential Artie ShawVintage Jukebox
Dinah ShoreI'll Never Say Never Again AgainIt Isn't FairLing Music Group
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