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Man returns to childhood home in Detroit to pick up letter delivered 62 years late

Letter sent to Allan Pearlman from Wayne University's placement office in 1955

DETROIT – An 82-year-old man returned to the home he grew up in on Detroit's west side to pick up a letter that was sent in 1955 and arrived 62 years later.

Michele Moore's 85-year-old mother bought the home from a family in 1957. Earlier this week, she received a letter addressed to the former owner.

"I looked at the mail and was, like, 'Allen Pearlman?'" Moore said.

Moore wondered whether Pearlman was still around to receive the letter, and it turns out he is.

"Her mother and I are about the same age," Pearlman said. "I am 82."

Pearlman said he grew up in the house until his father sold it to Moore's mother in 1957. When he returned to pick up his letter, he said the home hadn't changed.

"So you have some mail here from the boy's club," Moore told him.

The letter was from Wayne University's placement office.

"I'm so surprised at the kind of shape that it's in," Pearlman said. "This is like it was just sent yesterday."

Here's what the letter said:

"The Placement Office would like to know whether you accepted the position to which you were referred. Will you please fill out the attached card and send it to us by return mail? We shall appreciate your cooperation. Even though you may have telephoned in, please return this card."

"I am going to send it back to them and tell them I accepted the job," Pearlman said.

Pearlman said he found out about the letter from his brother, who heard about Local 4's original story.

"My brother called me from Florida," Pearlman said. "A friend of his here saw you on the news the first time and called him, and he called me, and I called you."

Pearlman said he will respond to the letter, so stay with Local 4 News and ClickOnDetroit for an update on this story.

Moore's reaction to receiving letter

When Moore found the letter in the mail, she said she was shocked to see it postmarked with the year 1955.

"I was wondering, 'What is this?'" Michelle Moore said.

Right away, there was something about a card in the mail that caught Moore's eye. The postmark said Jan. 7, 1955.

"I did the math, and, wow, the post office is late on this -- 62 years late," Moore said.

She said the number below Pearlman's name, 38, was the original ZIP code for her neighborhood.

"If you're not at a certain age, you wouldn't know that," Moore said.

She was holding a little piece of Detroit history, but she didn't know why or how.

"Sixty-two years," Moore said. "Where has it been? Luckily it wasn't a check. If he was waiting for a check, he would still be waiting."

The everyday letter carrier on her route has seen it all, until now.

"What we typically find is that old letters and postcards sometimes purchased at flea markets, antique shops and even online are reentered into our system," said USPS Detroit in a statement.


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