Man Receives His Telegram 50 Years Late

1969 congratulatory message to Robert Fink was lost in a filing cabinet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2019 7:46 AM CDT
Man Receives His Telegram 50 Years Late
Robert Fink holds up a telegram from a family friend congratulating him on his 1969 graduation from the University of Michigan at his home in Huntington Woods, Mich.   (Jacob Hamilton/Ann Arbor News via AP)

In the age of email, a telegram has managed to steal some headlines. It's all because Robert Fink graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969, back when people still sent missives via Western Union. As MLive explains, family friends Ben and Lillian Fischman sent Fink a congratulatory message about his graduation, but it arrived a day after he had left town. Somebody stuck it in a filing cabinet, where it got lost underneath one of the drawers for half a century. A woman whose company bought the cabinet second-hand finally discovered it, did some online sleuthing, and mailed it to Fink, per the Washington Post.

"Sorry we cannot be there to applaud when you get your diploma but our hearts and best wishes are with you," reads the old message. "Love Dr. and Mrs. Fischman." Fink, now a professor at Oakland University in Michigan, says he was belatedly touched that the Fischmans—parents of his childhood best friend—had sent the message. "It took some effort to send a telegram," he notes. "It's not like texting someone." Both have since died, "and, of course, I never thanked them." (More telegram stories.)

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