Finding My WritingVoice in My Unknown Father’s 60 Year-old Short Story

What I’m slowly discovering in myself after recently finding out about my real father I never knew I had, and will never get to know.

Ginny Cutler, CPCC, LMFT
6 min readSep 22, 2021

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Photo of the story, handwritten in pencil on unfolded, yellow lined paper.
Photo by writer of the 60 year old handwritten story, I Bought a New Coat

It’s a short story, handwritten in pencil on yellow lined paper over 60 years ago. By my father. Who I learned about for the first time 3 years ago. This is the only experience of my father’s voice that I have, or will ever have. And it not only made me laugh out loud, it threw the doors wide open for where I am going with my own writing voice.

I had only glanced at it three years ago when it was given to me from among his personal things by my newly discovered cousin Lisa. I didn’t know how lucky I was at the time. I held the story in my hands as if I were reading it, but I couldn’t focus. My mind was reeling, still overwhelmed by the whole revelation. But I found it again, and read it. Really read it.

Recently I found it again. I hadn't looked at it since October of 2018 and had forgotten about the story, also in the envelope.

I read, I laughed, I felt happy. Here it is, complete with edits, no way to know by whom.

I Bought a New Coat (edit: Better title)

I was waiting for my date at the subway station, 110th St. and Lexington. I was reading my newspaper to kill time. It was cold. I was wearing my new overcoat I had bought that same day. There wasn’t a crease in it. I really felt dressed up. (edit: expand this idea)

Since my date would have to come from 3rd Avenue, I glanced down 110th St. from time to time. My feet were cold and I didn't want to wait too long. I saw her coming when she was across the street. Her eyes lit up so that it warmed me all over. I felt happy in the thought that seeing me could bring the love-light in her eyes.

The illusion did not last any longer than it took her to cross the street to my side. What made her eyes shine was not seeing me. It was seeing the brand new coat, on me.

I made the motion of folding my newspaper and putting it in my pocket, ready to descend into the subway for our trip downtown. She stopped me there. I was

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Ginny Cutler, CPCC, LMFT

Transpersonal Coach, creator of LifeMap - The journey from Self Awareness to Transformation. www.ginnycutler.com