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The Other Letter – a film by Steve Date

On November 8, 2008, the same day Casey Gauntt received an amazing and life-changing letter from his dad, Casey’s daughter Brittany received an equally incredible note from her brother, Jimmy. This is a sequel to “The Letter”, a previous film by Steve Date.

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Suffering is the Only Honest Work – A New Book

JUST PUBLISHED! Casey and Jimmy Gauntt have written a new book.  CLICK HERE to find out more. Jimmy Gauntt—personable, brilliant Jimmy—died at age twenty-four, struck by an automobile. The promising young man’s death shattered his father Casey’s heart. And yet, in the coming months, Casey and his family would experience something amazing. Through seeming coincidence […]

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One Suitcase

One Suitcase By Casey Gauntt “I just can’t buy Christianity; that Jesus Christ and the religion founded upon his miraculous birth and resurrection is the only path to heaven. All I know is this—here—right now—this moment with you, this meal, this conversation. This is what I believe: When I talk to my friends Pat Nottke […]

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Want To Go For A Ride?

Want To Go For A Ride? By Casey Gauntt [Reverse SPOILER ALERT: Are you one of our many weekend readers spending some quality time here? If so, I’d suggest reading some previously-published stories before continuing with this story –if– you desire the “full effect.” Those would be: The Letter, McKenzie’s Field-Ole Ole Olsen, and our […]

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The Letter-The Story

Casey Gauntt spent the summer of 1968 in Coalwood, W.V. As a new graduate of Lake Park H.S. in suburban Chicago and before starting USC in Los Angeles, he headed off to work on a construction job his family’s company, Case Foundation, was hired to do. After that summer, Coalwood remained a faded memory until one day—40 years later—Casey received a phone call from a woman who said she had something he left behind in Coalwood and wanted to return it to him. She had no idea how important this item would be for Casey and his family in that moment—a moment where they had experienced the greatest loss of their lifetime— and how a simple letter from his father would change Casey’s life and how he will forevermore view this world. This is a story of family tragedy—about as bad as it gets—and either unbelievable coincidence or the handiwork of a greater power. You can be the judge.

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The Letter-The Film, By Steve Date

Introduction A year after the arrival of the letter from my father, my wife, Hilary, and I went to Coalwood to meet up with the woman, Emily Sue Buckberry, who had so suddenly reappeared in my life, and to attend the 2009 October Sky Festival, an annual event to celebrate the town’s fame thanks to […]

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Dreams Guitars and Highways

“I’m learning to pay attention to my dreams—especially the early morning ones that are too real to dismiss as just dream.” This story begins with Casey’s dream of his three month old grandson Wyatt James and a guitar. As he chases down the strands of the dream and some very real guitars and people associated with those instruments, Casey discovers uncanny connections among too many things previously thought as purely random that have occurred over the past several years, including some rather bizarre things he has in common with his muse, James Taylor. “It’s like connecting dots and finding out they were always right where they were supposed to be.” Here is Casey’s story about dreams, babies, James, guitars, highways and way too many coincidences.

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Vern Case

Introduction After I received the letter from my father and wrote the first version of the story of The Letter, I knew that I needed to find out more about him—the things he wrote of in his letter—a depression in his childhood, a fanatical religious mother he couldn’t reason with, a war that he wouldn’t […]

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The Sax Players — A Christmas Story

I answered the phone and, with voice shaking, he asked “Is Jimmy’s cell phone still working?” John Dale had left our house only a few minutes earlier. It was Christmas Day, 2008—our first without Jimmy. John had come by that morning to give us an almost surreal photograph of Jimmy playing the saxophone—one we’d never seen before. And then John got “his call,” followed by another bizarre one that I took several hours later. It was a day of amazing gifts and another peek into the “whatever it is” we experienced with The Letter several weeks earlier. The table for this day had been set a week earlier when we met and had our first reading with Tarra, a well know medium and psychic from Sedona. We knew the moment Jimmy was gone that we got kicked onto another railroad track and we could either go down it or pull off and languish on some siding. We chose to roll forward and see where it goes. This is a little story about photographs, phone calls, psychics and saxophones, with perhaps a little magic sprinkled on top.

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How to write a beautiful condolence card to someone who has lost a child

How to write a beautiful condolence card to someone who has lost a child or young adult. I wish I didn’t have so much experience on this subject. As I wrote in the Condolences  story posted on the site in November 2012, our family received hundreds—maybe a thousand—cards and letters after our 24 year old son, […]

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The Fraternity

The Fraternity By Casey Gauntt December 21, 2010 This day, forty years ago, my father took his life in his office at Case Foundation Company in a suburb of Chicago. In addition to the ones that spooled out and are described in this story, there is a whole bunch of other bizarre syncronicities that specifically […]

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is an attorney and senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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