In 1950, as an 18-year-old college intern, Cynthia Riggs became friends with 28-year-old
Howard Attebery, a colleague at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.
They devised a secret code to pass messages back and forth under their lab mates' noses.
After four months, they went their separate ways, and that was that.
Except it wasn't. In February 2012, Cynthia -- by
then a celebrated mystery writer -- received in the mail a mysterious envelope. Not only
were the notes within written in code, and on paper towels, the return address was given
in latitude and longitude.
Quick deduction revealed the answer: The sender was Howard Attebery, Cynthia's colleague
from 62 years before, now a retired dentist with an active passion for science. A
correspondence developed and flourished, in email and snailmail and including plenty of
photographs. In September, Cynthia flew west to meet Howie in person. They became
Late the following winter, Howie with his son Mark drove cross-country to take up
residence on Martha's Vineyard. On March 28, 2013, they were joined in a Buddhist
ceremony in the parlor of Cleaveland House, Cynthia's ancestral home, which they now run
together as a B&B. A wedding followed in May at the First Congregational Church of
West Tisbury, attended by many family members and friends.
Cynthia and Howard's story has been celebrated in
newspapers, radio broadcasts, and TV shows across the country and around the world,
notably on The Moth Radio Hour. Here it is at last in
book form, told in the words of those who know it best and lavishly illustrated with
photographs from both their lives. Their letters, witty and poignant and vividly
evocative, bring the reader along on their extraordinary journey of reunion and love.
Howard and Cynthia makes a wonderful gift for anniversaries, birthdays, and any other occasion.
Howard and Cynthia is now available exclusively from The Moth Radio Hour. It's not yet listed in The Moth's online store, but until it is, you can order it by contacting The Moth at firstname.lastname@example.org.