Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Letter bridges seven decades

 The news last week brought a story about a Nevada woman who received a letter from her father almost 70 years after he wrote it.

It wasn't the postal service that caused the delay. In fact, no one is exactly sure what circumstances led to the letter being stored in a box in a house in St. Louis, but Donna Gregory found the letter and spent the past 14 years trying to find its rightful owner. Finally, she located Peggy Eddington-Smith who had been a tiny baby when her father wrote the letter to her.

It was World War II, and Pfc. John Eddington was stationed in Texas when he wrote the letter to the daughter he would never get a chance to see. Shortly after he sent the letter, he was sent overseas and died in Italy. His Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals were found with the letter and also returned to his daughter.

Peggy had once lived in St. Louis, and her mother, who died in 1997, had never remarried.

According to an Associated Press story, Eddington-Smith said getting her father's medals was nice, but the letter meant more because it made her feel closer to her him.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ray Charles stamp unveiled

On what would have been his 83rd birthday, the “father of soul,” Ray Charles, was honored today as the latest inductee into the U.S. Postal Service’s Music Icons Forever Stamp Series.

The ceremonies were scheduled to take place at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College in Atlanta and The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

The first-class, Forever stamps are available in sheets of 16.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boy meets world through letters

Five-year-old Toby Little of Sheffield, England, is meeting the people of the world by writing letters.

According to his website, www.writingtotheworld.com, Toby started writing letters to people all around the world after reading "A Letter to New Zealand."

His letter writing has really taken off, and he's turned it into a fundraising project, aiding the charity ShelterBox, which provides for families who have lost everything due to a disaster. You can read more about Toby and his letters on his website or in this story on the Huffington Post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Turning email into snail mail

There has been quite a bit of press about Outbox (and possibly other similar companies) that collects your "snail mail," digitizes it and then sends it to you electronically. Effectively, it turns your postal mail into email.

But, have you heard about "Snail Mail My Email," a project that accomplishes the opposite of
Outbox? Snail Mail My Email began in 2011 and involved volunteers who collected emails and turned them into handwritten letters and mailed them to the intended recipient.

The project includes a website, a book and a Facebook page.

The website says that it will be an annual project with the next installment taking place this fall. Let's keep an eye on it.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Daddy's Letter to His Little Girl

The most recent edition of "Reader's Digest" has a feature written in the form of a letter.

Dr. Kelly Flanagan, a psychologist, wrote the letter about his daughter's future husband. It's a touching piece. You can read another version of the letter, along with many reader comments, on his blog, UnTangled.

Have you written letters to your children? Letter that you might not want them to open until they are older? It's a good way to say things that your kids might not understand just yet.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Letters to Your College Student

Across the globe, college students are settling in on campus and their parents are back home
wondering what they're going to do without their son or daughter at home. For many, this may be the first time the parents and (now-grown) children have been apart for an extended length of time. Homesickness and empty-nest syndrome will probably affect them in one way or another as they adjust.

This is a great time to get out that stationery and write some letters!

For parents, the trick is to write a letter that, at the same time, includes news from home but doesn't make the college student feel too left out, lets them know you miss them but doesn't make you sound crazy, offers some advice but doesn't come across too pushy. It can be a delicate balance to achieve.

In addition to writing a newsy letter from home a few times a month, parents can also send occasional care packages, including cookies, a favorite food, an expensive magazine they might not be able to afford, clippings from the local newspaper, a dorm-friendly recipe, etc.

Here is some insightful information from Marshall P. Duke, a professor of psychology at Emory University, as posted on the Huffington Post:

"Here is what I tell the parents: think of what you want to tell your children when you finally take leave of them and they go off to their dorm and the beginning of their new chapter in life and you set out for the slightly emptier house that you will now live in. What thoughts, feelings and advice do you want to stick? "Always make your bed!"? "Don't wear your hair that way!"? Surely not. This is a moment to tell them the big things. Things you feel about them as children, as people. Wise things. Things that have guided you in your life. Ways that you hope they will live. Ways that you hope they will be. Big things. Life-level things.
I tell the parents lastly, that I, myself, was never able to do this, because I was too emotional and couldn't quite say what I wanted without crying or with a desirable level of equanimity. All is not lost, I tell them and I tell you. As soon as you can after you leave the campus, write your child a letter -- with a pen -- on real paper -- in your own hand. The first sentence should be something like, "When I left you at the campus today,(or at the airport , etc.) I could not tell you what I wanted to say, so I've written it all down....." Mail the letter to the child. It will not be deleted; it will not be tossed away; it will be kept. Its message will stick. Always."

In one of those care packages, you might want to include a small portfolio or letter box in which your college student can store the letters you will write, the letters you will write from your heart and that you will send without any unrealistic expectations about receiving letters in return (because you remember what it's like to be young and busy.)

Happy letter writing!

(Clip art courtesy of http://www.freeclipartnow.com)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Salinger Letters on Exhibit

Photo courtesy of The Morgan Library and Museum

There has been quite a bit of news lately about the life of J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher in the Rye," especially with the recent release of "Salinger," a documentary by Shane Salerno.

Salinger was a letter writer, and some of those letters are on display at The Morgan Library and Museum in New York.

According to information from The Morgan between 1941 and 1943, Salinger sent nine letters and postcards to Marjorie Sheard, an aspiring Canadian writer. The collection of documents was acquired by the Morgan in April and sheds light on Salinger’s writing and the authors that influenced him in the early stages of his career.

The museum reports that a highlight among the letters is one in which the young author writes to Ms. Sheard about "the first Holden story” about a “prep school kid on his Christmas vacation.”

The Morgan will display the complete correspondence in a show titled “Lose not heart,” the first public presentation of these revealing letters, on view from Sept. 10, 2013 to Jan. 12, 2014.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Love Letters of a President

I've written before about how President Barack Obama writes letters, but over the weekend, I heard about another letter-writing president, Woodrow Wilson.

The CBS Sunday Morning Show had a segment on President Wilson, who served from 1913 to 1921. The story mentioned how the president's wife, Ellen, died while he was in office. Within a few months, he had fallen in love with Edith Bolling Galt and was writing her up to three letters a day in order to convince her to give him a chance.

It was such an intriguing story that I did a little more research on the 28th U.S. President. It seems that he had also written many letters to Ellen, before and after their marriage. One of their three daughters, Eleanor Wilson McAdoo, edited some of the letters into a book, "The Priceless Gift: The Love Letters of Woodrow Wilson and Ellen Axson Wilson," published in 1962, 38 years after her father's death.

According to Ellen's foreword in the book, after Woodrow Wilson's death, there were more than 1,400 letters found in his house, including those between the president and his first wife.

You can read Ellen's book online here. You can also read about the manuscript collections of Ellen Wilson and Edith Wilson at the National First Ladies' Library website.

What a great legacy these letters have given us, as Americans, as letter writers, as humanity.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Snail Mail Collective

Melyssa of the Nectar Collective blog and Chelsea of the blog Lost in Travels have organized the Snail Mail Collective. To participate, snail mailers sign up and are paired with another participant. Then, they each put together delightful snail mail packets of goodies based on a stated theme. Last month's theme was "Under the Sea." This month, it's "Back to School."

Based on their photos, the packages look like great fun to put together and receive! Click on the blog links above to see if it's a project you're interested in.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

105-year-old Volunteers to Write Thank-you Letters

I saw a great story on NBC News this weekend. The "On the Road Again" segment featured Edythe Kirchmaier of California. She still drives her own car and volunteers every week to hand-write thank you letters on behalf of her favorite charity, Direct Relief International. She even has a Facebook page! Check out the NBC segment below.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...