Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Letter Writing Week

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By Diane Forrest

In this electronic age, there is something that has gotten pushed by the wayside - The art of letter writing.  Every now and then I will come across an article in the news mentioning a letter from someone famous that has been discovered.  These letters give us an insight to the people, time, and history that has taken place.   Many are very fascinating to read, and some are just like the letters you write to your Aunt Tilly.

My stepson started a job working out of town.  He is gone for normally 3 weeks at a time.  I encouraged him to write cards or letters to his wife and daughter while he was gone.  He informed me that with the internet, cell phones and such, there was no need to physically write a letter.  I tried to explain to him that while those were good methods of communication, nothing beats a handwritten letter.  It is something you can hold on to, read over and over again, and save as a memento of the personal touch.
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Many people save letters from old loves, or family members who were in battles overseas.  These memories are so precious to them, even more so if the writer never returned home.  It is like holding a piece of them in your hands and in your heart.
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Many children recently wrote letters to Santa Claus, letting him know what their wishes were for Christmas, and our local newspaper publishes them, and they are so cute and funny to read.  There are also a number of children who write to presidents of the United States.  Once such letter, to President Franklin Roosevelt is included below:

"My good friend Roosevelt," was the surprisingly informal salutation. "I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much." Apparently one of the things he thought about was what he wanted from the U.S. President: "If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green American, in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green American and I would like to have one of them." The letter was signed with a flourish: "Castro, Fidel Castro." At the time he wrote this letter, it was not known he would grow up to be a Cuban dictator, but if not for someone saving this letter, we would have never learned of his request.

This week is Letter Writing Week.  Letters are not just for children, but for everyone.  I save every letter I receive, and keep them in a box to pull them out every now and then.  If you have someone who is far away, or even down the street, send a letter to let them know you are thinking of them.  If you don't have someone to write to, consider writing someone in the military.  I had attempted to find an address for any serviceman or woman, however, I couldn’t find just an address, but you can check out, or wounded  Don't let these skills die off in a text, pull out some pen and paper today, and write a nice letter to someone you know.

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