Last week I wrote about sending a postcard to an imagined recipient with whom I have something in common, the current occupant of my old post office box from college.
How about sending off messages to imagined recipients of the future? To someone who you feel a commonality with, even though she or he does not yet exist? Time Capsules for our Grandchildren is a project by artist Stephanie Diamond, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and a group of elementary school students in Philadelphia. The kids photographed their neighborhoods, gathered ephemera circa 2013, and wrote letters to their grandchildren. All of these items have been placed in air tight containers and will be buried in the Tyler School of Art Green Space on June 6th, 2013 at 4pm. And in 50 years to the day, the time capsules will be opened, and hopefully the children’s messages will be received!
I am so curious about what the kids wrote and what it will be like for people not yet born to receive their messages. Apparently the kids will read from their letters on June 6th and since the event is open to the public, you Philly area readers should go as VSM correspondents (how did ya like that double entendre?) and report back!
By way of social media I learned that Jason Uechi, a fellow alum of Hampshire College, was encouraging people to send mail to their old college post office boxes. Of course I lit up at this idea. I immediately found this ‘so terrible its good’ postcard of Hampshire from my collection and sent it off.
Uechi was inspired by the care packages he used to receive in college from family back in Hawaii, filled with items that he couldn’t get on the East Coast. Recently he started sending treats back to his parents and somehow made the leap to mailing something to the current occupant of the po box where he received all those much loved care packages back in the 1980′s. He put the word out on Facebook to other alums and the response was enthusiastic.
I’m guessing that the p.o. box is far less important for college students these days, what with all the instant methods of connecting with the world beyond campus. For me, pre internet and pre cell phone and on financial aid, mail was a real link to my friends and family and much cheaper than making long distance phone calls. I love that Uechi’s idea reactivates the p.o. box as a place of surprise, connection, and chocolate.
There are so many beautiful stamps out right now! How about sending some garden planting inspirational mail with these vintage seed packet forever stamps? The Cosmos are my favorite. A super theme-y idea would be to send a friend some seeds and use these stamps for postage. Happy Spring!
Author Willa Cather‘s never before seen letters were recently published as a book. Javier Jaén Benavides used the 1973 Willa Cather postage stamps to create a simple but perfect illustration to accompany the write up in the New York Times Book Review. These stamps were included in my postage stamp inheritance from Grandpa Sidney. Nice to see them revived, in remembrance of an American treasure like Cather.
There’s an article in today’s New York Times about a bundle of letters sent to a young woman in the 1940′s named Marjorie Sheard and just recently made public. What started out as a request for literary advice from Sheard to J.D. Salinger turned into a flirty correspondence. Its kind of a wholesome, analog version of the Anthony Weiner debacle, although the two men could not have more different personalities. Salinger was fiercely private, making these letters all the more of a treat to read so many years later.
My son and I tried out these envelope making templates and true to their claim, they are easy and fun! We used a magazine cover and calendar page and it was a breeze. I have the Paper Source envelope templates but The Kreate-a-Lope is better. For one thing you don’t need scissors- you can just tear the excess paper off the edges of the template. The only benefit to the Paper Source kit is that it comes in 6 different sizes.
But Nick Romer, the brainchild behind the Kreate-A-Lope, wants to produce templates beyond the A2 and A7 sizes already available. He has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to expand his operation and he needs your help. Take a look at his presentation. And get inspired to make some envelopes!
Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith’s new friendship was deepened through their commitment to correspond by post. What started as an agreement to write a letter for each day of the Catholic observance of Lent, evolved into a correspondence that lasted for years, through many intense chapters in both women’s lives. These exchanges have just been published in a book called Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters.
And they want to encourage you to start a letter writing correspondence with someone you care about, in honor of National Letter Writing Month.
Curious about the book? Well Loyola Press has graciously offered to send a copy to an interested VSM reader. The first person to send this link to a friend who might be up for the challenge will win! How will I know that you did? Well, ok. That’s true. The sending the link part will have to rely on the honor system. The first person to write to me in the comments section, claiming to have sent the link, will win.
You HAVE to listen to this NPR story about the Juliet Club in Verona, Italy. Yes, the home of that Juliet who loved a young man named Romeo. So wonderful. Photo courtesy of the Juliet Club, aka il Club di Giulietta.
My family went on vacation to Chicago, well actually Evanston. We were visiting our good friends who had the nerve to move back to their hometown after the kids in New York City thing proved untenable. And they made the right choice because their new, old locale is great. We had a fantastic time!
Some VSM highlights were meeting Donovan from the Letter Writers Alliance and visiting the lovely paper goods store, Greer. It is chock full of carefully selected goodies like this letterpress greeting card from paper parasol press. And this impressive hand cut Lake Michigan card by Crafterall. The little star is Chicago. I even got to be there for the mail carrier’s delivery!