Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Art of the Handwritten Letter
A little while ago, I was admiring the vintage postcards on the web page of footnoteMaven . I love looking at the romantic artwork and reading any of the messages that might remain on the back. They are truly a gifts from the past. I would have to say that of all the documents and various items I have in my family history files, the hand written letters and legal papers are my favorite. This letter from my grandfather, Leland Norris, written in his own hand, from training camp at Camp Sheridan during World War I, is one of my treasures. Reading what was happening to him there, in his own words and seeing his handwriting is priceless to me.
I can't help but feel a twinge of sadness when I think about the lack of letter writing these days. Text messages and email have virtually eliminated the days of long handwritten letters to loved ones. I love the ability to contact people immediately and to share so much of our daily lives, but the art of letter writing, I fear, is being lost forever. Maybe we should all make it a rule to hand write at least a couple of letters a year and put them away for our grandchildren in the future. What do you think?