LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Hand-written letters still being mailed


It's time for those of us who still write letters by hand to speak up. Article after article has rung the death knell of the handwritten personal letter whilst extolling the joy of receiving one in the U.S. mail.

In the Oct. 3 issue of the U-B yet another journalist asked the question, "When is the last time you got a personal letter in the mail?"

I looked at that like I was supposed to be reading something odd when, in fact, I answered, "Today! And yesterday. And several times a week actually."

Their answer? The average household receives a personal letter about every seven weeks. Bummer, I say.

I not only receive personal letters, but I also write personal letters. Let's see, in 2011 I have so far written 145 letters at least 2-4 pages long (often longer), full of articles, photos, cartoons (many from the U-B!), etc.

To whom do I write? I write to my three aunts, all in their seventies.

I write to my dearest friends in Hawaii, Tennessee and Texas. I write to my two sisters. I fill my stationery box with tablets of paper, different kinds of cards, my fountain pen and awesome looking stamps.

When I am thinking of my loved ones, I write them a letter, put a little something in it, seal it with a kiss, and post it for 44 cents -- OK, actually more, since they are usually stuffed with something!

Off it goes, winging its way right to their doorstep, where they will be one of the ones not just extolling the joy but feeling the joy of receiving this handwritten letter from their loved one.

I know the handwritten letter is a dying art. Handwritten anything is a dying skill. With the preference of email, Facebook and Twitter we are turning into a nation of grunting, barking, monosyllabic boors.

And lest you think I am just another incorrigible Luddite, I did send this letter to the U-B via email. Now I am off to the Post Office to see what pretty stamps they have. I'm running low ...

Dorothy O'Brien
Walla Walla


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