The last letter writer…


Evil Rat skewers kindly Goat in Pearls Before Swine.

Every morning, the last section I read in the Charlotte Observer is the comics.  I’m mostly after Zits and Dilbert although other panels catch my eye now and then. 

One such nugget popped up Thursday, August 5 in the quirky strip Pearls Before Swine (excuse the fuzzy cell phone photo). 

In short, mean-spirited Rat gave thoughtful Goat a plaque as the last letter-writer in America

Hey, Goat, I’m with you pal.  It’s anyone’s guess as to how many letter writers are out there but we’re obviously a pretty quiet, under-the-radar bunch. 

Not to get all gushy, but what troubles me is a widespread perception that letters are strictly for fuddy-duddies.  The inference is letters are beyond passe as even an occasional way to stay in touch or correspond particularly with kids like Ellen and Reid.  Truth is, the perception is hard to refute.  Where’s our legion of PR folks when we need them? 

Yet the realist knows there can never be an effective and orchestrated campaign to rally the faithful.   ‘Paper’ is too far gone.  Perhaps we lead by example in the hope others will keep the old ways  in reserve to be called upon when the time is right.  In the meantime I don’t mind pecking away. 

The last letter writer?  You could do a census of us on one hand, but  hey, you’d have to count Goat, too. 

——————— 

August 2, 2010

Ellen and Reid: Well, the job thing seems to alternate between idle and full steam ahead.  I’d prefer more of the latter over the former.  It’s two weeks now, and some possibilities have fallen off the job board and now the work will be in the trenches. 

There is every likelihood that the search will spread further and further outside the bank.  My preference to remain in-house probably isn’t going to pan out for a variety of reasons.  But that is the hand I’ve been dealt and so it goes.  People have been incredibly helpful and caring, and now the task is to leave none of the stones unturned that they have put in front of me.  I’m not so much concerned about age as I am just finding the right fit.  I’ve told people that at this point my drive isn’t so much to be a Chief but to be a good Indian.  There’s been a lot of quiet time for contemplation since the deal went down and it seems to me that my best work would be in the written end/content preparation side of the business.  There are a lot of different twists and turns to jobs in the bank and some of those paths I’m just not very good at. 

The job I was looking for at _______ University just wasn’t the right fit for them.  I had the lion’s share of communications skills but when it came to the foundation side and fund raising knowledge, I just couldn’t mislead them.  They would’ve seen right through that.  My hopes were very high but I’m effectively out of the running.

Ellen, Thanksgiving sounds fine.  It would be great to have ya’ll down here (catch the Southern lingo?) but let’s see how this job thing ultimately turns out.  Hopefully there will be something in the hopper by then.  Reid, I don’t have the foggiest about what you might be thinking for either of the holidays.  Whatever works for you works for me because you have two families competing for you and Ellen has the desires of three to balance.  We can just play it by ear.

Your grandmother made the trek to Grand Island this weekend.  She had a good, long drive to her new home and I hope she could see the cornfields and towns on the way out.  A trip by car was probably welcome for her.  Talked to your uncle last night and she made the trip in good order.  Her attitude seems fine.  I’ll have her contact information for you soon enough.  According to Ralph and Gayle the facility is very nice although her room is somewhat downsized from what she had in Omaha.  That really doesn’t matter in the long run.  Last night they went out for an ice cream cone and she surely appreciates just getting to break free of the chain if even for just a little while.  I have some guilt in not being there to help with the move.  If this job thing is allowed to happen, and if there is even a week before I might start whatever new job awaits me, I’ll make the trip out West to see her. 

No action on the sale of your grandparent’s house.  Some guy wanted to rent it for nine months but your uncle deep sixed that request and that is fine with me.  Hopefully the real estate market in Omaha will shake loose at some point in the near future.  It’s tough to know your grandmother will never see the house again.  They made the abrupt move and there wasn’t any time to collect themselves and look around for what they couldn’t have known to be the final time. 

This note is a tad shorter vs. the other weekly letters, in part because I’ve got to hop to it this morning while the names I need to contact are still fresh in my mind.  If anything breaks you two will be the very first to know other than the neighbors who will hear me yelling if there is good news to yell about.

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Filed under Contact, Correspondence, Creativity, Technology, Writing to adult children

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