The Art of Letter Writing

September 29, 2011

Do you know where your favorite pen is? The one that fits the curve of your hand just so? Where is that pen with the perfect ink color to match the beautiful stationery that you only use for special occasions?

In this era of telephones, email, Skype, and other digital communications, it is delightful to receive a thoughtful, handwritten note once in a while. Tucked among the sales flyers and the monthly bills, there is an unexpected surprise that brings a smile to your face when you recognize the handwriting on the envelope!

 “We write to taste life twice.”
-Anais Nin

Earlier generations relied on written correspondence to maintain ties with family and friends in far-away places. We Three Came West is a published collection of real letters penned by three young colonists from Indiana who helped to establish Pasadena in the late 19th century. The letters were discovered almost a century later tucked in a trunk in the attic of the house they eventually built in what is now South Pasadena (the house still stands!), edited, and published by descendants Helen Raitt and Mary Collier Wayne. The three narrators (husband, wife, wife’s sister) describe their surroundings, their neighbors, their financial prospects, their longings, and their hopes. Not meant to be a travel book nor a historical chronicle, We Three Came West is a delightful read because we peek into the letter-writers’ lives and their personalities shine through in each letter.

Who will you write to this week?

2 Responses to “The Art of Letter Writing”

  1. joe Says:

    I think i’ll write someone a letter..thanks

  2. request letter Says:

    Letter writing is very important and one of the main ways of communicating. But too bad, it’s now taken for granted. With texts and e-mail around, it lost its touch. I would always prefer letter-writing literally so that it won’t lose its charm and at the same time we can contribute to preserving our culture.


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