Tag Archives: music

Day 159: Christy

Yesterday I mentioned that last week I received some great handwritten letters. One of them was from my friend and former colleague Christy who lives on Long Island.

Photo: NBC

Photo: NBC

Here’s an interesting tidbit and teaser. Along with Christy’s letter, I found a letter addressed to a celebrity who apparently has a PO Box just one number off from mine. I’m not going to reveal who it is just yet, but I’ll give you a hint: he starred on the Emmy Award winning series The West Wing. Stay tuned this week and you’ll see my letter to him. Oh yeah, you better believe I’m sending him a letter!

Day 159

Dear Christy,

What a fantastic surprise it was to find a letter from you in my mailbox. I am not sure when we caught up last, regardless it has been too long.

I’ve been busy this year with my consulting work, the Year of Letters, launching my own greeting card company (Second Story Cards) and some Board related work for some nonprofits that I care a great deal about.

Christy is passionate about music and her stationery reflects that.

Christy is passionate about music and her stationery reflects that.

I’m sorry to hear that your dad was in the hospital earlier this year. Glad to hear that he is doing better. While I have never met him, I feel like I know him a bit through your stories. Who knows how many young people, and adults, he has inspired to pursue their dreams in music. Does he still play…was it trombone?

What are you doing these days? Are you enjoying it? Still singing? You have a beautiful voice.

I do get to New York from time to time and might get to Long Island too. I’ll definitely let you know the next time I’m up in your area.

Thanks so much for saying hello – keep up the handwritten letters!

P.S. I’m actually supposed to meet up with John Wilson, Randi Tetenbaum and Kim Perry tomorrow. Wish you were here to join us.

Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 23

While I didn’t grow up listening so much to the likes of Minor Threat, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü, my brother Ryan did. So I am familiar with some of the music. When Ryan and his wife moved to their current home in Arlington, VA they quickly learned that they lived only a block away from the house where Minor Threat and Fugazi got their start. In fact, on more than one occasion, he has mistakenly received mail for frontman Ian Mackaye.

I saw this tweet last week:

Photo: @FooFighters

Photo: @FooFighters

Dave Grohl, living in Springfield, VA, was just 14 when he sent that letter to Mackaye. And it was probably sent to the house next door to Ryan and Mandy. Grohl didn’t post more than the last page where he asks the Mackaye to give him a call – between 3-10pm no less! I love it. I’ve read a few things that insinuate that they are friends today. Very cool.

Thirty-two years later, Grohl is now one of the most successful musicians on the planet. Enjoying early fame from his days as the drummer for the band Nirvana, today he’s been leading Foo Fighters for more than twenty years.


Day 124: Laura and Rob


photo: lunaguitars.com

“I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose” – Zach Sobiech photo: lunaguitars.com

Sometimes the timing of events gives you pause and makes you wonder if it is just coincidental or if there is some other reason behind their occurrence. Today’s letter talks to that very phenomenon.

Zach Sobiech was 14 when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer which mostly strikes children. Zach underwent almost a dozen surgeries and some 20 rounds of chemotherapy, but sadly died less than a month after his 18th birthday in 2013.

He started writing music after his diagnosis. His song Clouds is beautiful and I hope that you will listen to it while you read this letter to his parents. Click here to listen one of my favorite versions of the song that features Zach singing the song with a host of celebrities. It’s really cool, but get the box of tissues.

Day 124

Dear Laura and Rob,

Yesterday I found myself watching a video online and realized that the music sounded familiar – it was Zach’s Clouds.

I remember hearing about Zach and his story around the time of his death in May of 2013. Listening to Clouds yesterday I decided to Google Zach and was surprised when I saw that it was his birthday and that he would have turned 20.

Sobiech family, photo: people.com

Sobiech family, photo: people.com

Something told me that it wasn’t a coincidence that I heard the song, looked him up, discovered it was his birthday – so I decided to write you a letter. I am very sorry for your loss. Zach seemed like a wonderful person.

I imagine that May might be a difficult time for your family. Please know that he and his music live on forever in the hearts and minds of the millions of people he touched.

Warmest regards,
Reed Sandridge

Cloud by Zach Sobiech

zach-1I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge
You were sitting there holding a rope

And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
Go up in the clouds because the view’s a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

When we get back on land
Well I’ll never get my chance
Be ready to live and it’ll be ripped right out of my hands
And maybe someday we’ll take a little ride
Go up, up, up and everything will be just fine

We’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
Go up in the clouds because the view’s a little nicer
Up here my dear

It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now
If only I had a little bit more time
If only I had a little bit more time with you

We could go up, up, up
And take that little ride
We’ll sit there holding hands
And everything would be just right
And maybe someday I’ll see you again
We’ll float up in the clouds and we’ll never see the end

We’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
Go up in the clouds because the view’s a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now

Day 73: Rich

RichCardOnce again my Year of Giving and Year of Letters lives have intersected. This past week I received a handwritten letter from Rich from Phoenixville, PA. We’d been in touch five years ago when I was unemployed and giving $10 away every day. He’s an interesting (his business card even confirms that!) and creative guy who has several well written blogs worth checking out: 1 Picture 217 Words, Rich’s House of Vinyl and The Dichotomy of the Dog. He also makes custom notebooks – check’em out.

Thanks for the letters this week everyone – keep them coming!

Day 73 Rich

Dear Rich,

What a pleasant surprise I had yesterday when I discovered your handwritten letter in my mailbox. Thank you! I do recall our exchange from when I was doing the Year of Giving – I was touched by the tribute you were doing with raising funds for the American Cancer Society in honor of your father.

Clearly we both place an immense amount of importance on family. I see it through your blog writings – from your complex (and humorous I might add) relationship with National Lampoons Christmas Vacation to donating proceeds from the Dirty Dancing notebooks to your great aunt Ellie’s shot glass!

Your blogs are well written and inspire creativity. I’m in awe of your passion and knowledge of music. I wish I had that kind of relationship with music but with the exception of a handful of artists I pretty much just go with the flow of whatever is playing whether it be Bach or the Beastie Boys – just no Justin Bieber please.

I was not familiar with Lincoln’s unsent letter to Gen. Meade – thank you for sharing, I will certainly look that up and I agree it would make an interesting post on the Year of Letters. Furthermore, your thought of doing a tour at Laurel Hill, or anywhere for that matter, and enriching the experience through the readings of letters and diaries is an excellent idea. I hope you pursue that.

Rich, I’m glad that possibly the Year of Letters has played a small role in igniting that spark inside you to return to letter-writing after decades of not writing. Keep it up, trust me, it’s rewarding.


P.S. I will let you know if I am in the Phoenixville area – I have friends who live in nearby Spring City. I recall Bridge Street – charming downtown area where I’ve eaten a decent Mexican meal at Hacienda La Michoacana as well as enjoyed a few tasty beers across the street at Iron Hill Brewery.