Tag Archives: PA

Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 26



My beautiful niece Jacqueline rode a Ferris wheel for the first time this last week. Ironically it was on this date in 1893 that the first Ferris wheel premiered at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. I found this out as I came across a letter that was sent from the Exposition.

Designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., the wheel measured 264 feet in height and featured 36 cars. Each car accommodated up to 60 people giving it a total capacity of 2,160 people! That’s almost three times the amount of people who can ride the London Eye.

After the Exposition ended, the wheel was transported to St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair. And then for reasons unbeknownst to me, they blew the thing up two years later. Weird.


Letter sent from Chicago on Sep. 22, 1893 featuring the Ferris wheel from the Columbian Exposition in blue at top left. stampauctionnetwork.com


The letter was written on official World’s Columbian Exposition stationery. stampauctionnetwork.com


Day 128: Dale & Leslie

Dale grew up a few blocks away from both houses I lived in in Mechanicsburg, PA. We went to the same schools and played on the same baseball team. After graduation, we went separate ways and I lost contact with Dale. Then came Facebook and we were in touch – well sorta. Facebook is kind of a pseudo connection.

Day 128-2

My thank you note in front of a print that I bid on and won at the auction. That’s the Georgetown harbor in 1865.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to get a Facebook message from Dale on Tuesday asking if I was free on Thursday – he had a few extra invitations to a charity fundraiser in DC – two blocks from my apartment no less.

It was a lot of fun. The event was nice, I got to meet Dale’s wife Leslie, his boss Mr. Bunn, and hang out with another high school friend, Justin. I’m thankful that Dale reached out – it was a great night and I enjoyed spending time with old friends.

Day 128

Dale and Leslie,

It was great to spend time with you on Thursday – the gala was a lot of fun. Thanks for thinking of me and extending the invitation to join you. I get back to Mechanicsburg a couple of times a year – it would be great to get together on one of those visits.

Thanks again!

P.S. Please pass on my thanks to Mr. Bunn as well.

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.