Tag Archives: penmanship

Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 24

A card from my friend Christy

A card from my friend Christy

It’s hard to believe that I am almost half way through my Year of Letters! It’s been an awesome journey (I sound like I’m on The Bachelor) so far and I am really looking forward to discover where this project takes me for the remainder of the year.

The responses to my letters have picked up, making it even more interesting. This week I received a half-dozen or so handwritten letters. I heard from Christy, a friend and former colleague, in New York who I haven’t connected with in a really long time. I also got a thank you note from my friend Heather who has beautiful handwriting – she’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro this year, perhaps I will get a letter from along the trail!


Heather has beautiful handwriting.

You saw this past week that I received a letter from Anthony Kaczynski, the person who found my anonymous letter that I left up in Boston. I also heard from Korrin of Lovely Handwritten Notes – a project that I wrote to on Day 49. She and some friends are reviving it after a hiatus. Keep a look out for a letter to Korrin in the coming days.


Korrin’s note to me – she also has nice penmanship.


Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 22

Photo: webodysseum.com

Photo: webodysseum.com

In November of 1940 a Cuban boy wrote a letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt to congratulate him on winning reelection. He even offered some advice to him about how to source iron needed for the American ships being used in World War II.

The letter is penned by Fidel Castro himself. In the letter he says that he is twelve at the time, however, that contradicts current records that suggest he would have been 14. Perhaps he made a mistake with the numbers in English.

Enjoy the letter. The young Castro had decent penmanship and his signature reminds me a bit of mine at that age – lots of dramatic swirls of the pen!

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Source: National Archives Catalog

Transcript of letter

Santiago de Cuba, November 6th 1940

Mr. Franklin Roosevelt
President of the United States:

My good friend Roosevelt:
I don’t know very English, but I know as much as write to you.
I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy, because I heard in it, that you will be President for a new (periodo).
I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much, but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.
If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.
My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Dolores
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente Cuba
I don’t know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don’t know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.
Thank you very much
Good by. Your friend,
Fidel Castro
If you want iron to make your ships I will show to you the bigest (minas) of iron in the land. They are in Mayorí, Oriente, Cuba.


In a 1975 interview, Castro said he received a response from the White House – but no $10 bill.


Sunday Letters: a letter from my Dad

Today I’m sharing a letter my father wrote me this week. It’s these kind of letters you keep forever.

I love you Dad!

photo: Jerry Sandridge

photo: Jerry Sandridge

Dear Reed

Your Day 34 letter moved me greatly. Those 41 words that Steve Carell wrote could have just as easily come out of your mouth. Your Mom sent you many handwritten letters and I know how much you miss them. I’ve never been much for writing letters. I’ll try to do better, but they won’t be the same — they won’t have that beautiful, flowing penmanship that she had. They won’t have those quaint phrases that you and your brother loved so much. And I doubt if I can match her upbeat spirit. But hey … it’s a start.

Love You,