Tag Archives: replies

Day 288: Dad

With Dad celebrating my 41st birthday.

With Dad celebrating my 41st birthday.

My father turns 75 today. He didn’t want much fanfare about the event, typical dad, just a low-key evening. Tomorrow my brother and I are taking him to dinner. We’ve got him a gift, but I had a special gift that I was hoping he’d receive.

Birthday card from Steve Wozniak!

Birthday card from Steve Wozniak!

Back on Day 236 I wrote to Apple co-founder and computer engineering genius Steve Wozniak and asked him to send my father a birthday greeting. I was getting ready to be a bit sour and share how disappointed I am that Woz failed to come through. But, my father picked up his mail today and said he got the card from Woz!!! Awesome! He was so happy – a special gift that money cannot buy.

If Woz can send Dad a card, then I sure as hell better send him one too! If you know my father, you’ll appreciate this one.

Day 288-2


Today marks your 75th year – quite an achievement. You’ve done a lot in your life.

You have been a wonderful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. You have succeeded in both your personal and professional lives. 

You’ve made me laugh hard and often.

You have the distinct ability to make processes more complicated.

You’ve sacrificed so much to give us the life we’ve had.

You smile and laugh at yourself with ease.

You’re really stubborn.

Dad and me - circa 1980

Dad and me – circa 1980

You sometimes make this slight but noticeable scowl where your lower lip curls upward.

You’re not afraid to show your affection for those you love.

You would live forever if eating Dairy Queen Buster Bars, chips & salsa and a fistful of vitamins were the key ingredients to a healthy life

You are one of the least critical and judgemental parents that I know.

You have interesting and innovative ideas – you are the original MacGyver.

You always have time for me.

You make up more sayings than anyone I know.

You are the original storyteller.

You taught me how to discretely transport booze in a guitar case.

It’s true, you are many things. And you will always be my father and I will always love you more than I ever show.

Happy 75th birthday Dad.




Day 171: Korrin

You may recall that I stumbled upon Lovely Handwritten Notes, another letter writing project here in DC, a few months ago…I even sent them a letter and they sent me one back.

I had an idea I wanted to share with Korrin, who started Lovely Handwritten Notes. I decided to send her one of my new cards I got courtesy of the good people at 1canoe2.

Day 171-2 Day 171


It was so nice to receive your note and learn that LHN is back up and running. Since we both live in DC and share a passion for handwritten notes, I was thinking thqt we should get together. I started doing some meet-ups where people come together to write their letters – usually an hour or two at a coffee shop on a Saturday morning. I was thinking that we might try to plan one together and unite the DC letter writing community.

What do you think?

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 and Letters for Week 19

Today I want to share a letter I received this week. You may remember that three weeks ago on Day 100 I wrote to Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, the 100-year-old cardiologist that was interviewed recently by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

He wrote me back! How cool is that. You should watch the link above with Dr. Sanjay Gupta – you’ll be inspired by Dr. Wareham.

Dr Wareham letter

Dear Read-

What an achievement – to write a letter a day!

Concerning prevention of coronary artery disease, I refer you to 2 books: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn and The China Study by Colin Campbell. In summary – you must not eat animal products. 

I think the material in these books is scientific and highly reliable.

Remember all tastes are acquired except for breast milk. Your taste buds can be changed in 3 months, so you can learn to like what is healthy. Just start eating healthfully.

All the best,
Ellsworth W.

Sunday Notes & Letters for Week 14

Photo: sineadgleeson.com

Photo: sineadgleeson.com

I got a few letters back this week. The first one was a response to my letter on Day 65 to House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. I use the word response pretty liberally. I actually heard from Netflix. It was a form letter thanking me for being such a huge fan of Netflix – which isn’t exactly true, I’m fairly indifferent to Netflix. My letter was to Mr. Willimon and had no reference to me being a fan of their service. I’m sure Mr. Willimon will be writing back shortly – after all I did tweet at him.

Another letter was from my Aunt Kay who I wrote to on Day 52. She thanked me for my letter to her and let me know that she would probably be back in DC in the next couple of weeks. That’s great – I always enjoy spending time with her.

Finally I got a letter from my friend Aimee from Day 5 thanking me for my handwritten letter and absurdly late wedding gift. You may recall that I couldn’t remember whether or not I had sent them a gift or not for their 2013 wedding! Yep, I was really late…more than Emily Post’s “you’ve got a year” advice.

So all in all it was a good week. Well, with the exception of an irritating email from Google Adsense that informed me that they were terminating my agreement with them due to a violation of their terms and guidelines and that I was banned for life. Furthermore, they reneged on their promise to pay me for allowing companies to advertise on my blog. It’s not a ton of money – trust me I’m not quitting my day job – but it would have helped offset the cost of postage, stationery, etc. They won’t even tell me how I violated their terms and guidelines – that’s the most annoying part. In response to my appeal, they just offered some snooze-inducing stock language that says they’d love to tell me why they’ve taken this action against me BUT….they can’t:

We understand that you may want more information about your account activity, however, in order to protect our proprietary detection systems, we are unable to provide further details. Thank you for understanding.

Well, thanks for nothing Google. And shame on you. I expected more from a company who touts the phrase “Don’t Be Evil” as their motto and states their mission as, “facilitating access to information for the entire world” – well, unless of course that information is about Google themselves.  I will be looking for other advertising ideas to help offset the costs of the website. If you have any suggestions of reputable, honest (i.e. won’t keep my money!) marketing partners – drop me a note.