Why not pen some sweet nothings? by Bob Karolevitz I know first-hand the importance of mail call.
That�s when the GIs of World War II gathered around the mail clerk, hoping against hope, that there would be a letter for each and every one of them.
There was elation for some. Others walked away empty handed, wondering why family and friends didn�t write.
My sainted father once told about finding an abandoned mail bag in France during World War I; and, opening it, he found letters addressed to him by the gal who would become my mother.
Needless to say, he was one happy soldier as he read them over and over. Some 25 years later � when I stood in the mail call line ��I knew how much that meant to him.
Now, in this age of the Internet and Web pages, hand-written snail mail apparently is on the decline. And that�s too bad!
Letter-writing the old-fashioned way is being replaced by e-mail and chat rooms. With the lack of practice, in time we�ll all be scribbling illegibly like a bunch of doctors.
In the old days, we did ovals and push-pulls so people could tell what we wrote. There was no guesswork when we used the Palmer Method.
Charles Dickens in his Pickwick Papers called letter-writing �the great art.� And he might have been right.
Now when I go to the mail box, I find mostly junk, advertising come-ons or pitches for donations to this charity or that. We�ve got dozens of address labels, too. But every now and then I get a real honest-to-goodness letter, and that always makes my day.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote that he only got a couple of letters which were worth the postage to send them. He must have had lousy correspondents to say such a thing.
Not me! I like letters, scrawled by pencil, written with a ballpoint pen or even typed.
I also read the letters-to-the-editor in the papers. They usually represent divergent viewpoints � but I digress.
I remember when a �dear John� letter was a soldier�s excuse to drink lots of beer. Those missives were the opposite of love letters � like Harry S. Truman�s �Dear Bess� messages � which were always morale-boosters.
Saint Paul wrote lots of letters. As a matter of fact, his epistles to Timothy, Titus, the Corinthians and Thessalonians, et al, became part of the Bible � which goes to show you how important they were.
Of course, the letters which I receive don�t rise to those lofty heights, but they are special to me in their own way.
So keep those letters coming. They may not be as reverent as Saint Paul�s epistles, yet they make the trip to the mail box a happy thing.
Whether you don�t say much � Harry�s letters to Bess had more than their share of sweet nothings � it�s the sentiment which counts.
Old-fashioned letter-writing may be on the way out, but you and I can buck the trend. Why not write one today?
� 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz