When the students of Mr. Farrer's class sat down at the age of 14 to write their future selves a letter, I am certain none of them expected to read it twenty years later. He made them write a 10-page letter and he saved them all this time. Now, he spends his retired years seeking out his former students via the Internet and other sources so that he may deliver their letters. What started out as a way to encourage students to write has really become something with much more impact.
“I think our society now is a society of non-commitment,” said Bruce Farrer, who started students writing letters to themselves at the beginning of his teaching career in 1961. “We say we’re going to do something, whether it’s in a marriage, or with our kids or maybe even with our organizations we join, and some little thing ticks us off and we think ‘Enough of that, I’m walking out.’ … I think it’s important to have a sense of commitment, and maybe in a minor way, the kids see I value that.”
I hope that some of those letter-recievers have sent Mr. Farrer a thank you note. He certainly deserves them. What a gift to be given- a visit from your forgotten youth!
P.S. Thanks to all of the members who sent this in, but Chandra and Julia were the first!
In this era of instantaneous communication, a handwritten letter is a rare and wondrous item. The Letter Writers Alliance is dedicated to preserving this art form. Prepare your pen and paper, moisten your tongue, and get ready to write more letters!
May 3rd (Sunday)
World-Wide Virtual Social
See our faces, listen to us nerd out on mail, enjoy the silence as we scribble letters, and ask us mail questions live. Live Video via Google Hangouts. Participate with #LWASocial on Twitter & Instagram. Video will be recorded and put on YouTube if you can't make it live. Event Page
May 28th (Thursday)
Chicago, IL Letter Social
Uncle Art Gallery 7-9pm 1359 N Maplewood Ave
Join us and our typewriters to write some letters together. We will have mail art supplies, stationery, and a few of our old-fangled typing machines available for your use. Free!
May 30th (Saturday)
Chicago, IL OBSCURA DAY 2015
L.W.A. Clubhouse Several time slots available
Enjoy exclusive access to the Letter Writers Alliance Club House in celebration of Obscura Day. You'll see the inner sanctum of operations for the letter writing organization and have an opportunity to write letters and postcards using vintage typewriters.
Your ticket includes free supplies and typewriter time. Donovan, the Letter Writers Alliance typewriter expert, will be on hand to answer questions, troubleshoot cranky machines and make pithy comments. Come join us and type a letter or two!
Tickets: $5 Purchase options available soon!
June 7th (Sunday)
Chicago, IL Mix & Mailology
L.W.A. Clubhouse 3:30-5pm
Old Fashions and Wax Seals, two old-timey things we love. Learn the secrets of mixing an excellent Old Fashion and making the perfect wax impression on your envelopes. We will also have other wax-like experiments for your mail art pleasure. Our solutions, both alcoholic and artistic, will surprise you. All materials, including liquid forms, will be provided.
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July 12th (Sunday)
World-Wide L.W.A. Book Club
Join Kathy, Donovan, and a special guest Margaret Haas (of Paper Pastries) via live video while we discuss Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Discussion and further info can be found on the Goodreads book group page. Event Page
The L.W.A. was established in 2007 by Kathy Zadrozny & Donovan Beeson. These two ladies manage every aspect of the Alliance, from design, to packing orders, to maintaining the website. The L.W.A. is a labor of love and we are happy you have joined us in sharing a love for letters.