Be the Change

In his farewell speech on Jan. 10, President Barack Obama spoke about the “power of ordinary Americans to bring about change.” For many of us, especially in California where our votes in essence did not count in the outcome of the November election, this is a dark time. Each day we hear troubling statements that run counter to our values. We fear the change that is ahead. We despair that our health care will vanish, that women will lose their hard-fought rights, that injustices toward minorities will continue and grow even worse, that our voices will…

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Call Me Grammy

As a child of the ‘50s and ‘60s, I grew up knowing three of my grandparents, my maternal grandmother and grandfather and my paternal grandmother.  While my paternal grandfather passed away when my father was still a toddler, I also was fortunate to grow up having a living great grandmother and three great aunts on that side of the family. But here’s the rub. None of them lived near me.  My parents, who met in San Francisco during World War II, chose to live in the Bay Area, with only one paternal family member in proximity,…

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Postcards from Manhattan
Postcards. Washington Square, Union Square and The Strand bookstore, New York, New York.

Postcards from Manhattan

Rarely do I travel 3,000 + miles for a weekend, but I did so recently, and the experience and rewards were great. While staying in New York, it seemed appropriate to visit some sites and share some postcards with Social Correspondence. Postcard # 1 Dear Francine, It seems that we have developed a fine new tradition, catching up with one another while taking walks, and how fortunate it is for me to benefit from your knowledge of the many treasures tucked away or hidden in plain sight in Central Park. What an amazing place for your…

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Addenda

Addenda is an occasional Social Correspondence post that features updates to previous posts, adds brief comments, and makes note of related items. Addenda: Stamps A ceremony was held in Cleveland, Ohio, Paul Newman’s hometown, on September 18 to celebrate the first day of issue of the new Paul Newman stamp.  Those in attendance included Clea Newman Soderlund, senior director of special initiatives, SeriousFun Children’s Network and Paul Newman’s daughter; Robert Forrester, president and CEO, Newman’s Own Foundation; and other charities supported by the late actor and philanthropist. Paul Newman founded both SeriousFun Network and Newman’s Own…

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New Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has been busy again issuing new stamps, and now there are even more stamps to enjoy. There is a stamp to celebrate Lunar New Year, an ovation to Maya Angelou, a Vietnam Medal of Honor stamp, a Special Olympics stamp, stamps featuring water lilies, vintage roses and tulips, and more. But it seems that the best is yet to come. Among the new stamps, let’s first take a look at the timeless and ever popular Elvis. The latest Elvis stamp will be dedicated on Aug. 12 at Graceland in Memphis. Priscilla Presley…

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Readers Corner – Wedding Etiquette

Dear Readers, As always, I enjoy and appreciate receiving your comments and letters. The following are excerpts from letters received about the post "Wedding Etiquette," See also comments posted on the site. "Happy mother of the bride!" LETTERS Just read your posting and enjoyed very much!  As for timelines, I'm happy to receive a thank you anytime!  I know manners have changed dramatically in the past decade or so, and I'll accept any form of thank you!  Although with my limited experience, because my kids or their friends don't tend to get married, it seems when…

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A Letter of Thanks

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, at its best filled with the delicious smells of a home cooked feast, and the sounds of convivial conversation among good friends and family. Such pleasures, however, are not to be taken for granted. For me, Thanksgiving is a time to remember those who once gathered at the table who are no longer with us, and to give thanks for the enduring friendships and the love of family that continue to bring blessings to life. This has been a year of happiness and joy, but also one of loss. It…

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The Hanx Writer

The Hanx Writer, actor Tom Hanks’ typewriter app for the iPad, was the number one free download in the Apple iTunes Store upon its release late last month. With the app, one can type on a virtual typewriter, accompanied by sounds of a vintage keyboard. The default typewriter model is one chosen from the extensive personal collection of typewriters owned by Mr. Hanks. For a modest purchase, one can download additional vintage typewriter keyboards, using the Hanx 707 app. The Hanx 707 also includes added functionality, such as the ability to work on multiple documents simultaneously,…

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Letters We Love to Receive

In the words of the great P.D. James, 93-year old doyenne of English crime fiction, “No literary form is more revealing, more spontaneous or more individual than a letter.” But what distinguishes some letters from others, those letters that are pure pleasure to read, opened with eager anticipation? The letters that are read many times over, and then saved, in a drawer or file, box or basket? To some extent, the answer lies with the recipient’s relationship with the sender. Letters from a spouse, child, beloved aunt, cousin, grandmother, lover, close friend, are surely the ones…

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The Overdue Letter

A letter, especially one that is meaningful to both the sender and the receiver, may be fraught with emotion. Letters can convey multiple emotions, including love, regret, despair, joy and anger. Many of us have experienced the satisfaction of putting our angry feelings into writing. This can be a good device for cooling off and collecting oneself, whether the letter is actually sent or not. A recent opinion piece in The New York Times, penned by Maria Konnikova, The Lost Art of the Unsent Angry Letter, received a strong response from readers, with many sharing their own…

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