Letters have always drawn me. Not only do I enjoy receiving personal letters, but I like reading the mail of others. From the Apostle Paul to Wodehouse, I have read the letters of such outstanding writers as Dorothy Osbourne, John Calvin, Lord Chesterfield, John Keats, Barrett and Browning, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Helene Hanff and E. B. White. I have even read and enjoyed Ted Nancy’s Letters From a Nut.
Reading erudite letters has inspired me to write better ones. And so I resolved to cultivate the habit of writing personal letters in 2017. I hope to improve my handwriting through practice, but until my scratches become legible, I have decided to return to a twentieth-century manual typewriter. I found a beautiful used Adler Tippa 4 machine at the last repair shop in Kansas City. Although fifty years old, the “Eagle” works like, well, a well-oiled machine. It even has a distinctive cursive font.
I have already sent out a stack of typed letters to friends and family. The initial response has suggested that I have introduced a sense of rare delight by mailing them a hand-typed missive. It seems others have missed these hand-crafted works of art as much as I have.