The Lost Art of A Handwritten Fan Letter

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While some children admire a musician, athlete, or actor, my daughter's hero is Sir David Attenborough, naturalist and English broadcaster who recently celebrated his 90th Birthday.  Like millions of children, David's shows have inspired her to love and care for this magnificent world. For quite some time, she has been wanting to write him a fan letter and I thought it was a great idea. 

After talking about it for a year, one day she sat down and got to work. It was a very thoughtful and sweet letter. I was ready to mail it when she stopped me; "Mom, it's not finished yet." She was determined to make him a painting inspired by one of her favorite episodes, "Attenborough's Ark." She spread across the table her watercolors, special papers, and created one of her best paintings to date. One was a painting of David with the curious animals he would put on his ark including unexpected and little-known animals such as the olm, the solenodon and the quoll. Then she painted herself with the animals she would put in her ark - mainly dinosaurs.

I searched the Twittersphere for his address and found what I hoped would work. The next day, we went to the post office together, packaged up her letter and paintings, included a self addressed stamped envelope and mail it. She wait patiently. I never expected anything, surely he's a busy person with tons of fan mail.

Within two weeks a package arrived in the mail from the U.K. addressed to her. It was from Sir David Attenborough. A hand written letter! One of the worlds most famous personalities, and the kind of guy who’s almost certainly deluged on a daily basis by truckloads of fan mail, he took the time to respond to her with a very personal letter. 

Getting a personalized letter, handwritten from one of her favorite people meant the world to her. We framed it and hung it next to her bed. She will treasure this for the rest of her life. Thank you so much Sir David Attenborough! You made my girl so happy. 

I tell you this story in hopes to inspire you to let your child handwrite to a favorite author, musician, actor, scientist......or anyone they admire this summer. I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment on who your child wrote to and if they responded.