Sunday, September 8, 2013

el hanx

I agree with Tom Hanks’ twitter bio, it reads “I'm that actor in some of the movies you liked and some you didn't…”@tomhanks. I can watch some of his movies over and over. Some I can't stand. And a few have kept my mom and I talking about it for years, and years, and years (ie. Philadelphia).

I recently came across an article he wrote in the NYT and I not only liked the way it is written, but how many times I closely related to it and how it made me think about my own appreciation of hand-written notes and not losing a tactile tradition. There are a few sentences in his rather short article I enjoyed a little too much, first one:
“I use a manual typewriter — and the United States Postal Service — almost every day. My snail-mail letters and thank-you notes, office memos and to-do lists, and rough — and I mean very rough — drafts of story pages are messy things, but the creating of them satisfies me like few other daily tasks.”
We have this in common. As a matter of fact I have an affinity with postal offices. Even when passing through a town, I like to stop by and send a postcard, or two. The first time I visited Mexico City, I was lucky to be near it during business hours and got to go to the main postal office near the Zócalo, across the street from El Palacio de Bellas Artes. Amazing! I sent two postcards to the north of Mexico which took over 3 months to arrive and well, that's just another story altogether.
I am known to always have stamps with me, question is which need do you need? – a forever one, or just a postcard one? Yes, I have both.…

French postal service
Nicasio post office (35mi north of SF) during the last leg of the Randonneur ride in Fall/2009.

One of the most personal posts I've written a bit over a year ago was based on my very special typewriter, which I continue to use quite frequently.
Here are two more sentences I liked by el hanx:
“No one throws away typewritten letters, because they are pieces of graphic art with a singularity equal to your fingerprints, for no two manual typewriters print precisely the same.”“For less important doodles in text, the kind that go no farther than your desk or refrigerator door, the tactile pleasure of typing old school is incomparable to what you get from a de rigueur laptop.”

I am also sincerely grateful that through the years I have continued to exchange correspondence with my friends from time to time, and even a number of you that continue to read my blog. Some I've had the honor to meet once or even twice, and some I have not met – but know as well as you can know cyber pals :)

In the recent weeks I have received plenty of snail mail and I'm pretty grateful about that. I love it. Newspaper clips sent by mi amiga just a few miles south from here, a package from Germany and even some local bikey news from Chicago and Etc. (a post on all that snailmail love soon!).

Anyways, if you like me enjoy reading, writing and mostly thinking on Sundays, here is a short read for ya:
I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear That? | by Tom Hanks, The Sunday Review 8/3/13

Do you have pen pals? Hope it isn't a thing of the past – When was the last time you sent a postcard, birthday card or letter?



  1. I just saw some beautiful note paper today downtown and will have to go back and get it. I love hand written or typed letters so much, so thank you for the inspiring meditation on this. I love your post on Rico, so beautiful that you have his typewriter.
    xo Mary Jo

  2. In every single one of my workplaces (1888 - Current), I have been "the guy who has stamps." And although I don't "stock" postcard stamps regularly, I DO carry international "one price" airmail stamps! I use them occasionally, and I feel fancy AND old-school having them.


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