HATS OFF TO THE POSTAL FOLKS…AND A FEW SPECIAL FRIENDS FROM LONG AGO!
Almost exactly 39 years ago, I packed up my pens, ink, and some paper and headed for Twinsburg, OH. My spanking new book, THE KEN BROWN HANDBOOK, had been in distribution only about 4 months and it had become a best-seller in the arts and crafts circles where it was finding new dealers and distributors daily.
The manager of a huge distributorship in that industry invited me to come and teach a Saturday and Sunday workshop at their cavernous warehouse at DYNACRAFTS. He promised to get 25 dealers in the room so we struck a deal and I went. I walked into the room and was greeted by 36 students. It was my FIRST teaching gig and the two days flew by with every individual learning the letters well enough to do their name….and more. Some better than others as you see below.
We all went to a restaurant nearby for an organized dinner, Saturday evening. As we all walked toward the front door to leave after the dinner, I asked the group to make two even lines on each side of the aisle to the door. Can’t recall how many G & T’s I may have had, but they didn’t impair my upside-down walk out the door. Got a big round of applause from the group and many in the restaurant.
The next day, Pat Fedde, the manager who brought me in, secretly managed to get every individual in the class to letter their name on a piece of parchment paper, then someone did the watercolor illustration of the looney teacher.
Several days later I went to the post office and found the yellow card, MAIL TOO LARGE FOR THE BOX, in my box. I went to the postmaster and he handed me the group’s and Pat’s handiwork. Pat stuck on a postage strip….with ink that has since faded….and mailed it just as you see it, UNWRAPPED. My local postmaster had seen these little tricks before on many outgoing items from MY pens so it was routine for him.
Just yesterday, one of those students who was in the class, posted on Facebook something about that 1977 class and that all her Calligraphy materials and my book were lost in a fire some months back. It was great to reconnect with CAROLE SHEFTIC whose name stands out nicely on the plaque. She’ll have a goodie box on the way tomorrow.
BOTTOM LINE: Gestures like the sending of the unwrapped plaque, made a giant impression on me, just as mine have on other people. It has hung on my Studio wall for almost 39 years and is getting the spotlight again, much bigger than before.
Any time you can say ‘thank you,’ or mark an important occasion in an off-the-wall way (no pun intended!) it always get lots of buzz and appreciation. Often, just as this one did, nice things come back to you for your efforts.
As you may recall from previous posts, I’ve put my inked Calligraphy on boat oars, wooden cutouts of pigs and ducks, wooden rings, hammers, giant wooden post cards, and many other objects, to people whose attention I wanted to get for some special reason. In fact, Pat Fedde knew it was a grand idea because he got my wooden bathroom shutter, unwrapped, in the mail, hyping my new Calligraphy book a few months earlier. He got the shutter. I got a 2-day class!
Thanks Carol and Pat and anyone else who may still be out there!