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Letter writing — and a request for help

Man writing a letter
A Vermont resident recently embarked on a project to revive the art of letter writing.

Mail fan. Former newspaper reporter Tim Johnson recently decided to shun social media for a while and set a goal for himself: write 108 letters to people he knew or used to know.

For three months, the Burlington, VT, resident composed and mailed letters to former friends, colleagues, teachers, neighbors, crushes and anyone else who came to mind.

“I had nothing pressing or even prepossessing to say to these people, many of whom I hadn’t seen or communicated with in 30, 40 or 50 years. Still, I enjoyed holding forth, wistfully, playfully, with rekindled memories and retrospections they didn’t ask for,” Johnson wrote in a recent Washington Post column.

The requirements for his project included that each letter be handwritten, completed in one sitting and provide only a return address as a means of contact. The hope was that it might lead to a comeback for the art of letter writing.

“I came away from my letter-writing experiment thinking that … mail is not only neglected, but underappreciated,” Johnson wrote.

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