National Handwriting Day

Handwriting has been on my mind lately.

Shortly before Christmas, I traveled to Buffalo, NY with my sister. Ostensibly to grab a package she had delivered to a US Post Office, it was also an opportunity for us to find an adventure. It seems that more often than not, when we travel south of the border, the sister and I find something to write home about.

Once we visited the Church of Transfiguration in Buffalo, NY. She made a book out of it.

Then we came across this quaint little Mexican place (and that was just an airport run.)

Our last trip, shortly before Christmas, was equally memorable. The urge to say “want to get off the highway and circle back?” grows stronger in us each time we go.

When we pulled off and circled back, we found an antique shop spilling out of an old Unity Church (whatever the hell that is. Or was.) Inside we found all matter of ephemera.

Brass doorknobs the size of a woman’s eye socket (you know, cause she used to run into those “by accident.”)

Crockery, furniture, tschotsckes, display boxes, clocks, doorframes, table legs…even letters. Handwritten letters.


Meet Alfred Kuntz

Is it wrong to read someone’s letters after they’re dead? These date from 1918. The whole packet ranges from fall of 1918 to 1926. Only a few from ’26 were in the collection, but they all indicated that Mr. Kuntz was a happy man. He even announced his wedding in a birthday card to his mother.

Alfred Kuntz's wedding announcement.

Alfred Kuntz’s wedding announcement.

I don’t actually know that Mr. Kuntz is dead. But the fact is his letters were deposited in a shallow box lid in a dusty corner in an antique shop by the highway in Buffalo, NY… I think he may be gone.

Gone but not forgotten.

Sister and I found them. And I read every one. I’d like to tell you his story on the pages of The Punnery. If you’re interested in the tale, leave me a comment or a note via the Facebook page.

And, in case you’re not aware, I do have a Punnery Facebook page. I post other things there (in a more frequent manner.)

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4 thoughts on “National Handwriting Day

  1. Sarah Begin January 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm Reply

    Fascinating. I love things like this! I’ve also been thinking a lot about handwriting. I would like to work on my own and handwrite more letters. I am also very intereted in genealogy and family history, so this really intrigues me. Please post more!

  2. Olga January 14, 2013 at 11:52 am Reply

    Thanks Sarah! I’ll definitely keep posting his story. To me handwriting is so intimate and personal. As soon as I began reading one of his letters in that dusty attic, I knew I had to have the collection to explore. I got the whole thing for $5. To the guy who sold them to me, they were just a bunch of pages (maybe he thought I was buying them for the stamps? They’re quite old.) What he didn’t know was I was buying them for the story, which is worth much more than what I gave him. So I guess we both got a deal!

  3. Randy Osborne January 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm Reply

    Hi Olga! Thanks for this post. I’m a collector of “old paper” (letters, diaries) like those you write about.

    You might be interested in my project. During 2013, as a part of a literary art project, I am composing one handwritten letter per day and mailing it to anybody who asks, free.

    Two of my goals are to bring handwriting back into the world, and to connect people in this all-but-lost way.

    In less than three weeks — thank you, Internet! — the Letter A Day project has reached 26 states in the U.S., plus Canada, Denmark, Australia, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, India, Germany, Malaysia and South Africa. Requests are still tumbling in from territories all over, but there’s room for more. Should I end up with more than 365 requests by the end of the year, I’ll just keep going.

    Each recipient gets an original, somewhat newsy, most likely meandering but sincere letter, such as he or she might once upon a time have gotten from a friend or relative.

    If you or any of your readers would like a letter, please visit my website ( — where I am not trying to sell anything, as you’ll see, just keep888ing the requests in one place — and scroll to the “email me” button at the bottom of the page. Send me your postal address. That’s all you have to do. 🙂 And please tell your friends.

    • Olga January 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm Reply

      Hey Randy,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your project. It sounds really neat. Best of luck with it! 🙂

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