I’m declaring today Pony Express Appreciation Day!
You know why, don’t you? Today is the 154th anniversary of the Pony Express! Everybody, take a moment to thank your postwoman or man!
That’s right – on this very day in 1860, teams of horse and riders left two spots in the United States – Sacramento, California, and St. Joseph, Missouri and traveled to destinations 1,800 miles away. It took them 13 days, but they made it, and the impetus for what we know today as the United States Postal Service was begun.
Imagine how important a written letter was back in a day when you couldn’t even pick up the phone and call someone. Before the Pony Express, if you were in New York and wanted to get a letter to the West Coast of the U.S., you had to send it by ship, which took about a month! Or, you could send it by stagecoach, but that could take several months!
The Pony Express proved to be short-lived, but it was long enough to prove it possible to establish and operate a unified transcontinental system of letter delivery.
Certainly, in 1860, people didn’t take for granted the value of a written letter. People risked their lives and paid good money to send and receive them. Now, we’re at the opposite end of the spectrum. We don’t need handwritten letters to communicate. We have texts, emails, tweets, you name it.
An article in the Tampa Tribune recently got me thinking about what value handwritten letters hold in today’s society. The article referred to letters as a lost art form. Would you consider a handwritten letter a piece of art? I would, at least as much as a writing a book is art. The handwritten word can convey so much more emotion than typed letters. It’s a message, a personal interaction, a sign of time taken. To me, the bigger question is, is it a lost art? I’d like to think we still know how to craft handwritten notes. What do you think? Do you send notes as often as you’d like?
To whom do you owe a letter? Or maybe a simple handwritten thank you note? I know my answer, and I’m taking a break from typing up books to write my personal letter by hand now. I’d love to hear if this blog post inspires you to do the same.