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Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!

Peter T. 04 Jul 01 - 06:02 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jul 01 - 06:19 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jul 01 - 06:26 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM
Naemanson 04 Jul 01 - 06:49 PM
Jeep man 04 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jul 01 - 07:00 PM
Peter T. 04 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM
SINSULL 04 Jul 01 - 07:45 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jul 01 - 08:00 PM
Little Neophyte 04 Jul 01 - 08:30 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM
Big Mick 04 Jul 01 - 10:25 PM
Gypsy 04 Jul 01 - 10:30 PM
Peter T. 04 Jul 01 - 10:41 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jul 01 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,andi 04 Jul 01 - 10:45 PM
Lin in Kansas 04 Jul 01 - 11:23 PM
Mrrzy 04 Jul 01 - 11:27 PM
Seamus Kennedy 05 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM
Seamus Kennedy 05 Jul 01 - 12:14 AM
Amos 05 Jul 01 - 12:49 AM
Rick Fielding 05 Jul 01 - 12:54 AM
KT 05 Jul 01 - 01:00 AM
wysiwyg 05 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM
catspaw49 05 Jul 01 - 01:19 AM
Amergin 05 Jul 01 - 01:24 AM
Amos 05 Jul 01 - 01:26 AM
JenEllen 05 Jul 01 - 02:16 AM
wysiwyg 05 Jul 01 - 02:33 AM
katlaughing 05 Jul 01 - 04:00 AM
Amos 05 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM
RangerSteve 05 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM
Mrrzy 05 Jul 01 - 09:55 AM
bbc 05 Jul 01 - 11:03 AM
GeorgeH 05 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jul 01 - 04:16 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 05 Jul 01 - 08:45 PM
Amos 05 Jul 01 - 11:32 PM
GeorgeH 06 Jul 01 - 07:32 AM
Peter T. 06 Jul 01 - 09:38 AM
Mrrzy 06 Jul 01 - 10:21 AM
Clinton Hammond 06 Jul 01 - 02:51 PM
Jacob B 06 Jul 01 - 05:19 PM
Uncle_DaveO 06 Jul 01 - 05:30 PM
Marion 16 Oct 02 - 12:51 AM
Little Hawk 01 Sep 04 - 02:14 AM
Jeanie 01 Sep 04 - 04:54 AM
alanabit 26 Jul 05 - 05:20 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Jul 05 - 08:38 AM
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Subject: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:02 PM

Someone in the Mordechai Richler thread said that he had read a book of his and regrets not having written to say thanks. Made me think about who I should write a letter of thanks to WHILE THEY ARE STILL ALIVE. I am going to work on this, have to think about it a bit, but I thought it might stimulate some interesting remarks. Who should you write to (not your mom, I mean somebody out of your circle of acquaintance) just to say thanks for a book they have written, a movie, a good deed done, whatever, and you haven't -- yet?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:19 PM

Well, now, there's a good thought...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:26 PM

Peter,

I began doing just this when Louis Lamour died. Lamour was more than a popcorn author of westerns. He was a consumate historian, geologist, and archeologist. He told stories in a believable manner about real places and real seeming people. His stories entertained me when I was ill and I always meant to write him and yell him how much i enjoyed his work but he died before I got the chance. The same was true of Robert Heinlein a few years before

Jack Kirby was a comic book artist and innovator who I admired for years. I sent him a doll that I had made. A representation of one of his characters as a thank you for years of entertainment when I was a kid. His wife called to say thankyou for the gift and that I should call Jack in a few days when he was better. He had the flu and their house was a mess from the LA/Thousand Oaks earthquake 1986. I waited a few days and then a few more and then while sitting in my office I heard on NPR that Jack Kirby, King of Comics had died of conjestive heart failure at his home in Thousand Oaks. But before he died he knew how much I appreciated his work and I have never been sorry I did it. I believe its ok to be a 50 year old fan boy geek. After awhile, a heart felt letter may mean more to someone you admired for years than the purchase of the lates book, record, or video tape.

But don't just send the letter to the Richlers and Kirbys and Heinleins. Send one to your thirdgrade teacher, and your elderly neighbor, and scoutmaster and a friend you had when you were nine. There is a wealth of people who think they are underappreciated and they aren't. Just our inability to humble ourselves keeps others from knowing how important they have been to us.

Don


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:35 PM

WONDROUS THREAD PETER!

You and Don have the right idea. Damn, there are soo many people I owe so much to as far as making my life fun and interesting. Years ago I was too shy to write or phone them, let alone tell them in person how much their influence was appreciated.

For the last ten or so years, I've managed to let almost EVERYBODY I've admired know about it. It's amazing. With a little forethought, and some strategy you can contact ANYONE, no matter how famous or guarded.

Now, with the 'net' it's much simpler. Yup, if you admire 'em let 'em know.....just make sure they don't think you're gonna follow them home.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Naemanson
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:49 PM

Is it the same thing if you can look the person in the eye and shake hands? At Mystic this year I did just that when I told Robbie O'Connell how much I've enjoyed his music, especially the song that I do locally that people seem to ask for again and again.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Jeep man
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 06:52 PM

This is a great thread and wonderful thought. I intend to start today.Will report. Jeep


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 07:00 PM

Naemanson

If the Nashville Music Combine does anything right it is the Fan Fairs that they Country Music people do. Its really nothing more than thank you with a very personal touch. This is the musician/artist telling the fan how much they appreciate them. A few kind words and an auto graph and you remember the moment for a long time. (When was the last time you heard of Slipknot or Rammstein or even Lil Kim doing anything like that.) It is the same thing in reverse when you tell Robbie O'Connell how much you like his work. Civility and cordiality, what an odd notion. Being good to each other

Maybe an illness worth spreading.

Don


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 07:24 PM

Thanks Don for writing Jack Kirby! What a great thing. A real hero of mine. I am enjoying working on my list. I am going to have to stop it at 10. Most fun I have had in days. BUT ONLY IF THE LETTERS ARE SENT, RIGHT!?! Any other takers? yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 07:45 PM

"Give me the roses while I live
Trying to cheer me on
Useless are flowers that we give
After the soul is gone"

Some of you know the saga of my son. Lawrence loved a show called the "Wizard" about a dwarf (little person?) with magical powers who always saved the day and taught a simple lesson in the doing. The actor who played the lead attempted suicide. And I wanted to write him and let him know how much he meant to my son. The letter was never written and shortly after, he succeeded in killing himself. I often wonder if my letter might have bought him another day. And if he knew the number of troubled kids he had reached.

So send the letters, say the words, offer the "Thank you"s.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 08:00 PM

People I would like to thank in a big way include Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

And Spaw. And Peter T. And Rick Fielding.

There's a start. Now, how do I find the ones that aren't on Mudcat? Hmmmm....

- LH


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 08:30 PM

I would write a letter to Rick Fielding to thank him for everything he has given me. If it was not for Rick I would not be on the path I am on now.......to bring my music out from in. I will always be grateful to the generous love, patience and kindness Rick Fielding offers me.
The passing of Mordechai Richler makes me think of these feelings.
Thanks Peter,

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 08:59 PM

Thanks Bonnie, that warms my heart, 'course I'm pretty easy to get to. Ha Ha!

Now, Dylan? I'd start by contacting the most accessible known friend......couple of Mudcatters know him pretty well, but it might be best to do the research on your own.

One of the most rewarding contacts for me was making friends with Jim Bouton.....don't worry if you don't know who he is. Wrote a stupendous Baseball/Life book.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 10:25 PM

I guess I would have to say that I have been blessed enough to meet a good deal more than my share of interesting people. And I learned to read at a very early age, so I was able to visit, in the books I read, with a great many more. But you know who I really want to say Thank You to? I would have to say that it would be Caroline and Sandy Paton. Because when they welcomed me into their circle of friends, they introduced me to people that influenced my music and caused it to go down streets it would have never gone without them. Their presence, and the presence of people like Rick Fielding, Dan Milner, Kath Westra, Ed Trickett, The FSGW gang, et al have lent a depth to my musical experience that I am hard pressed to describe. I love them for that and will forever be grateful.

So thanks Sandy and Caroline. I am so proud to know you and be counted among your friends.

Peter, I want to thank you as well. This is going to be a wonderful thread. I am glad that you and I are friends.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Gypsy
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 10:30 PM

well, top of the list was Linda Lowe Thompson, without whose book, i would never have learned the hammer dulcimer. I did write her, and got the most lovely respons. Terrific lady. Also wrote James A Michener, with no response, but that wasn't the point. The point was, his books moved me, and he deserved to be told that. Give me the Roses is a favorite one in our house, and we try to live it.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 10:41 PM

Boy, you don't have to do much to get thanked around here!! Start a thread, and it just rolls in. I should have done this a lot earlier, rather than sending out all those cheques like John Beresford Tipton (joke, joke)

yours, Peter T.
P.S. I would like to thank Neil Diamond for stopping putting out albums. Anyone have his address? (joke, joke)


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 10:42 PM

I really liked Shirley MacLaine's books (the early down to earth ones and the later cosmic ones), and wrote her a thank you letter once, and I actually did get a reply.

Also sent a letter to Joan Baez and got a reply from her mother and corresponded back and forth for a few years. Found her an old record of Joan's one time that she wanted and mailed it to her, and she sent me a tape of "Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring", recorded in Spain.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: GUEST,andi
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 10:45 PM

Peter,

Thanks for the food for thought. To whom do I owe thanks most recently Lucy and Stewart MacNiel for a much needed lesson in human kindness ( long story). Alan Doyle for sharing his love of life and joy in exsistance with everyone. Darrell Power for making me laugh so hard my sides hurt ( i am not a giggly person) They have made my life immeasurably better these past few months. The problem, I do not have the words to say to them all that is my heart, nor even a small part of it. They are the folks I give thanks for nightly. Maybe someday I will be able to tell them that they made a difference not just becasue of their music, but because of the way they live their lives. And Peter, thank YOU for starting this thread, it is wonderful to see how may of us are touched to deeply by the artist and writers around us andi


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 11:23 PM

Wish I'd told my "Old Battleaxe" of a high school English teacher how much I came to appreciate her pounding those parsed sentences into my head. Her favorite statement was "You'll need this in college," at which all us know-it-alls rolled our eyes. But you know, I never cracked a book in English 101 and still made 4.0 ...

Miss Lillian, I've used your lessons to make a living my whole life, and they've taken me places I never thought I'd go. Here's to you, and to other underappreciated teachers everywhere.

Peter, you've got my two remaining brain cells churning now. I think it's time to send some mail!

Lin


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Jul 01 - 11:27 PM

When my ninety-some-odd grandfather fell and we were told he was going to die of some complication or other of the broken hip (turned out to be pneumonia but we had about three days' warning), I wrote him a letter thanking him, and granny since she was still alive at the time, for being the kind of gparents they'd been, for raising Daddy to be the person he was, and a lot of other more personal things. Uncle Greg had time to read it to him before he died, and it made him (UGreg) cry buckets and buckets and I was soooooo glad I'd done it.

Don't know if I'd really make the effort for the famous folks who'd done wonders for me... they know.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM

Great thread, Peter. I've been doing it for years. Tommy Makem, Tom and Pat Clancy, Pete Seeger, I've dropped notes to them all (and quite a few others) telling them how they influenced me in my career choice, and how much I've admired their work. What's really neat is subsequently appearing on stage with some of your heroes and finding out in person that they are as great/humble/"normal" as you thought they were. What I've started doing lately is telling some of my peers (other performers and friends my age whom I know personally and/or have performed with) how much I respect them and their work. John Taylor, Scottish fiddler extraordinaire from San Jose, Ed Miller, Alastair Fraser, the Dady Brothers, Danny Doyle...the list has begun.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 12:14 AM

Oh, yeah, I forgot. Years ago, someone gave me a dubbed cassette of some guy singing a bunch of old Irish and American tunes, and telling a few humorous stories. It was unlabeled and I had no idea who it was, but I carried that tape in my car for years, and it became one of my favorite long distance driving tapes. Thank you Kendall Morse.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 12:49 AM

Well, just in a quiet and local way, I think I should express my thanks to Aine, Pat, Susan Wysiwyg, Big Mick, Bonnie, and to Jen Ellen each of whom has brightened my days in their own way and broadened my horizons -- more than which I could not ask from anyone!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 12:54 AM

One person I've tried so hard to reach with absolutely no success is Alison Grant, originally from Cleveland. We lived together for two years in Toronto a long time ago. She was kind, thoughtful and fun. I was pretty stupid. I'd love to just be able to say "Thanks" and "I'm sorry".

Rick


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: KT
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:00 AM

Great thread, Peter. Thanks for starting it.

I have written to some elementary teachers, an illustrator whose work gave me great pleasure when I was a child, and Leo Busgaglia. I was so glad I'd written to Leo before he died.

And on the same note, if the opportunity presents itself to tell someone just what they mean to you, don't hesitate. I once found myself with such an opportunity. Although I felt awkward and a tad fearful that this friend would think I was a little off, I chose to tell him anyway, how deeply loved he was by the entire community in which he lived. He was very surprised to know that, and very grateful. He died the next day in a climbing accident. I have been forever grateful that I didn't hesitate to tell him.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:10 AM

Aw. You too, Big Guy. [............................................................................................] that's all the unsaid stuff packed into those few words. There'd be more but I don't have that cable modem yet and it rained here, bad. But they are about loving you just as much as ever, and forever, like I said, despite the drop in frequency of communication.

Peter, I actually did something like this about the time I joined Mudcat, when I first fell online, and wrote to Rich Warren, one of the greats of the WFMT-FM Midnight Special folk program. (If you saw what I wrote about Seamus Kennedy, well, that was pale by comparison.) I got a surprised and very appreciative note back. Sometimes the urge to do this comes just when the person most needs to hear it. So when I get that feeling, to do that for someone, I try to act on it right away. I do it for them, though, not for me... I do it so that they hear what they may never have heard before. It can take a long time to know what that unseen and unaffirmed thing in their lives has been, sometimes-- to see it and say it. But it can make a huge difference.

I guess I started doing this when a poem came my way about ten years ago called "Speak Your Love." Since then, I do.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:19 AM

Well damn PT......If this isn't the thread of the week, it should be the thread of the year! I 've done some of this as I've gotten older and mainly with those who were famous only to me because I never really think of the others as needing the praise and thanks of a pissant. Your thoughts about MR make me see that everyone is the same and it matters not the fame of the giver.....it is the thanks that are important. Now when it comes to this place......I'm not sure where to start anymore because the task seems a bit daunting. I owe so much to so many.............

One person of some fame I was able to talk with a few years ago and Karen says that the first 15 minutes were the most stumbling conversation she had ever heard on my part. Tristan Jones, a sailor, had so much influence on me that when I was able to meet him I was damn near speechless. Eventually I was able to tell him how important his books were and how I had lived his adventures over and over for many years. He's a funny little guy and was quite wonderful to talk with.

Great thread PT!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:24 AM

Jesus....Peter...you sure do come up with some of the best threads....

About a year ago...I wrote Morgan Llewellyn an email...telling her how much I love her books and how many times I have read a few of them....got a nice response back saying how much I had made her day....

Now, I would like to thank a few folks or so.....

To my dear friends, Mrrzy, KatLaughing, Katcina, Jiggles, Sins, Scorch, Susan, Bonnie, MoonJen, JenEllen, just to name a few for helping me realise that life is indeed worth living...

Thank you.

To Mick, Pat, Seamus, Art.....for all of the lovely stories and insights you have given to me....

Thank you.

To Aine, thank you for not bashing my skull in response to my smart ass remarks...and thank you for the hard work you do in keeping up the songbook.

To the Elven Folk and their various ringleaders...thank you for upholding the Cafe and the DT....without which my eyes would be no where near as open as they are today


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 01:26 AM

AND katlaughing who always promulgates the true Spirit of the Cat...

A


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: JenEllen
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 02:16 AM

Aw, man...can you tell I'm blushing? You know I love you guys too.

Actually, this is something I try to do on a fairly regular basis, just because the 'life is short' sentiment just happens to be a basic tenet of who I am. As far as the 'Cat goes, if I love you and you've made my day, I'll let you know, I might not get another chance to tell you that you matter to me.

If I knew where he was, I'd write to my highschool buddy Andy, just for the night under the bridge, smoking cigarettes and acting cool, when I poured out the angst equivalent of NiagraFalls, and he told me to just 'f*uck'em kid, do what makes you happy'...I'd like to tell him I did.

~JenEllen


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 02:33 AM

Of course it is, Nathan. You always knew it, too, through everything. Friends... well they just remind us of what we hope is true, deepest down, despite all apparent evidence to the contrary. I think you know this, too... you sure embody it as a friend, yourself.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 04:00 AM

I promulgate? Hafta go look thet one up!**BG** Thank yew kindly, Amos of rapier songwriting pen/mouse whose "Does your pickle glow at night" turns over and over, running in an endless loop in my head!*Really Big Grin* Thanks, very much.

Nathan, you don't know how happy I am to hear you say that; thank you darlin' and I LOVE that you call me "katdarlin'"...it is endearing, charming, and makes me feel great whenever I see you saying it.

I am kind of like Jenellen said. If you've touched me in some way, I hope I have not missed the opportunity to say thank you. Being raised by my mom and dad, esp. mom, I was trained early on to say thank you, and encouraged to reach out no matter the personage.

As a kid I wrote birthday cards of thanks to President Johnson, two years in a row, and have the embossed thank you's I received from him.

Since coming to the Mudcat, I've sent a note of appreciation to Jean Redpath and Jean Ritchie and received gracious and personal replies which I treasure.

A few years ago, I'd heard my old doctor from when I was a kid and who birthed my 3 babies, was upset at himself for not hearing my heart murmur when I was under his care. Dr. Paul Wuben was tall and gangly, with a prominent Adam's apple, thick glasses, and teeth that protruded. He played first violin, second chair in the local orchestra. It was quite a site to see: elbows akimbo, bow flying across the strings, a kind of Ichabod Crane on strings.

He had enough faith in a 17yr old to give her a book on Natural Childbirth and help her have that experience the first time round. I loved him as a doctor. And, it was because of me that my family wound up with him as our doctor. I hurt my finger when I was about 10, mom called her friend to ask who their doc was as we were new in town. The rest is history.

Anyway, I wrote him a long letter, telling him thanks for all that he did and he shouldn't berate himself, plenty of other's had missed it, too, and it was even difficult, at the time, for regular GP's to catch it, unless they knew what they were looking for. I never received a reply, but it sure felt good to have done it.

Giving thanks is part of my spirituality. If we live in a state of thanksgiving, we are also receiving. We don't do it in order to receive, it's, imo, just the way the Universe works.

I'd also like to say, I've been on the receiving end of some very unexpected thank you's, mainly in response to one of my pieces being published in a newspaper or magazine. One in particular struck a chord with several prominent women in our town, each of whom, independent of one another, sent me kudos and thanks via email. Really made my week! I didn't know any of them, it was totally unexpected, and came at a time when I was pretty down on myself as a writer not producing. So it is important to follow that urge.

I'd love to find Gene Stedman and tell him thanks for night under the stars, throwing firecrackers, when I was 13, and for his wonderful letter to me, telling me what a lovely person I was. We met only that one night and had talked a lot about the possibility of him going to Vietnam in two years time. From that same summer, I'd love to find Arthur Martinez to say thanks for being my very first real love and a complete gentleman.

Thanks, Peter, for this thread and for all of the inspiration you've given me to strive more loftier heights in my own craft. And, thanks to the rest of you lot, you'll be getting more personal ones from me each time something strikes me. I am more blessed than I'd ever hoped to be and it has a lot to do with the Mudcat and all of you.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM

I kicked aboput a lot as a youth with the eldest son of a well known musician. He (the son) and I played hooky together, chased girls, learned about pot, played rock and roll music in the summer, got in trouble with various people in blue uniforms and raised various kinds of hell. I wrote them last Spring to tell them I had come to realize how much worry all our banderlogue adventures must have cost them, now having grown to be a parent myself, and to tell tham that payback was indeed a bitch, and to apologize for all that stress.

The response was delightful, surprised and delighted. Mrs. B, who wrote for them, accepted the apologies with grace and humor, and even offered a few insights into what had been going on.

It put to bed a very old debt on my part and I was very happy to have done it in time.

A


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: RangerSteve
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM

It's a little hard to thank your heroes if you're an old-time country musician. Most of my influences died a long time ago. I did get a chance to thank Grandpa Jones in person at the Brandywine Festival. Also Lee Moore of the Wheeling Jamboree back when it was a good program.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 09:55 AM

Amergin, isn't it the other way around?

And there are those people who made my life miserable without probably even realizing it, I'd also like to write them and ask if they knew what they were doing... but that's another thread!


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: bbc
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 11:03 AM

So often, in our lives, we are quick to verbalize the negative, but leave the positives unsaid. In monetary terms, it costs nothing to tell people we admire them, love them, appreciate things they've done or who they are. I had a college professor who was not well-received by most of the students. He left the school the year after I took his course & retired to Vermont to care for his aging parents. I asked for his address & we carried on a correspondence for years--through my courtship & marriage, through the year I lived in Korea & fostered two newborns, through having my first child. I valued his teaching & who he was as a person. He was a precious reflecting glass in measuring my life.

More recently, I was privileged to work under a principal who was a really great educator & person. By the time I met him, he was retired & just took interim jobs. I only worked under him for 4 months, but what an impact he had on my life! He was dying of cancer at the time. I told him, in person & in writing, more than once, what I thought of him. And I found out, from his feedback, that though he seemed very secure to me, he *needed* to hear those words to confirm the value of his life. He has passed on now, but I know that I said what I could say. I also wrote it to his wife, in his memory.

Sometimes, life is so busy that we miss chances to tell people how we feel. Sometimes, I think, we fear the vulnerability of revealing who we are. I have always found it worthwhile to share who I am w/ others. Life passes quickly. Do what you can, today, & you won't need to have regrets tomorrow.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 11:24 AM

Here's a true, recent and humbling story which, I think, belongs here. We were told it just after a funeral, but we'll come to that . .

Our best friend in these parts, was abandoned by her husbsband some 18 years ago - he went off with her best friend, leaving our friend with a two daughters, the youngest of whom was just a toddler.

Our friend - an outstanding music teacher, whom I've mentioned on other occasions - was at this stage running a music club at the primary school her elder daughter was attending. A little further up the school was another girl, the younger of two sisters, who was already an extremely promising musician.

Shortly after this, our friend was helping out at the local Holiday Orchestra, and commented to someone there on what delightful children this girl and her sister were. "Indeed", came the reply, "and their mother is bringing them up on her own".

Jump forward 15 years, to a few months ago. The mother of these two delightful girls (for they fulfilled the promise they showed as youngsters) died, peacefully and unexpectedly, in her sleep; she was in her mid 50s.

We saw our friend two days after the funeral. She said "You know, that day changed my life. I was feeling desparate; then suddenly I realised 'if she can do it, so can I'. I just wish I'd told her what an inspiration she'd been to me!"

However, it appears that our friend had taken an opportunity, at the funeral, to tell the daughters what an inspiration their mother had been - which is probably a more valuable thing to have been able to do.

George


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 04:16 PM

At 70 years of age there aren't as many of them alive to thank. But there are three, one of whom I KNOW is alive, I acknowledge great debts to:

In high school I'd sort of slid through English, getting pretty good grades, suffering from "bright kids disease" but not exercising myself much. By the time I was 25 I was in a business school, studying court reporting, and a Miss Aufderheide taught a class called Business English. Between her inspired teaching and the realization that I was going to be rolling in the English language for a living for the rest of my life, I learned more about grammar and punctuation in about six months than I had in primary and secondary schools put together. I've been a language wonk ever since. Thank you, Miss Aufderheide!

In high school band we had a director named Merton Utgaard, who rubbed our noses in a wide variety of music, largely classical, and succeeded in forming my musical education in the classical vein, which has been a source of untold pleasure to me for the subsequent 53 years.

When I was in college (about '49 now) I had been passingly interested/amused by folksongs, mainly as sung by Burl Ives. But then I ran across Pete Seeger's Folkways disc, Darling Corey. Wow! That lit a fire under me, and I've been a folksong nut ever since. (Some people don't bother with the adjective, however.) Pete Seeger not only entertained me, but he showed me the power of this approach to song, and provided the basic underpinnings of what was to become my singing style. His social outlook, too, had a lot to do with who I am today in the nonmusical realms. When I grow up, I want to be Pete Seeger!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 08:45 PM

37 posts and nobody's thought of Max yet?! I've been on and off of the site for a good while now, not as long as many of you, but a while.

Max, I love this community found here, but I probably wouldn't do all the work involved in starting it and keeping it going, or for that matter wouldn't be able even if I was willing. It's a hell of a gift that you've given us, FREELY! And in return we've given you a lot of headaches, and grief about pages loading slowly or why isn't this in the digitrad or ..... I hope you realize How much we appreciate the work you've done. I hope I've given back even a fraction of what I've recieved here.

Rich Rayburg


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Amos
Date: 05 Jul 01 - 11:32 PM

I've told Max this repeatedly, and I'll say it again. Max, you're not only a fine guy, in your own special way (!) but you are a real hero for Making Mudcat. I know you didn't have me in mind personally when you set out to set it up, but its probably been the biggest favor anyone has done for me in the last ten years, outsid emy immediate family. You are greatly appreciated, in case I haven't made that clear!

A


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: GeorgeH
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 07:32 AM

Yes, Max is certainly an "unsung hero", and an obvious candidate for this thread.

Thanks, Max (and, of course, the others who are involved).

I guess you feel real proud of what you have brought into being; certainly you SHOULD!

G.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 09:38 AM

Max would be on my list if I hadn't gunked up thread after thread with his praises. Reminder: this thread is about people who you would be prepared to write to to give them thanks. It is not a general thank you catchall (not that there is anything wrong with that). Pens in hand!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 10:21 AM

DaveO, even to be Pete Seeger, don't grow up.


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 02:51 PM

"If you love someone
Can you let it show?
Hold them close to you and tell them
So they know
It's too late
By the grave
Give them all the love you have
Every day"

---Garnet Rogers, 'Frankie & Johnny'---


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Jacob B
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 05:19 PM

My high school physics teacher included a large dose of philosophy of science in his course. I've found the insights I got into the nature of truth and our understanding of it to be invaluable. I heard from my nieces, who were attending the same high school, that he was still there, so I wrote him a letter and thanked him. He called me up, thanked me for the letter, and asked me to send a copy of it to the principal - he's been fighting for years to keep the philosophy in the curriculum, in spite of an administration that has trouble seeing the value of it.

I don't know where my high school English teacher is now, but I would write her if I could. Cynthia Hatch Brueck, if you should stumble upon this posting, thank you for assigning a journal, to be written in every week. It taught me that I could write something if I tried, and enriched my life immeasurably.

And one other person came to mind just this week, when I saw a mention in the newspaper that it was Mitch Miller's 90th birthday. I date my awakening to the beauty and power of group singing to the day when I heard Mitch Miller's recording of The Yellow Rose Of Texas on the radio, and I value his devotion to getting people to sing (as opposed to listening to other people sing) more now than ever. I'll see if I can find an address for him.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 06 Jul 01 - 05:30 PM

I'm very fond of the saying, "It's always great to get the flowers before you die!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Marion
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:51 AM

Since it's currently fashionable to refresh good old threads...

Has anyone done any letter writing as a result of this thread? Get any interesting answers?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 02:14 AM

Neale Walsh, thanks for every book you've ever written! Bob Dylan, thanks for all those great songs! Same goes for Buffy and Joan!

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Baha'ullah, Zoroaster, Mohammed, Lao-Tse, and all the other saints and prophets and great philosophers of history...thanks for lighting the way and setting the example for the rest of us!

(I consider those guys to still be alive too...)


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Jeanie
Date: 01 Sep 04 - 04:54 AM

This is a great thread. Writing to people from years past to say thank-you was something I had occasionally thought of doing, but had never actually taken the plunge. It takes a certain amount of courage, maybe, but it is a wonderful thing to do, both for the recipient and the writer. I was finally kicked into doing it after a 'self development' course a few years ago, where we took time thinking about and listing all the people who had had a positive influence on us.

I got back in touch with my acting teacher, Don Fellows. Like all the best teachers, he taught so much more than his allotted subject, he taught about life and the living of it. He loved all of us, warts and all, and we loved him. He was a real stickler for time-keeping and for accuracy. We had him for "scene study" classes: anyone who even slightly hesitated on their lines had to sit back down and not do their scene again til next week, when they knew it inside out. One of his favourite sayings was that when acting, everything needs to be done "moment by moment by moment", so that it becomes real, as in real life. This taught me more than I can say about how to approach life, how really *living* your life can only be done one moment at a time. Otherwise, you can spend your life merely performing it from the outside, like a bad actor.

Even if you didn't know the name of this lovely man, you will have heard him and seen him in countless films and TV series, playing every rank imaginable in the US forces (he's even doing it on BBC TV tonight, in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'). The stories this man can tell ! He was one of the sailors on the first night of 'South Pacific' on Broadway - in other words, this man goes back a long, long way. I think he will be 82 this year, and still working !

I wrote to him to thank him, tell him news and so on and had a lovely reply back. That was three years ago. This thread popping up has reminded me to write to him again. So - thank you for reviving it.

As for thanking people from the past face-to-face, I had the lovely opportunity a while ago, out of the blue, to thank my German teacher, Mrs. Craig, last seen in 1966. We only had her for a year before she left, but she had such a fun style of teaching that stood out streets ahead of all the rest of the teaching I had at school, before or since. I used to think "If ever I'm a teacher, I'll do it like Mrs. Craig", and it was so lovely to be able to thank her after all those years.

Thanks for this thread. It's got me looking forward even more to the start of term and the drama classes I teach.

Cheers !
- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 05:20 AM

I missed this thread the first time around. Here and now I will say thanks to Max for providing this marvellous facility for all of us. I can think of no other place where I have made so many new friends in recent years.
If I am going to thank all the people who have enriched my life, there is going to be a very big pile of letters to write. Maybe I can start with one or two of my better teachers...


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Subject: RE: Writing Someone Alive to Say Thanks!
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jul 05 - 08:38 AM

This thread started before I was on the Cat, and it's personally very timely. Last night, before I went to bed, I wrote a long letter to the Pastor of the church we go to in New Haven, CT. Sometimes, we have the honor of seeing someone blossom in front of our eyes... to see a transformation in character that is deeply moving. Rev. Ross-Lee is one of those people.

My wife and I started attending the church in New Haven a year ago, when I joined a Men's Chorus made up mostly of members of the church.
When we first went to the church, we were puzzled because the Pastor read his sermons. We couldn't understand why, because he is a powerful speaker. A year ago, he was still feeling his way in a new position, and seemed to need to rely on a written sermon. As the year has progressed, he has become more comfortable, and a couple of months ago, he put his written sermon away, and just spoke from the heart. And he hasn't written out a sermon since.

This summer, my wife and I visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Museum and historic district in Atlanta, and I bought a boxed set of CDs of several of his most famous speeches. It is amazing the power you feel, listening to a voice coming out of a speaker. There will never be another Martin Luther King, Jr. That said, there are times now when I listen to the Pastor of the New Haven Church when I feel as strongly moved as when I listen to Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Samuel Ross-Lee can set a church on fire, and he seems to rise in stature when he is taken over by the Spirit. He often deals with serious problems in the city, from youth gangs and drugs, to a recent movement by the church to promote adoption of orphans. I understand why he has such a commitment to that issue, as he was an orphan who was blessed to be adopted by a loving family. He went on to get his degree from Harvard, and now is using all that he has been given to be a powerful source for justice and love.

And so, I wrote him a long letter last night, telling him all these things. If we are blessed, we might receive one or two letters in a lifetime telling us how much we have meant in someone's life. Most of the praise tends to go to well known people like Dylan, or Baez of Seeger. They are all deserving of praise, and they have given me a lot. But, it is the unassuming persons we cross paths with in our daily lives that often are the greatest inspiration to us.

Let me tell you sometime about Willie C. He's a barber in Hew Haven and the shortest giant among men I've every had the honor of knowing.

Jerry


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