I’m a big fan of writing fan letters. Although I don’t do it nearly enough, I think it’s important to let people know when I appreciate their work.
Recently, I wrote a fan letter to the two women who do one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed in History Class. Since Holly (Frey) and Tracy (V. Wilson) enjoy knowing what activities people engage in while listening to the show, along with my letter, I sent some of the handicrafts I made while listing to them. What follows is the letter I sent:
Dear Holly and Tracy,
During camping season (mid-May to mid-October), I am a camp host in a remote mountain area of California. The area where I work offers no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no landline, and no internet access. When I’m not assisting visitors or scrubbing pit toilets or writing about my experiences for my blog, I make winter hats from yarn and jewelry from hemp. While my fingers are busy, I like listening to podcasts, including Stuff You Missed in History Class. I especially enjoy episodes dealing with feisty women and LGBTQ rights.
At one point this past summer, in order to save money, I decided to stay on the mountain for two weeks instead of going to civilization during my days off. I had plenty of food, so sitting tight was no problem. I had several episodes of Stuff You Missed in History Class on my phone and many more stored on my laptop. After I listened to all of the episode on my phone, I pulled out my laptop and used the last of its battery trying to transfer episodes. For some reason I don’t understand, my laptop wouldn’t recognize my phone, so I was unable to add any episodes. Oh well! I simply listened to the dozen or so episodes on my phone until I went back to civilization and my laptop and phone decided to communicate with one another.
Listening to an episode multiple times allowed me to learn new information with each exposure to the material. And it was grand to hear human voices when I had no campers in the campground and was feeling lonely.
To thank you for keeping me company, I decided to send you things I made while listening to you. I made the hats while on a yarn bender. I made the necklaces especially for you ladies.
When I decided to make necklaces, I knew I wanted to use pendants with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” While her actual quote uses the word “seldom,” I could only find pendants with “seldom” replaced by “rarely.” I haven’t read Ulrich’s book named after her quote , so I don’t know if she is she addresses how and when and why the quote was changed. I wonder how this quote came to be attributed to Marilyn Monroe and Eleanor Roosevelt. Finally, I wonder how Ulrich feels about seeing her quote (from her 1976 academic paper in the journal “American Quarterly”) plastered on pendants, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, and t-shirts.
In any case, Tracy and Holly, I appreciate all you two do to bring history to the people. I’ve certainly learned a lot from listening to you.
All the best,
I took the photos in this post.