Smoke Signals to Eleanor

19732277_10210159996176119_6473011920983640967_nThanks to daughter Lauren Jenks for uncovering this long-lost response from Eleanor Roosevelt, pasted 55 years ago in a book to keep it safe.

The topic was an interview I conducted with her through the mail. The elaborate adolescent signature to the right is my own.

“Smoke Signals” was the mimeographed student newspaper of Morrisville-Eaton Central School. We justified the columns (making them flush on the left and the right) by typing slash marks at the end of each column. The slash marks were counted by the typist so he or she would know how many spaces to add between words so the right-hand column would be even. It was crude, but I have an idea Mrs. Roosevelt didn’t mind.

The back story of the exchange with Mrs R. is here.

The older I get, the more incredulous I am that this towering figure of the 20th century took the time to sit down at her typewriter to craft such thoughtful answers. Did she ever let a letter go unanswered?

About Philip E Jenks

Philip, a synodical deacon in the ELCA Metropolitan New York synod, is a retired communicator for American Baptist Churches USA, the U.S. Conference for the World Council of Churches, the U.S. National Council of Churches, and two Philadelphia area daily newspapers. He and his spouse, the Rev. Dr. Martha M. Cruz, are the parents of six adults and are members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rye Brook, N.Y. They live in Port Chester, N.Y.
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