One of the biggest themes in the book “Seeing Home” is the power of writing letters.
Ed’s Mom wrote letters to famous players in an effort to help lift him from his depression after he was struck blind.
Ed did the same when he was trying to make connections to start his career.
In both cases, it worked. For the cost of a stamp, their worlds changed.
Letter writing has become a lost art. Fan letters, especially, have become rare. Most people today communicate with their favorite celebrities by posting on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
That’s why it was so nice to read a recent story about a fan letter that one of Saturday Night Live’s newest cast members got in the mail. It was delivered on Presidential stationery.
This was no ordinary letter. It came from the desk of one of the most famous people on the planet, a man who has received millions of pieces of correspondence of his own, Former President Bill Clinton.
President Clinton moved his offices to New York City after leaving the White House in 2001. In the past fourteen years, he has become just as much a part of the city’s fabric as The Statue of Liberty, the Yankees, or Saturday Night Live.
It’s not surprising that President Clinton, who has an excellent sense of humor, is a fan of NBC’s late night NYC set comedy show, despite the fact that they’ve poked gentle fun at him through the years.
What is surprising is that the former Commander In Chief took a few minutes out of his day to write a note to Pete Davidson, a 20 year old stand-up comic who joined SNL’s cast this season, in its 40th year on TV. (Even stranger was the fact that Clinton’s office mailed the letter back in November and it didn’t arrive until now.)
Here is a transcript of what President Clinton had to say to Davidson:
I recently read an article about your career and deep family connection to service in the city.
As a fan of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I want to congratulate you on joining the cast. I can only imagine how excited you must be, both as a comedian and a lifelong New Yorker.
All my best wishes for continued success.
The deep family connection to service in the city that President Clinton mentioned in his letter was a reference to Davidson’s father, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.
Davidson, who grew up on Staten Island, has donated much of his time to 9/11 related charities.
The rookie cast member responded to the President’s letter with humility and deep gratitude. What a way to start a career!
President Clinton has spoken often about mentors that gave him a lift and shared encouraging words with him early in his life (including a famous meeting as a youngster with his idol, President John F. Kennedy)
Mr. Clinton is a shining example of someone who has used their fame and prestige for good, reaching out to those who are making that same climb up the ladder of success.
Congratulations, Pete, and thank you, Mr. President, for showing us all what magic a simple letter can still provide.