Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.



I remember getting a telegram. Actually, it was my parents who were the recipients. It was about 7:30 am on a Saturday when the doorbell to our suburban home rang. “Who died?” my Mother asked. It was Western Union delivering the following message:

“Arriving Saturday, 10:30 am Dulles -STOP- See you soonest -STOP- The Great White Hunter”

My parents had no idea what it was all about. It turns out that my much older distant cousin was in town from overseas and was going to stop by on his way down to visit the relatives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

What a way to make an entrance! As you can tell, it left a distinct impression on my young psyche. Add to that that cousin G was a dashing international man of mystery sort and well… .

Since that time telegrams have disappeared. We all carry cell phones with international sim cards or something. More’s the pity. A telegram has impact.

And that’s why I was pleased to learn of Telegramstop.com. For about USD$4.70, you can write and send a printed telegram to “most continents.”

I just sent one to friends to congratulate them on the birth of their first child, Henry. It is my hope that it will go into his baby album to be explained in the waning days of the century to a new generation who will wonder at our primitive ways.

Imagine sending an RSVP this way? Or a thank you? “Wonderful party -STOP- Crossing a bit rough -STOP- Can’t imagine why after all bubbles -STOP- Best, Biggles -END MSG-

A very elegant gesture in an era of instantaneous streamlined communications.

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8 thoughts on “Greetings!

  1. What fun. I really like the elegance of this. But, doesn’t it defeat the purpose that this service is mailing the telegram to be delivered in 4-8 days? I always thought the point of a telegram was that you could know when it would be delivered.

    I enjoyed the story of your cousin as well.

  2. Dear Anon, well yes. It does defeat the purpose a bit. But telegrams are no longer needed now that we all carry cell phones, and have email. Rates for a “real” telegram are running about $20 USD + a cost per letter. This is just for fun and will make for a nice keepsake. I’m off to get the baby gift engraved.

  3. When I was born (1965) my grandmother sent a telegram to my father who was in Viet Nam at the time. The APO put it on the mail drop and he received it two weeks later. He never fails to get a kick out of telling that story.

  4. Thanks for this – and an amusing story – just because communication can be instantaneous doesn’t mean that it always should be or indeed is any better for being so. I gave up my cellphone over a year ago and haven’t regretted it once; life goes on…

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