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 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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