Love letters these days aren’t what they used to be.
While modern communicative technology is convenient and useful, when it comes to conveying emotion, it can be anything but romantic. Too often the romance is hidden amidst typos, abbreviations and emojis, leaving the words diluted and the sincerity diminished.
The thoughtful act of taking the time to put pen to paper is perhaps one of the most underrated and romantic ways to connect with another person. The love letters of yesterday showed personality, careful thought, and often traveled hundreds of miles before they reached their intended.
That’s why in this day and age, more and more people are admitting it: there’s just nothing like receiving a handwritten letter.
In an effort to preserve and promote all that is great about handwritten letters of affection, the Briscoe Western Art Museum is hosting its 3rd Annual “Pony Express Love Letters” program, from Feb. 2 through Feb. 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The free program invites the public to handwrite personal love letters using typewriters or calligraphy pens made available at writing stations inside the museum, during normal museum business hours. Each writing station will be stocked with poetry books for inspiration, various stationary and Valentine’s Mad Libs for a lighter touch.
Part of the inspiration behind the program was the museum’s replica of an old Wells Fargo Stagecoach, a means of transporting mail in the mid-1800s, said Beth Foulds, Briscoe education and programs manager. The love letters program, she said, is meant to channel that nostalgia of writing and sending letters in the traditional way.
While the aspect of writing love letters is inspiring, the Pony Express aspect of the program is perhaps the most exciting. The Briscoe is partnering with SATX Social Ride, who will serve as volunteer bike messengers on a modern-day Pony Express, to hand deliver the letters to residents in the downtown area, on Friday, Feb. 12. Letters for residents outside of downtown will be delivered by the regular postal service.
No matter the mode of transport, all love letters will be delivered for free, feature the Briscoe’s very own Pony Express stamp, and include discount passes for the Museum.
You can watch a short video of the Briscoe’s 2014 love letters program here.
This year, the program will take a more interactive approach and offer two hand-lettering classes, personalized poems written on the spot by improv poetry group, Typewriter Rodeo, a gallery talk on message delivery in the West, and the San Antonio Calligraphers’ Guild addressing envelopes.
Click here for a class schedule.
There’s no doubt people still send messages of affection, connecting digitally if not in person.
The Pony Express Love Letters program is a way to make those connections just a little sweeter.
To learn more about volunteering opportunities with SATX Social Ride for letter delivery, send an email to email@example.com or call 210-299-4499, ext. 592. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.
*Top image: Love Letters to be delivered by a modern day Pony Express. Photo by Lauren Shultz.