Pen Pal

When the President writes, even fan mail turns into a political referendum

One morning in March, while pulling out of the driveway, I saw a large manila envelope bound by a rubber band to the post of my mailbox, whose broken door hangs open in a permanent expression of disbelief.

The envelope rode shotgun beside me for several miles until I opened it at a red light, using a tire-pressure gauge from the glove box, at which time my jaw, like my mailbox door, fell open in astonishment.

Pressed for posterity between two slabs of cardboard--on stationery the color of New England clam chowder--was a handwritten fan letter from the President of the United...

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