Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

[L-USA] HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Expand Messages
  • erik/susan davis
    LETTERBOXING IN THE USA IS ONE YEAR OLD! Back on March 25th of last year, having just read the now- infamous Smithsonian article about Letterboxing, I went on
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 7, 1999
      LETTERBOXING IN THE USA IS ONE YEAR OLD!

      Back on March 25th of last year, having just read the now- infamous
      Smithsonian article about Letterboxing, I went on the net, hoping to
      find fellow travelers here in the US. Two inquiries to the UK were
      sent, to Ray Aucote and Trevor Dallas. I received a timely response from
      each, but alas, there was no news of any US letterboxing activity.

      Disappointed but with high hopes, I decided to start placing
      letterboxes myself, in the region around my home (VT), and find a way to
      involve others in the quest. Then, to my immense joy and surprise, on
      April 7, the following e-mail arrived from some guy in St Paul named Dan
      Servatius:

      > From:
      > Daniel Servatius <elf@...>
      > To: davisarc@...>
      >
      > Erik & Sue, I got your names from Trevor at: trevor.dallas@...
      >
      > I live in Minnesota in the United States. I saw an article in
      > Smithsonian magazine about Dartmoor letterboxing. I ended up at your
      > web page looking for information on letterboxing. I am wondering how I
      > might start it here. Should I buy some stamps, ink pads, boxes and
      > notebooks, and then plant them in various places? How do the
      > instructions (clues) work? And what about the mapping?
      >
      > Any information you provide will be greatly appreciated. Are there
      > official rules? Is there a book or magazine I could buy that would help
      >
      > get me started?
      >
      > Thank you.
      >
      > Daniel Servatius
      > 814 15th Av N
      > S St Paul, MN 55075
      > United States
      >
      To which I respsonded:

      > Subject: Re: Letterboxing
      > Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 18:29:05 -0700
      > From: erik/ susan davis <davisarc@...>
      > To: Daniel Servatius <elf@...>
      >
      > Dan:
      > Good to hear of someone else similiarily taken with this strange
      > pasttime. I know nothing beyond the Smithsonian article, plus the few
      > pages I've found similar to Trevor Dallas's. Perhaps we should nominate
      > each other as chairpersons for our respective states? Seriously, I have
      > hoped to generate some local interest here in VT and nearby region, and
      > perhaps start placing some boxes at locations around the state, such as
      > on hiking trails, etc, at places that vacationing people might like to
      > visit, and somehow making the clues available-perhaps via the WEB. I
      > need constant encouragement, so keep at me!
      > I agree that the USGS map is a good basis on which to work, however,
      > trails would also work - a clue might suggest, say, "north .4 miles, on
      > so-and-so trail, when you can see both the summit and a waterfall, bear
      > off trail, etc, etc." We have several locations where major hiking
      > trails cross or meet roads, throughout the state, to that was why I
      > thought of this as a way to start. I'm open to other ideas.
      >
      > I'd suggest putting in postcards with your name and address, as well as
      > a notebook, so that you can easily get a sense of any visitors, perhaps
      > a little sheet describing the concept to encourage a chance finder to
      > respect the contents. Of course, you need to develop some nifty stamps
      > to stick in the box, as well as your own for when you come to Vt to
      > visit mine!
      > Another link to try; ray@aucote.u-net.com
      >
      > Keep in touch!
      >
      > Erik Davis
      > Monkton, Vt
      *************


      I look back to this day as the start of US Letterboxing, if not as the
      date of the first Letterbox, at least the date of two minds coming
      together to start it. Within a week, Dan'l had a web page up, which has
      certainly been the greatest cause for growth of the hobby in this
      country. We were soon joined by Doug Gustafson, Michelle, Shannon Green
      and Nisa.

      3 weeks later, Eric Mings sent us the following message, and soon
      established the Letterboxing Talk list, which was instrumental in
      opening lines of communication among devotees:

      > Subject: Your interest in Letterboxing
      > Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 13:17:39 -0400
      > From: Eric Mings <elm@...>
      >
      > Hi
      >
      > I had recently written to Ray at ray@aucote.u-net.com regarding the
      > interesting article in Smithsonian about Letterboxing in England. I had
      > asked him for more information and he wrote back saying that he had
      > received quite a few inquiries. I am interested in promoting the hobby in
      > the US. He had given me a few email addresses of persons who had
      > expressed similar interest, which is why I am writing you. I have
      > considerable experience in both mailing list administration and website
      > development, and tentatively plan to launch an "International
      > Letterboxing Club" site on the web to promote communication between
      > people with this interest. If you are interested in being informed on my
      > progress, or contributing to this effort please write back and let me
      > know. Otherwise you will not hear from me again. I will very shortly have
      > a mailing list discussion group up and running to talk about this hobby.
      > Thanks.
      > Regards,
      > Eric Mings Ph.D.
      **************
      As they say, the rest is history.

      We were also soon joined by two "Dartmoorians" (Adrian and Graham), who
      have been a wonderful source of advice and humor. And by many more from
      all parts of the U.S..

      The year has been successful beyond my wildest expectation! My e-mail
      log shows about 80 people having participated, in one degree or another,
      in the two talk lists. In one year, there have been 3262 messages, or
      almost 70 per week!

      The first US Letterbox was placed 3 weeks after the starting date,
      Prayer Rock, in Bristol, VT, on 4/30/98. We now have about 90
      letterboxes hidden, in at least 20 states! (Photo of the Rock is
      attached).

      We have had our moments of soul-searching, to be sure. I am happy that,
      for the most part, Letterboxing in the US is open, commercial-free, and
      participatory at a grass-roots level. All ideas are welcome, and indeed
      the whole US complexion of this hobby has evolved as a result of the
      collective input of many, many energetic and creative minds.

      In addition to letterBOXES, we have started a variant called
      letterBOOKS (thanks to Tom Cooch for the first one). And we are
      exploring ways to get kids involved in this hobby. Dan has shared his
      web-page passwords with Mitch and Randy, and the synergy has resulted in
      a constant improvement to our "home". In October, we obtained the
      "Letterboxing.org" domain name, to keep the hobby open and commercial
      -free. The web-page has complete information on getting started, how to
      carve stamps, where to get supplies, what to put in a letterbox. We all
      have much to be proud about!

      Like many of you, I have met people through this hobby, who have become
      good friends, some I have met in person, many more only through the
      computer screen and keyboard. You have shown your friendship in times of
      personal difficulty and I thank you. It has also been fun to hear of
      other meetings - Dan and Thom and Mitch, later the Texas ladies,
      others. I hope that the next year fares as well.

      So, where do we go from here? I propose a few modest goals:
      1: All 50 states by year 2,000 ("50 x YK2").
      2: 200 active participants by 4/7/2000.
      3: 200 letterboxes by 4/7/2000
      4: Perhaps a convention of Letterboxers, including a few folks from the
      UK?
      5: More of the same comraderie, humor, good will and creative thought
      that has been the hallmark of this past year.

      Thanks to all who made this First Year of US Letterboxing happen:
      Chris Granstrom, and Adrian Williams, for the Smithsonian article, Dan
      Servatius, both for his tireless work and his conscience, to Randy and
      Mitch for their creative energy, to my wife Susan, for embracing this
      hobby with me.
      And to all of you:
      "Blazemcg, whoever you are",Bonita, Bob and Mary Ellen ,Bonnie
      ,Mitch,Charles (from "across the pond), Carolyn, Chris, Jackie, Janice,
      another Dan, David, Dennis, Becky, Douglas, Dennis, Lawrance, "dw",
      Anne, Eric, Julie, Lynn, Danielle, Giselle, Graham, Greg (and Ginny,
      Andrea & Kyle), Gus, Rachael, Michelle, JDWolf, Julie, John, Kathy,
      Karen, Linda, Lynn, Marty, Mary Ellen, Firefly Mary, Deborah, Scott,
      Nisa and Eric, Rae, Randy, Raymond, Ed, Sylvia, Shelia, Shannon, Steve W
      from UK, Steve & Julia, another Steve, Tammy, Todd, Thom, Tom, Ray and
      Trevor (UK), Victor, Wendy and Todd, and, if I missed you, sincere
      apologies (and let me know).

      Best wishes to all;
      Erik
      aka the Viking of Vermont, and on occasion,
      The Fool on the Hill


      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/letterbox-usa
      Free Web-based e-mail groups by eGroups.com
    • bonitasusan@hotmail.com
      Thanks for the story and picture, Erik! It s really very exciting to see how this hobby has grown in only a year s time, thanks to the initiative and
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 8, 1999
        Thanks for the story and picture, Erik! It's really very exciting to see how this hobby has grown in only a year's time, thanks to the initiative and imagination of everybody you mentioned in your post. For myself, I really have to thank my sister Betsey, who handed me the Smithsonian article last June when I was visiting her in Boston, and said, "Here, this might interest you." Right after that I searched on letterboxing in Yahoo and discovered the Letterboxing USA Web page. And since then, it's been quite a lot of fun.

        Thanks again Erik, Dan, Mitch, Randy and everybody else--

        Bonita McLaughlin (aka Bonnie)
        Leverett, Massachusetts

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/letterbox-usa
        Free Web-based e-mail groups by eGroups.com
      • Steve Walls
        ... Hi Erik et al. Thanks for the picture of Prayer Rock, it looks like a nice place to go boxing, or just to sit and enjoy. I must admit to being pleased and
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 8, 1999
          On Wed, 07 Apr 1999 21:38:43 -0700, Erik wrote:

          >LETTERBOXING IN THE USA IS ONE YEAR OLD!
          >
          >Thanks to all who made this First Year of US Letterboxing happen:
          >Chris Granstrom, and Adrian Williams, for the Smithsonian article, Dan
          >Servatius, both for his tireless work and his conscience, to Randy and
          >Mitch for their creative energy, to my wife Susan, for embracing this
          >hobby with me.
          >And to all of you:
          >"Blazemcg, whoever you are",Bonita, Bob and Mary Ellen ,Bonnie
          >,Mitch,Charles (from "across the pond), Carolyn, Chris, Jackie, Janice,
          >another Dan, David, Dennis, Becky, Douglas, Dennis, Lawrance, "dw",
          >Anne, Eric, Julie, Lynn, Danielle, Giselle, Graham, Greg (and Ginny,
          >Andrea & Kyle), Gus, Rachael, Michelle, JDWolf, Julie, John, Kathy,
          >Karen, Linda, Lynn, Marty, Mary Ellen, Firefly Mary, Deborah, Scott,
          >Nisa and Eric, Rae, Randy, Raymond, Ed, Sylvia, Shelia, Shannon, Steve W
          >from UK, Steve & Julia, another Steve, Tammy, Todd, Thom, Tom, Ray and
          >Trevor (UK), Victor, Wendy and Todd, and, if I missed you, sincere
          >apologies (and let me know).
          >
          >Best wishes to all;
          >Erik
          >aka the Viking of Vermont, and on occasion,
          > The Fool on the Hill
          >
          Hi Erik et al.
          Thanks for the picture of Prayer Rock, it looks like a nice place to
          go boxing, or just to sit and enjoy. I must admit to being pleased and
          a little embarrassed to feature in you list of pioneers, since I have
          contributed little to the group, being until now a lurker.
          Now everybody knows I exist, I had better tell a little about
          myself. I live and work in London, but I'm a country boy at heart
          having been raised in a little village called Goudhurst in deepest
          Kent, the south eastern most county in the UK. I was introduced to
          letterboxing about a year ago by Graham (aka The Moorland Wizard) who
          was arranging an outing to Dartmoor with another friend and his
          family. It turned out that there was a spare seat in the bus and they
          offered it to me, I jumped at it, and that was it , I had the boxing
          bug.
          Thanks to you all for makig L.U.S.A. an entertaining and informative
          read.


          Regards to all

          Steve W

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/letterbox-usa
          Free Web-based e-mail groups by eGroups.com
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.