Weird People of Tomorrow
- Hey All --
One thing I really love about having the Weird Wisconsin site is the
mail I receive. Most things are from people sending in stories or
asking for info about various weird events. Then last night, I got the
best of all.
A letter addressed to me, written in pencil. It was barely sealed, and
the stamp was hanging on by one corner only. The return address was
from Smithton, IL, just east of St. Louis. It was if the sender was too
parched to even summon up enough spit to seal everything together. I
The letter goes:
Dear Richard Hendricks,
My name is Zac and I am a student from St. John the Baptist school. I
am really interested in your state Wisconsin. I would really appreciate
it if you could send me some imformation [sic] or brouchures [sic] on
At first I was puzzled, then it dawned on me that every year around
this time kids across the country are writing away to other states to
get information for a school project. I later read a letter in the Cap
Times from a 11 year old in Santa Cruz, CA, asking for the same thing,
which clinched it.
I was thinking: yeah, out of anywhere he could have written, he chose
Weird Wisconsin as an Official Source of Wisconsin information. You
gotta love that in a young lad; he's got his head on straight.
So, this morning I went to the Travel Wisconsin website at
http://www.travelwisconsin.com/ and ordered him several travel and
cultural brochures. From the state legislature's page I printed several
pages from the Blue Book, the official guide to the state, containing
state symbols, some history, important dates, and famous residents. I
stopped by the Historical Society Museum and picked up a copy of Virgil
J. Vogel's "Wisconsin' Name," a small pamphlet on how we got our name,
plus a small history book on the state. I wrote him a letter on Weird
Wisconsin letterhead, attached a business card, then I go wait ...
The fact that he was even looking at the WW website in the first place
must mean he had some interest in it. Then I couldn't get over the fact
that he sent us a letter as an Official Source of information. I
figured this might be a Loren Coleman or a Jay Rath in the making, and I
should encourage him. So I went out and bought him a copy of Jay's book
*The I-Files: True Reports of Unexplained Phenomena in Illinois*. I was
imagining him running across the story about 10 year old Marlon Lowe,
who on July 25, 1977, not too far away in Lawndale, was out playing when
suddenly one of a pair of enormous birds swooped down and picked poor
Marlon up to carry him away. He began struggling, and his mother began
screaming, and the bird dropped Marlon after having carried him several
yards. Now that should inflame a young lad's imagination, I was
So, who knows. We might be hearing from Zac sometime in the future.
Uh ... in a good way, as a collector of weird stories, I hope.
Lest you guys think I'm an easy touch, it's just that it was the first
letter like that, so I probably went a little overboard. More like
random acts of kindness and good karma ...
Maybe I should work out a deal with Tourism.
- Richard D. Hendricks writes, discussing a youthful request to the list:
>IOn my gosh, not another Loren Coleman....
>figured this might be a Loren Coleman or a Jay Rath in the making, and I
>should encourage him. So I went out and bought him a copy of Jay's book
>*The I-Files: True Reports of Unexplained Phenomena in Illinois*. I was
>imagining him running across the story about 10 year old Marlon Lowe,
>who on July 25, 1977, not too far away in Lawndale,
Actually, this is one of the reasons I'm hoping to see Mysterious America
reprinted soon, as the book serves as a good primer for all of these young
Forteans writing *me* at this time of year for help on their term papers!
>Lest you guys think I'm an easy touch, it's just that it was the firstWow!!! I wish you would handle all my animal abuse letters from students
>letter like that, so I probably went a little overboard. More like
>random acts of kindness and good karma ...
> Maybe I should work out a deal with Tourism.
> Weird Wisconsin
who are doing school research papers.......they always go along the lines
of "Would you please send me everything you have on <insert specific
:-) That will be one happy youngster. It would be nice if we could get
libraries to acquire more books on these topics.