Retired teacher keeps art of handwritten notes alive

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DETROIT – Katie Andrecovich received the first post card in 2006. Then, they kept coming -- every day.

Camille Langston and Ashley Weber experienced the same postcard pileup in their mailboxes, too.

"The last time I did a count, it was 2,300 postcards," Langston said.

The women have saved each one.

"How can you not feel cared about when you have that many postcards?" Weber said.

A mutual friend, David Thompson, is behind the mailings and is helping to keep the art of a handwritten note alive.

"Certain people I've been writing every day. And I mean, literally, every day. Six days a week for mail delivery for years," Thompson said.

SLIDESHOW: David Thompson's postcards

He turns his own photographs into postcards, writes quotes from his favorite authors on them and sometimes includes his quirky observations from his travels.

"It has become sort of, you know, an obsession. It's what I do automatically," Thompson said. "I usually do it as a break from reading, or while I'm watching TV, or a ballgame or a movie."

He mails the postcards to more than 20 people a day, using only multicolored fountain pens.

"As I meet people, or make friends, new friends, then you know people are added to the list," Thompson said.

He's a retired English teacher from University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods. His former students and colleagues are among those on his mailing list.

"A lot of these things he writes are just cross sections of this brain," Andrecovich said.

Why do Thompson's postcard recipients treasure them so much?

"I think there's something more personal and permanent about ‘snail mail,' as we call it now," Langston said.

What does Thompson get out of it?

"I suppose it's some creative outlet. I don't know. I don't have a record of anything. Once they're gone, they're gone," he said.

The writer and the recipients bear no illusion about a comeback for postcards. But they love this reminder: Carefully chosen words, written by hand, and delivered to your door are a wonderful way to connect.

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