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351 letters to Post Office today

Paper is heavy! 351 regular letters weigh 20 pounds odd. ( I can barely carry two reams of paper.)

Today I delivered that many to the Post Office, the first installment of my letter-writing campaign, or campaign letter-writing. The letters are addressed primarily to apartment dwellers, but also to those people to whom I do not need to introduce myself. If you live in the 1st or 2nd ward, expect a letter soon. If you don't get a letter, look for me on your doorstep.

Far from being a chore, it has been a fascinating experience. Previously the spreadsheet from the Board of Elections included age. Even without that useful demographic, I have learned a lot. I have learned that about 1 in 5 residents of Corning lives in an apartment and that about 4 out of 5 of those live alone, while there are a number of adult children still living with parents. I have learned that there are 50 Elizabeth's on the voters' roll.

I am fascinated by the variety of names. The vast majority are plain Anglo-Saxon names, with a smattering of European, Slavic, biblical and Asian names thrown in. But, what variety in spelling! Rebeca, Rececah, Rebekka, Katelynn, Kaitlyn, Caitlyn. Shawn, Shawna, Shaun, Shauna. And so on. Full disclosure, my daughter Nicola's nickname is spelled Nicci, because it looks so pretty.

Then there are wonderful combinations of the mundane and the exotic, and wonderful combinations of names among room-mates. One apartment represents the two most important names in evolutionary theory.

And the associations. To authors, actors, historical personalities. There was the same name as my brother's headmaster. I would never have remembered that without seeing the name again.

Another curious phenomenon is two people with the same name living in what are obviously adjacent - but seemingly separate - apartments. What could that mean?

Lastly, I think I need to inform the Cross Pen company that one of their ink cartridges will provide the salutation and envelopes for about 100 letters. I haven't quite worked out how many letters a Brother cartridge will print. It's not that many. My printer has been clattering, and I am getting to know Staples quite well.


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