APRIL 21, 1955
NEW YORK—On Friday night of last week I went to the theatre to see "Witness for the Prosecution."
The two gentlemen with me argued violently as to the innocence, of which they were convinced, of the person who really committed the crime. I was somewhat more cautious, but I confess that the last act was a surprise even to me.
I think the play is very good but it certainly does require at least two extraordinarily good actors, and it is fortunate to have them in Gene Lyons and Patricia Jessel. The supporting cast is excellent, and I must say that I enjoyed very much Francis L. Sullivan's performance. He was perfect as Sir Wilfrid Robarts, Q.C. I recommend this show for an entertaining evening, and I am sure no one will find it dull.
The American Artists Group, which has for a long time been providing us at Christmas time with lovely cards that are reproductions of paintings, has now decided to go into the business of providing us with artistic stationery and cards for different seasons and purposes throughout the year.
My box arrived the other day and I found the pictures delightful. And on the paper on which they have decided instead of pictures to use quotations from well-known authors, they also are well chosen and will express a thought which one certainly would find hard to put into better words oneself.
This is a new departure for these artists. We must remember, though, that earning a living selling pictures is not always so easy, and by going into this new field the American Artists might move a great many people to renew the art of letter writing—if only for the simple reason that they would want to show what delightful stationery they have found!
Letter writing was really an art in the days of our grandparents, and I am sure that many people have found, in going through old desks and book cases, finely written old letters tied together with faded ribbon.
These old letters always make fascinating reading, taking one back to the daily lives of people in the past. They lived far apart in those days, and there was far less opportunity for meeting. It also was harder to send letters than it is today, so when a letter was sent it covered every inch of the paper and sometimes the paper was crisscrossed. But those letters embodied not only the gossip about friends and neighbors and family but also they often revealed in rather formal language the thinking and the feeling of the men and women of the day.
Our generation probably will leave no bundles of letters tied with ribbon. We are too hurried and we can meet too often and communicate too easily. Letters, or rather the art of letter writing, has passed out of existence. Nevertheless, we should not completely forget it. Every now and then we will find that it is easier to put certain thoughts and feelings in writing than it is to express them in spoken words.
There may be few letters that will be kept for posterity but some letters may be carried by those for whom they have a meaning and be cherished through the years. The art of letter writing should still be practiced.
(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)