Below is an obscure family possession that my mother remembered and scanned for me–my “Nana” (my father’s mother’s mother) was a schoolteacher in the 1920s, and at one point her students wanted to perform a play by Booth Tarkington. She apparently wrote to him asking for permission, and received the following (very brief) letter back. What I am struck by is not anything personal in the letter (as there really isn’t), nor that this makes Boothie like a dear old uncle (since this is as much interaction as he had with my family), but rather that the man took time in 1924, after having won two Pulitzer Prizes, to respond even briefly to a letter from a teacher from a small school he had never heard of, way out West. I can’t decide whether this tells me something about the character of Booth Tarkington, or how different the world used to be. I’m open to your theories on that, if you’ll offer them.