Moved by a simple, meaningful response

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I have written letters and emails to various persons across the years unrelated to my job of interviewing people — some of whom are well-known.

I’m always impressed when someone takes the time to answer. I cannot imagine the number of correspondence attempts celebrities or otherwise famous people get on a daily basis, but to know they have taken a few moments to read a note from a non-celebrity — fan or otherwise —lets me know they care about their “audience.”

Communicating with famous people is so much easier today, with all the social media platforms we have and the number of celebrities who actually post things themselves and read comments.

I doubt I would read comments very often. I get aggravated with people whose sole mission in life seems to be complaining. I do want to work on my patience, however, and those things give me the opportunity to do so.

But in the “olden days” before social media, if you wanted to get in touch with someone, you usually had to do a bit of research to find out how to get a note emailed or mailed to them.

One person I wrote to was David Morrell, author of many books, including “First Blood,” the novel about Vietnam veteran John Rambo. I had just finished reading one of his novels that I found particularly riveting and noticed a contact email address was listed in the author’s information.

So I wrote an email telling him I was a longtime fan of his work and had really enjoyed the novel I’d just completed and looked forward to his next offering. I did not expect a response, honestly, but hoped he would read my message and be glad he had another fan.

The next day I got an email response from Mr. Morrell. It was something like, “Thanks, Brett, I’m glad you enjoyed it!” He told me his next book’s title and its anticipated release date and signed it “David.”

It wasn’t long and it wasn’t overly personal, but it meant something to me. I was glad he took the time to both read it and respond.

Another person I wrote to once — this time a typed and hand-signed letter through the mail — was U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. I commented on a speech he had given and told him simply that I was lifting him to the Lord in prayer as he served.

A couple of weeks later, I received a simple white card in the mail that was stamped from Powell’s office that thanked me for writing. It was obviously a standard response card printed en masse and inserted into an envelope and addressed by a staffer. Nonetheless, I was glad to get it. Maybe it meant he read the note.

Then I flipped it over and saw written in blue pen on the back: “Brett, Thanks for the prayers! — Colin Powell.”

Thank you, General, for the simple but meaningful response.

My prayers today are for his family as the general has finally met his ultimate Commander in Chief face-to-face.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.