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August 10, 2013

Josh Drespling: With my new hobby, I might as well buy out the Post Office

NEW CASTLE — I suppose I must admit that I have acquired another hobby.  It's not as though I was sitting and staring at the walls and drooling in utter boredom. This new activity, much like many of the endeavors in my life,  was more of an I-can-do-this scenario than anything else.

A friend of mine had been involved in getting celebrity autographs by mail for the last few months. He had done it long ago and lost interest after acquiring hundreds upon hundreds of signed photos. He had recently picked it back up. I got to see the great responses he was receiving, and I was immediately hooked.

It's a simple task. You send a picture or two through the mail to a famous person and hope they take the time and energy to reply. But, the thrill is in the hunt. Without giving away too many secrets of the craft, you must first find that elusive address for the desired celebrity.  Sometimes it's an office or a publicist or even a production company.  Sometimes, with traveling artists like comedians or bands, you can get lucky sending a package to them at a venue they are scheduled to play. The employee of the venue hand delivers it to the person, because they don’t know if it is some fan wanting an autograph or some important papers about the show.

You also have to have some good, high quality photos to send along with your well-crafted letter. I always hand write a note to give it a personal feel and tell them, in a short and sweet message, how much I loved their work in such and such film or TV show.

Then you wait and wait some more, letting the anticipation grow.

The first response I received was a quite rewarding one. It was from George W. Bush. Putting all politics aside, it felt pretty cool to get a signed picture back from one of the most recognizable people on the planet, a person who is in our history books and will forever be part of the story of our nation and this planet.

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