The letter was accompanied by this fridge-door-worthy masterpiece.
Yesterday morning, one of the more-than-capable administrative assistants here, Melinda Vadan, walked in to my office waving around a few sheets of white paper and a manila envelope. Her smile lit up the room.
“Peter,” she announced in her own delicious Romanian-tinged English, “I Have A Very Important Letter for you.” (I swear I could hear the capital letters.)
And a Very Important Letter it was, indeed.
The correspondence came from a reader named Nathan, in Duncan, B.C.
One of the sheets of paper contained a handwritten text; the other a beautiful sketch of a red semi, complete with flames on the hood.
In the short note, Nathan said that he reads our magazine all the time, adding that, “my favorite part is all the truck ads on the yellow pages.” (We love it when people look at the truck ads.)
He also wrote, “I was wondering if you had an extra Today’s Trucking cap.”
Affixed to the first sheet were a cut-out of a Today’s Trucking cap as well as a little headshot of Nathan himself, his grin as big as Melinda’s.
Did I mention that Nathan is eight? He said so in the letter.
First thing I did: Pop a Today’s Trucking cap in the mail.
Second thing? Phone the number on the letter.
I had to:
a) Ensure the letter writer wasn’t some big guy pretending to be an eight year old just to get a free hat;
b) Obtain Nathan’s parents’ permission to write about this terrific letter, and;
c) Talk to the young man himself. In his letter, he suggests we sell our magazine at the Husky truck stop in Regina. Before I returned his call I checked with the Regina Husky and sure enough, they carry Today’s Trucking. He must have dropped in on a day when the racks were empty.
I dialed. His mom answered and then handed him the phone.
Turns out I was catching up with Nathan just as he was heading out to grade two. He was extremely polite: “Good morning Mr. Carter,” is how he started.
I thanked him for his letter. I assured him his cap was in the mail and that the Regina Husky does indeed carry Today’s Trucking.
Before we hung up, I talked to his mom again. She repeated how much Nathan loves big trucks but then added, “He’s never been in one but would love to someday. That’s his dream.”
Before handing her the phone, the last thing Nathan had said to me was “Have a nice day, sir.”
Thanks to you Nathan, I’ve had a great day. What would make it even better would be if we got you a ride in a truck.
So. If anyone who reads this can help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with Nathan.
You won’t regret it. And I’ll send you a Today’s Trucking cap so you’ll match your shotgun-riding Nathan.