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Charity Begins At Home – Until It Turns Into A Swamp

People Discussion Meeting Give Help Donate Charity Concept
I returned to a pile of mail after being COVID19 – trapped across the border. My pile of mail was much larger than ever expected. That was due to the number of charities encouraging my contributions.

I have noted of late that charities are obviously using a third party to encourage donations. However, it seems that this third party is using the same devices for all charities. And that if a person gives to one or two (or more) charities, their name is going to be on the mailing lists of many clients of this third party (let’s call it the Mail Out King).

Upon my return, not only did I have reminders from the charities I do support, but a host of other requests from those I have not considered. Thus, I am awash in the enticements the Mail Out King supplies as inducements.

I now have twelve (12) pens at my disposal. Six (6) are black with gold trim; four (4) are garishly multi-coloured; one (1) is light blue; one (1) is tartan. Only five (5) have the name of a charity upon them.

More numerous than the pens, I have notepads of various sizes. These I actually use.

I have five (5) zippered  pen&pencil cases to hold them.

I have three (3) large (and garishly-coloured) shoulder bags.

I have dozens of Christmas cards and envelopes.

I have hundreds of stickers containing my name and address to put upon these envelopes.

I have no idea what all this material is worth, nor what it must cost to send them.

PLEASE STOP

 

(image) thirdforcenews.org.uk/images/uploads/articles/229302/web_fundraising_image.jpg

Hunting For A Mailbox And Finding Jesus

 

The Coronavirus makes strange bedfellows. Or – maybe not. World wide doom, and destruction, and Jesus perhaps go hand-in-hand. The One is there to cancel out the other.
 
At any rate, yesterday I was in search of a mailbox. To mail an actual letter. It is possible it was the first *actual* letter of the year. And a bit time sensitive. There was no going to the Post Office, it being Sunday and a Pandemic to boot. So I went searching for a local mail box.
 
I imagine at the best of times I’m not fully aware of the closest mail box. There used to be one at the closest gas station, but that had been totally renovated and the mail box removed. The next closest was at the local Mall, but walking there revealed the Mall was closed, since everything inside was closed. So a search began.
 
It made sense that any area where there was a grouping of buildings might have a mail box. Passing a Donut Shop (open to take-out only) and a Library (closed) and a bar (closed) yielded nowhere to mail a letter. However – in the distance – down the hill and across the road, there seemed to be a stark red box. It was in front of a large Seniors Complex. Perhaps Seniors mail more letters. Investigation eventually showed it was a Mail Box, and into its maw went my tiny envelope. To be picked up next day. So I hope that has now happened.
 
On the way back, after a well-deserved sit on a bench in a small park (more than two meters / six feet away from anyone else), upon  coming closer to home, music filled the air. Guitars and drums and female voices singing (at the first encounter) what sounded like Joan Baez songs.
 
However, upon entering a new street, it was apparent that the large church, with its commanding view of the city, was having an outside church service in their expansive parking lot. Cars parked a safe distance apart, with men wearing orange safety vests making sure the rules were enforced. The musicians and singers were under a portico at the front of the church, and they were belting out hymns aplenty. Heard, I am sure, across much of the city..
 
I’m sure Jesus was clapping along.

Eleanor Roosevelt,Upton Sinclair, Fidel Castro & Me

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(image) Ihttp://autographsttm.weebly.com/uploads/6/5/3/5/6535909/8132659_orig.gif

While reading some literary site about Amazon, I came across the fact that “Harriet Klausner, an esteemed Amazon reviewer who wrote more than 31,000 book reviews, died”. All power to her, thought I, that is quite a feat. However, I took more note of her last name, one I had not thought of for a long time.

In my tenure as an author in the world, I have had four or five agents. And I am currently looking anew. At the far beginning of my time, before I was published, I had the New York agent Bertha Klausner – at the start of my career and near the end of hers. She started her agency before I was born and was working two months before she died in 1998 at the age of 96.

Back in those over the transom days, one stuffed typed pages into an envelope, sent them off with return postage on another envelope, and waited up to three months for a reply. And when it came back, you sent it out again. One of my envelopes went to the Bertha Klausner Agency.

However, when it came back, it had other people’s manuscripts in it, and (to my memory) little hand written notes politely saying no. Mistakes happen even at revered agencies, so I sent it all back explaining what had happened. She replied, with neither apology nor thanks, annoyed that mistakes do happen and adding, “Say, you must have something. Do you want to send it to me?” Which I did. Again.

As I said, communications were through slow mails (slow on her side, as with literary agents to this day).  I now assume she initially was both being polite, plus did see some promise in what I had. But after a year or so she said – in effect – ‘thanks but no thanks’, and I sent things to other agents, and eventually had my first novel sale by, indeed, sending it over the transom directly to an editor in New York, who purchased it.

I don’t think I knew that Bertha Klausner had such a stellar career until I looked her up. An agent for decades, she had famous names like Upton Sinclair, Israel J Singer, Eleanor Roosevelt and Fidel Castro. She even represented actor Basil Rathbone.

I imagine I would have become a lost tale.

 

DE

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