A Postcard Mailed 33 Years Ago Just Arrived, and Other Surprises to Start the Week

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Results. Our colleague Samantha Michaels broke a staggering story earlier this month about New York prisoners sewing face masks for correctional officers, hospital workers, and quarantined inmates, but being forbidden to wear the masks themselves in their housing units. Hours after her reporting published, officials announced to a local news agency that they’d distribute the masks to all inmates within a few days. Applause to Samantha. And for those of you who can, consider pitching in to support more high-impact reporting like it at Mother Jones, and start the week strong. (Our CEO explains what the coronavirus has meant for our reporting here.)
Touchdown. A postcard sent 33 years ago just arrived, thanks to a post office’s deep cleaning. Anne Lovell had mailed the card in 1987 to her brother, Paul Willis, who received it this week, with the original message: “A picture is worth a thousand words. Happy Holidays!” “We were both really excited about it,” Willis said. [Editor’s note: A similar surprise came my way when a DVD of photos I’d mailed to my father took a year to reach New York from San Francisco, torn and tattered on the outside, spotless on the inside.]
Changeup. A Boston Red Sox reporter with a rare collection of autographed cards auctioned them off and raised $57,000 for coronavirus charities. Hat tip to Chris Cotillo, even if he is a Red Sox fan. To all my fellow Yankee fans out there, can you match the deed? Let me know at recharge@motherjones.com.
Rare breed. Friday was National Endangered Species Day, so let’s recognize two additions to the list: the 55-foot-long, 90,000-pound Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale, and the Accountable President, a rare human, roughly 5 to 6 feet tall, of even temperament, takes responsibility, doesn’t lie pathologically.
Flowing. The good news about alcohol distilleries converting to hand-sanitizer manufacturers continues, thanks to E-40, the Bay Area rapper who transformed his brand’s tequila distilleries to produce sanitizer and donate it to prisons.
Voices are back. The once-disappearing phone call is making a comeback, with call volume and call duration up. The best part: JustCalledToSay.com, a new website for anyone to leave voicemails starting “I just called to say…” (anything on your mind), created by independent podcasters. Start with Zac Lee Rigg’s excellent whales voicemail.
Thanksgiving already. Today marks the 84th anniversary of Louis Armstrong’s powerful recording of “Thankful.” Give it a spin and tell me what’s on your week-ahead playlist at recharge@motherjones.com.

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