Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Handwritten Letters, World War II, P22 Marcel, Typography, Love Story, Reunion, Daimler, Berlin, Marienfelde, STO, Forced Labor, Service du Travail Obligatoire, WWII
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Love, Hugs & Kisses XO

If you’ve ever been to my house, you might have noticed a type-centric collection decorating our space: 4″ and 5″ vintage wooden letterpress X’s and O’x. Hugs and kisses! Over the last decade I have collected more than 150 letters; they can be found perched atop picture frames in the living room, stacked next to books in the book case, and displayed atop an oversize photo in our dining room. The collection includes chunky slab serif letters, graceful curved serif letters, spare sans serif letters, inline letters, narrow letters, wide letters, and anything in between.


Happy 98th Birthday, Louise!

Photo of Louise blowing out candles on her 98th Birthday cake

Last night I had the honor of attending Louise Dillery’s 98th birthday party. And it was indeed a party: she wore a tiara, received a pile of gifts, and the room sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her first in English, then in French. Her three surviving children were there, including her daughter, Denise who lives in Las Vegas (shown in photo above), and she was surrounded by long-time friends and neighbors. There were also a handful of Louise’s former French students — people who graduated high school in the 1970s — who were inspired to become French teachers themselves. The woman I sat next to taught French for 27 years — all because of Louise.

The sentiment in the room was unanimous: we all love this amazing woman, and were so happy to be able to celebrate with her!

Want to read an essay I wrote about Louise’s time in tuberculosis quarantine? Here’s a link.

Q & A with Mamta Chaudhry, author of Haunting Paris

When an author writes a book proposal, they often invent profiles of prospective readers; the purpose is to help a publisher envision what type of reader might buy that book. When I first heard about Mamta Chaudhry’s forthcoming novel, HAUNTING PARIS, it felt as if my picture should have been used in her book proposal. The book checks off just about every topic I could ask for: Paris? Check. An old, handwritten letter? Check. WWII? Check! A compelling history-mystery? CHECK!


Jowl Puddle

Someone recently asked to see a photo of Hoover, so I went through old photos looking for one showing his gray jowls puddled on the floor — it was a common sight in his last years. Looking through the old photos made me miss our sweet old boy. We still miss him so.

photo of old black lab with grey jowls sleeping on carpeted floor


December 26, 1944: “Somewhere in France”

Somewhere in France

My Dearest Wife:

Well Christmas is here an gone. It didn’t even seem like Christmas just like another day. Christmas Eve we didn’t get in till about six. After we ate I washed and shaved. Was [illegible due to paper damage] to a little party they were having over in his Co. Then we were going to go to midnight services. READ MORE

December 24, 1943: “I’ll say a prayer for the best little family in the world.”

24 December 1943

Dearest little Mother,

Just a short time ago we finished with morning (9 A.M.) sick call. I have had indications that today might be a very busy one so thought I’d better get off your daily letter early.

Tonight is Xmas eve and I can just see you hanging up a little pair of stockings by the chimney with care. What are you giving Mike for Xmas dear? Pretty hard to think of things for a little tyke like that isn’t it? Gosh I’d certainly like to be with you tonight. I will in spirit anyway, especially when I am in church tonight. I’ll say a prayer for the best little family in the world.READ MORE

December 22, 1942: “I wish I could put into words what I have in my heart.”

Dec. 22, 1942

Dearest Wilma:

Received two letters of yours, today. One written the 23rd of November, the other a v-mail letter written the 31st of August, the new and the old.

Don’t you ever change the way you have been writing your sweet letters! I’ll admit they just about knock me off my feet, but it’s just what I want to hear. I wish I could put into words what I have in my heart and mind, but I am afraid I would make a mess of it. Perhaps you’ll remember some of [the] things I told you a long time ago. It all goes double, now.READ MORE