Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chicken Scratches

I have the actual letters that a relative of mine wrote during his service in the Union Army during the Civil War. His handwriting is beautiful. My mother and my grandmother both had marvelous handwriting.

My father's handwriting, on the other hand, was quasi-legible.

Mine is worse.

It was on its way down by the time I entered law school. Three years of scribbling about court cases put a bullet through it. [I don't know what my wife's excuse is. She uses letters that appear to come from another planet.]

I often see better handwriting than mine, but seldom encounter the truly beautiful handwriting that must have been commonplace in the 1900s. In those days, if you wrote at all, you probably did so with a "fine hand." I slow down and try to emulate those letters and my sentences look as if I was having a seizure.

I can read those Civil War letters. My descendents will have a rough time deciphering many of mine. That may be a blessing.


Cultural Offering said...

I love chicken scratches. It is a code for future generations to decipher. My father had wonderfully messy handwriting. Few people could read it but I enjoy figuring it out.

Michael Wade said...

I shudder to think what a handwriting analyst would make of mine.