Listening to This American Life in the car the other day, I was enchanted by a story about a project to have kids across the country write letters greeting Barack Obama to office and giving him advice on how he should spend his time. The project was started round the corner from where I live, at 826 Valencia, and the collection has just been published as a book, Thanks, and Have Fun Running the Country.
On the radio they had a couple of the original authors (the kids) read their letters. I was utterly charmed. Here's one:
Dear Barack Obama, one thing you could fix is the economy. Something happened to me. I went out for lunch at Starbucks and I wanted to buy a cup of whipped cream. And normally it's 43¢ but now it's 74¢. The price raised 31¢ for no reason! So you should probably try to change things like that from happening. You should keep an eye out for things like that. I wish you good luck.
PS. I love whipped cream.
Alexis Feliciano, age 9, Brooklyn.
Here's another, which wasn't on the show but is in the book:
Dear President Obama, I have a great idea for you: you should set up a special phone, a special place just for kids to call the president if they find things that are dangerous and can affect people, like someone smoking. This would be a special place for kids to talk to Barack Obama and let him know what's going on.
Dhamaril Nunez, age 9, Boston.
Great, no? I think I'll buy the book. You should listen to the show. Alexis reads at 17 minutes, 20 seconds; worth hearing.
Here's an old one of Matt, taken in July 2000. He hasn't changed much.