If you're not in the mood for sentimentality this morning, then don't read my post. My adventure in handwriting starts during the period of the Civil War. My great-great-great uncle, John Kemp, was a Captain in the Confederacy. When I was in high school, I happened upon copies of his letters that he had written by fireside from various camps. His penmanship was beautiful, without flaw. I was so inspired that I decided I would learn this penmanship. So, after homework was done, (usually), I got out his letters and copied them, and copied and copied and copied again, until I could mimic his writing. I didn't use the writing in school assignments, lest I draw attention to myself. But as time went on, my handwriting became something of a hybrid between his and mine.
Years passed and I forgot all about it. But then I acquired, at very little cost, the antiquated dip pen. As I wrote with it I thought that had John Kemp lived, this is the kind of pen he might have written with. And so once again I began my journey into Spencerian writing.
Every year, I give my family members and close friends poems that I have written for Christmas. Usually they came off of the ink jet printer, but this year they were a project of me, "Old Bess" (as my pen came to be called"), and the spirit of John Kemp. I learned on Christmas Day that in the Battle of the Wilderness he had been shot eight times and cast into a mass grave with 30 other young men. And so those poems were in memory of him. And when I practice my penmanship, it is in memory of him and all the others whose voices were silenced, whether Northern or Southern. It matters not.
If I am able I will attempt to post a picture of "Old Bess" and a sample of my handwriting. It is nothing great. But it is what it is.