Letterbombing with Love

It seems already such a long time ago that I was still in Germany and received this short and no frills e-mail:

I picked up two sets of posters from the old vic on my visit and id like to pass them on to fellow fans ,postage paid as a kindness , BUT I don’t know how to go about getting names and address of 6 fans …any ideas ?

Let me interpret this for you: An e-mail by a fan. She has seen the Crucible in London. She has bought some posters. With the intention of giving them away, as presents, to those who cannot go. With no strings attached and all postage paid. The tears were sitting pretty loosely in those days, anyway, but when I got that e-mail, they were tears of genuine affection, an altogether different chemical concoction than those of grief.

It seemed the easiest – in terms of privacy and organisation – to offer that I forward the gifts to some lovely people in the fandom who could not attend the play. After all I know many addresses already (through my shrine work) and the recipients also know my address, so the cover is/would be blown on both sides. And so I received a carefully wrapped package a couple of weeks ago with four posters, cardboard tubes for posting them in, and plenty of postage money to despatch these deliveries of fandom love.

gifts from Jane

I am not quite sure whether all of the posters have reached their destination yet but I have had word from Italy that Barsine has received one of these fandom love deliveries – and her post has prompted me to finally give the credit to whom the credit is due. I was merely the intermediary, but the initiative, the idea, the expense of it all was undertaken by our wonderful fellow fan JANE. Jane does not have a blog. But Jane has a big heart.

There are so many ladies out there that will not get to see the play live as I have, and to be honest,  it has totally blown me away, all these 5 star reviews are not hysteria or people jumping on the band wagon , it really is amazing  and I will never forget seeing John Proctor struggling with his conscience, reduced to tears…

She just wanted you to share in something that you may not have been able to go to yourself – but that you can have a souvenir of, nonetheless. The thought has blown me away, and I can only say that my heart soars at the thought that the world has people like Jane in it. I hope you will join me in saying thank you to her. Even if you or I weren’t the recipients of one of the posters, I think her idea and her initiative was directed at all of us, at the fandom as a whole. It is an idea that sets the tone in this community of well-wishers, and that cannot be credited enough. Those of you who have received a poster are welcome to leave a comment for Jane on this post (and everyone else, too :-D) And I hope that Obscura and Jazzbaby will credit this lovely initiative with four kindnesses (at least!!!) for the ShareTheLove project.

Thank you, Jane!

PS: Since Jane did not want anything in return for her gesture, I am wondering how I could show my appreciation. Here is the deal: She says she doesn’t want a RAPS. But they are the only thing I can offer in return. I’d like to donate a “Jane Memorial” RAPS in her name. Watch this space.

151 thoughts on “Letterbombing with Love

  1. The world needs more Janes…Thank you for your kindness..No,I am not one of the lucky ones who got a poster..Who ever did enjoy..

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        • Grah, also wie du das da jetzt schreibst, muss ich aber nun jetzt fast brechen :-D. Goody goody Guylty? Everything but. I am probably only singing in the cellar…

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          • Hase! Brechen vor Begeisterung? Nun mach mal halblang: “leader of gang” kannst du dir ruhig anheften, komplett unverfänglich und ist zunächst mal eine Zustandsbeschreibung. Blöderweise färbt die Begeisterung halt ein wenig auf dich ab. So ein Pech aber auch 🙂
            Und btw:.würdest du meine hochkomplexen Einlassungen bitte Ernst nehmen *steng guck*

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            • 😀 Lobhymnen sind immer ganz gefährlich, C! Weil ich leider die innere Tendenz habe, dem Lob Glauben zu schenken. Das ist der Bescheidenheit abträglich. Andererseits – so’n bisschen leader of the pack hat ja was. Das ist einem als ehemaliger Lehrerin ja auch irgendwie im Blut :-D. Sozialkundelehrerin Dr. Ricarda Deeming gibt sich die Ehre. (Oder doch eher Sozialarbeiterin Chupa Chop?)

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              • Wie wärs mit einem neuen Studiengang: Sxxx, Lehrbeauftragte für angewandte RA-Wissenschaften mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf Photoästhetik und -betrachtung, bei leichtem Einschlag in die Werkkunde unter (Achtung) aktiver Einbeziehung der Community in den allgemeinen Begeisterungsstrudel. Oder s.ä. ……..

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                • Hahaha, die Leitung der Fakultät obliegt Servetus. Ich nehme da nur eine Dozentenrolle im Fachbereich Fotografie und Medien wahr. Schwerpunkt Angewandte Fototheorie unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des darstellerischen Werkes von Richard C. Armitage. Derzeit schreibe ich meine Habil unter dem Arbeitstitel “Locking the Gaze – Parasoziale Scheinkommunikation zwischen Modell und Betrachter. Eine empirische Studie zur emotionalen Effektivität direkter Blickverbindung durch den Filter des fotografischen Objektivs unter Einbeziehung Barthesischer Interpretationstheorien”.
                  Mein Gott, kann man diese Inspirationen eigentlich auch mal professionell nutzen???

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                  • Puhhh, ungefähr so wollte ich es rüberbringen, danke für die Präzisierung. Cool, wirfste einen 10er ein, kriegste 1Euro raus 😀 Stellvertretende Leiterin der Fakultät geht doch, wobei ich ja finde, dass Serv eher die Hohepriesterin der RA-Fandom-Gemeinde ist. (Nichts für ungut Serv, falls du das liest, ist nicht blasphemisch gemeint). Aber da du, Sxx , dich glaube ich im religiösen Kontext nicht so zu Hause fühlst, ist die Fakultät schon passend. Und wir sind die staunenden, lernenden und supportenden Studenten/Jünger (je nach Gusto) 🙂

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                    • Ganz richtig, die spirituelle Leitung überlasse ich lieber anderen. Da ist man als Mitteleuropäer ja eher zurückhaltend. Und als Künstler ohnehin ganz “Sozialist” 😀
                      Was die “Studenten” angeht – da verfahre ich dann nach Humboldt: Die gegenseitige Befruchtung (geistig! geistig!) von Lehrenden und Lernenden.

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  2. Can this fandom get any better? (a hint: NO NO NO NO NO NO and NO if it wasn’t clear the first how many times) 😛 Thank you Jane for thinking of the many admirers who can’t go to watch the play 🙂 I just can’t wait to see the reaction of the well-wishers who will be receiving a surprise poster in the mail! This news makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside 😀 What a great way to start the day! ❤

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    • 😀 Oh, I think the fandom can *always* get better. And no, not complaining. This is pretty extraordinary, and Jane has really set the bar quite high. But hey, we all love a challenge, don’t we?
      Looking forward to writing up my RAPS post with your shrine, btw…

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  3. Thank you thank you thank you, Jane. From the bottom of my heart. I have explained in the post linked by Guylty how much your gesture has meant to me. I usually belong to the group of “those who always see the glass half empty”, and “the more I know humankind the more I love my dog”, but you have made me realised how wrong I am. I would like so much to get in touch with you by e-mail, Guylty has it, I’d love to hug you even if virtually! 🙂

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  4. I found it both so considerate and endearing that I simply had to write something about how I feel about it.
    People like her are a blessing to mankind. This is about an astonishing amount of consideration towards people and a considerate lot of kindness.
    This kind of soul is the main reason why I can still believe in humanity. Why I can still have faith in it.
    By way of conclusion, I should like to express my thanks for the mere idea of thinking about others on behalf of these people who got a present. So rare nowadays.

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    • Hello niluphazel – welcome and thanks for commenting 🙂 . I probably should leave it up to Jane to reply, as your lovely message is directed at her, but I just wanted to say I couldn’t agree with you more! As long as we are touched by other people, there is hope that we will touch others in turn. ❤

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      • Well, thanks for the warm welcome! I’m new on WP, but I’ve been on tumblr for quite some time, under the pseudonym – though name for a mountain in Tolkien’s world – Bundushathur ;).
        I would have loved to thank her myself, but I thank you for sharing this, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about it. I’d like to thank you for your hard work in the RA fandom, too, you’re amazing!

        Yes, let’s stay hopeful! Like Jollytr already said, “the kindness and generosity of people shouldn’t be amazing”, but we have come to a time when the mere idea of being considerate has become way too rare. People are strong only if together, like an army fighting a battle – and here I am giving myself Hobbit feels. Damn it – but individualism is nowadays the norm. Such a shame.

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        • Aw, thanks Bundushathur 🙂 It’s a pleasure. I hope Jane will read here (I’ve sent her an e-mail to alert her of the outpouring of love for her.)
          Yes, we need to concentrate on the signs of kindness more than on the negativity. Because there is lots of kindness out there. It just gets buried under the crap all too often.

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  5. The kindness and generosity of people shouldn’t be amazing … but it is! There is so much compassion, humour, kindness and goodness in these wonderful people who have gathered to share an appreciation for RA! He attracts people who are extra good, extra patient, extra loving (to paraphrase) :-)))) Guylty, you are a leader in this and you never cease to inspire. A huge hug and love to Jane for her thoughtfulness and to you Guylty for sharing the love! {great big grin of happiness and warm fuzzy feelings}

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    • Shush, Jolly 🙂 credit all to Jane. (I am prone to hogging the limelight here, ungrateful sod that I am.)
      I do wonder whether it really is RA or all coincidence? Maybe it is our advanced age *ggg*. Now there is a daring theory that people can kick the halo off from my head for *ggg*

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      • Don’t you be talking down on my Guylty!!! If I sez you is wunnerful, then wunnerful you is, lol! I don’t think it is our advanced age which gives us inclination and/or resources to share the love. There is a secret reason I hope to share soon which leads me to make this vague statement, hehehe. I do think it’s the sort of fans RA attracts. He is considerate and inclusive to his costars, crew and to his fans. He is a decent bloke and that’s quite magnetic; decent folk are drawn to him. Of course there are always outliers – I myself am an ogre and not afraid to spread the grumpy 🙂

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        • LOL.
          And maaaaaaaaaaaan – secret reasons. Grah, I am going to forget the restraints of my mature gentility here and start whining that I want to know what you are alluding at. But *ouch*, the displaced halo has just fixed itself around m… y… wr..sts… c. n’t… writ… pro..plery.. ayn.m.re 😀 HELPPPPPPP

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    • Yup, there are many many examples of kindness. I am only fortunate in having been invited to facilitate some. It is just so important to stress the goodness. Bad experiences have a tendency to linger longer in memory. I hope this one will last in our memory for a good while!

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  6. A fantastic gesture! Spreading love is so fulfilling! I’m sure Richard would be delighted in knowing this kind of things happens in his fandom. Sadly, the worst ones receive much more exposure. Thanks to all the fans that behave good, extra good as he once asked us with candour and inner kindness.

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    • It is reassuring to know such things happen. I am glad others like to read and know about this, too, and I am not the only sentimental fan-hugger here. 😀

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  7. I’m not sure why but kindness always brings a tear to my eye. So lovely of Jane to have the idea and to Guylty for executing it. I love that this goes on in the RA fandom and I love that so many of us are touched by it 🙂

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    • This is where the interest in an actor’s career transcends merely being a fan. It’s nice to see connections building, tangible proof of shared interests. I will always be happy for experiencing that, even if my interest in RA will wane.

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  8. This is truly a spreading love story. Will Mr. A ever happen to know what he inspires his well-wishers to do, taking so much effort in sharing, giving and making other people just feeling happy?
    Thanks Jane for her love letter and guylty for acting as Cupido 🙂

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  9. Lustig: Ich hatte den Gedanken auch, dass sowas eine tolle Idee wäre. – Wenn ich denn so einfach für TC nach London reisen und so einfach ein paar Poster mehr kaufen und so einfach diese in alle Welt verschicken könnte.

    Schön, dass ich nicht als einzige so dachte.

    Thank you, Jane! I think you made some ladies very, very happy! 🙂

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      • Ich finde es ehrlich berührend, wie (eigentlich) Fremde sich gegenseitig eine Freude zu machen versuchen.

        Und “berührend” gehört normalerweise nicht zu meinem aktiven Wortschatz – aber ich finde kein anderes Wort dafür.

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        • Da kann ich dir nur zustimmen, Igelchen! Das habe ich vor einem Monat ja schon in anderem Zusammenhang am eigenen Leibe erfahren. Ja, eigentlich Fremde. Aber doch irgendwie verbunden über ein gemeinsames Interesse. Und da das Interesse ja doch ziemlich emotional ist, wundert es mich nicht, dass daraus auch emotionale Verbindungen zwischen “Fremden” werden. Soll noch mal einer sagen, das Internet sei “anonym”. Nicht *mein* Internet!

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          • Ich habe früher auch schon Verbindungen wegen eines gemeinsamen Interesses erlebt. SO war das nie.

            Liegt es an besagtem Interesse, an den Leuten, am anderen Umgang mit Fern-/Internet-Kontakten oder an etwas ganz anderem? Ich weiß es nicht. Aber ich weiß, dass es mich eben immer wieder berührt.

            Dieses Fandom – oder dieser Teilbereich davon – ist etwas ganz Besonderes.

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            • Ich hab da ja so gar keine Vergleichspunkte – ich habe mich noch nie in ein Fandom so reingeschmissen wie in dieses. Oder bin ich hier reingezogen worden? Ein Kult, eine Sekte? 😀 Was auch immer, ich bin immer davon ausgegangen, dass es überall so ist. Obwohl mir der Gedanke gefällt, dass wir etwas Besonderes sind. 😀

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              • Wir sollten langsam anfangen uns damit abzufinden, dass es wahrscheinlich/bestimmt etwas Besonderes ist! Und dann schnellstens wieder zur Tagesordnung zurück, bevor wir uns noch komplett versentimentalisieren (ich liebe Wortkreationen) .

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              • Das letzte Fandom, in dem ich unterwegs war, war ein anderer Schauspieler.
                Ich habe zwar einen (1) Kontakt geschlossen, der eine Weile eine Freundschaft war, bevor es dann doch einschlief, aber das war’s auch. Großzügigkeit wie im RA-Fandom habe ich da nie erlebt. – Aber vielleicht war ich auch in der falschen Fandom-Ecke unterwegs. *schultern zuck*

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        • Ich merke auch, wie sich meine Beiträge allmählich emotionalisieren. Muss was mit der allgemeinen Stimmung hier zu tun haben. War vorhin tatsächlich auch gerührt, als ich das las. Bin da sonst eher sparsam unterwegs.

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  10. That was so kind and generous of you, Jane! Thank you and our dedicated fandom love facilitator! Things like these always make me feel warm and fuzzy – and I hope some of this fuzziness reaches a certain gentleman who brought us together. Interesting theory, Guylty. Is it age? Or traits we are drawn to not just in RA, but friends we meet through him?

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    • You know, that is a question I often ponder. There is no question that like-minded people tend to find each other. That’s how we form friendships and relationships in RL, too. Whether RA fits into that, I do not know, after all he doesn’t take an active part in this. The age thing could be valid in the sense that the maturer fans a) have usually more money at their disposal and therefore resources to throw into things like this and b) may have a little more life-experience and learnt to appreciate signs of affection and apppreciation more than younger people? A dangerous argument that could be interpreted as ageist. No offense to younger fans – I know from my experience here that the community spirit transcends the boundaries of age… It’s tempting to just ascribe it all to the influence of the man himself, but I am slightly reluctant to give him too much credit *ggg*

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  11. Gulp. This post prompts two reactions from me. Regarding motive and attitude (selflessness, generosity, acknowledgment that we’re all connected in some weird way we can’t define but we intuit is worth celebrating), I refer to the first post that ever made me cry, “He’s smiling at you”: http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/from-an-armitage-ambassador-hes-smiling-at-you/
    Second, to remind people that for thoughtful, deeper-than-the-usual analysis and reactions to current events, don’t forget to check in with the less-loud, erudite, amazingly literate (and, yes, irreverent and silly, too) long-time fans at C19, including Jane. Witness this discussion about The Crucible: http://c19.proboards.com/thread/62751/crucible-c19-reviews?page=10

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    • Besotted – thanks for linking in that reminder of Anna. That post was one that touched me deeply back then. Because it was the first time that someone deliberately and expressly SHARED an experience in the true sense. She didn’t keep that smile for herself, she didn’t hog it and claim it was hers (as it had been given to her in that actual instant, through her camera), but she passed it on to *everyone*. That was really sweet, really generous, and yes, that may have set the tone for me, too. URGING EVERYONE TO CLICK THE LINK AND READ THAT POST!!!
      As for C19 – another great reminder, Besotted. I’d love to actually check their analysis, but as a non-member the site is closed to me. And Jane is active there? I am so embarrassed not to have known that… I know there are more worth-while platforms out there apart from our little cosy blog-world. I tend to forget that too easily. I am ever more grateful that Jane decided to go cross-platform and reach out to me. (Must actually write to her asap.)
      PS: Heard about that sign, Besotted! Brilliant!!!! Would love to hear about the whole ITS premiere from your perspective! You can have a blog post for it, if you like?

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          • There is a “Jane” on C19. I have no way to know if it’s the same person, and I have such a hard time keeping all the fake names straight in my head, don’t hold me to it.

            As for my premiere “story,” I hesitate. I’m jaded and cynical, and that seems to pull people down. I don’t want to squash the party.

            The short story is that these sightings are always such a blur, I’m not sure they are real until I get home and look at everyone else’s pictures online. So I experience them the same way you all do!

            Marie Astra and I had pizza afterward and I said “Quick, what was he wearing?” We both paused and looked at each other quizzically. She said, “White shirt? I think?” That’s all either of us got. See?

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            • Well, Besotted – I totally know what you mean. That is my own experience of the RC in Berlin and the recent stage door, too. (Probably also the reason why I still haven’t been able to put down the whole episode in a blog post). In both instances I could not remember correctly what he had been wearing – despite literally standing BESIDE the man, at arms’ length. The whole thing takes SECONDS, and feels slightly anti-climactic. So, no pressure :-D. I better get my own shit together first 😉

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            • It IS always the same: you see HIM and SEE actually nothing. I met him at the Crucible and only remembered him wearing a jacket ( because I grabbed it 🙂 ). The other details (colour of the T-Shirt, the famous button-trouser) I found later on on my photos.

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              • I wish (challenge, hint, hint, fangirls) someone would shoot a video of the scrum at one of these events. When you look at the photos later (Marie Astra’s are fab: http://marieastra8.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/into-the-storm-premiere-nyc-i-was-there-part-one/), you see stills, but in truth, he is never still. In reality, he is a blur of movement and darting glances that don’t actually land anywhere. It is kind of a letdown later, so I join the band of the deluded in writing up a fun story about how great it was and looking at the stills to convince myself it was fun. See what you did, Guylty? You seduced me into writing my jaded and cynical story. Damn!

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                • 😀 – hey, you are preaching to the choir, and in all respects. I felt the same way after Berlin, and it hurt me to write honestly about it. However, the whole experience simply needed a little while to settle down in my brain, and once it had done so, I was able to see it less critically and for what it was – an interesting insight. In the event. A great meeting. With fellow fans. Certainly not him. If there was any disappointment, it was because of expectations that I may have had and that could never be met. We all kind of know that. I have decided that any of these activities are far more about *my* journey within the fandom than about *him*. Distance can be good. Any closer, and the bubble would burst.

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  12. I think that unfortunately life for many people is like a raining day but even like this, there is sometimes a rainbow just after the rain giving hope and happiness in our heart.
    I think Jane could be this rainbow.

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  13. What a wonderful gesture of Jane’s, my thanks to her for her generosity and to you Guylty for facilitating it.
    Thankyou too to Armitagebesotted for the link to Anna’s photo “he’s smiling at you”. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes, it’s such a powerful testament to the kindness of this friendom which is a reflection of the lovely man we have chosen to admire.

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    • It was more than a pleasure to be part of this. In a way I am reaping the rewards here, like an impostor. In the end what counts is that people were made happy. Hopefully.
      And yes, Anna’s photo and post are total tearjerkers. In the best possible way 🙂

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  14. What a lovely, thoughtful gesture to other RA fans, Jane. Thank you, and also you, Guylty, for making it all happen for the lucky recipients.

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  15. Can’t add anything except my extreme gratitude to be among such generous people — of whose generosity I have also repeatedly been the object.

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  16. You two are inspirational! I love this kind of story 🙂 We see so much negativity online that it is refreshing to see genuine kindness. BTW every time I come to this comment page I am mesmerized by the poster!

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  17. You know, there’s something about shared enthusiasm that breaks down the barriers between people. It’s amazing how we all bonded standing around the Lincoln Square movie theater on Monday afternoon. Some of us are lucky to get an autograph or a picture of RA, but that happens in a few minutes. We stood about for hours, chatting and sharing our love of RA. That shared energy is really memorable. You become not just a RA well-wisher, but a well-wisher of RA’s well-wishers! 😀 That was a great idea of Jane’s and thanks for sharing it, Guylty!

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  18. “You become not just a RA well-wisher, but a well-wisher of RA’s well-wishers!” That’s IT, Astra Marie. You’ve nailed it, thank you!

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  19. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 38/? – Thorin, One Last Time? | GUYLTY PLEASURE

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