Thursday, January 3, 2008

Who's My Daddy?

Wow. I go to bed last night and all heck breaks loose on Atlas Quest. I'm kinda glad I missed the melee.

But I want to post a couple of thoughts over here anyway. And some of it might be considered "blasphemous", which is why it's here and not on the boards.

Thought #1:


Thought #2:

Who are Mark & Sue? Everyone keeps saying how much they revere them, but as far as I know, they haven't contributed to my letterboxing experience in any way. So, in order to answer that question, I spent some time on their blog. This is some of what I learned:
  • They have alot of pinecone stamps carved by lots of other people.
  • They must have lots of money, or leisure time, or both, in order to spend as much time out boxing as they do.
  • They seem to want to encourage people getting together through the hobby of letterboxing.
  • They have several completely distasteful posts about a Lady Prisspott that have nothing whatsoever to do with letterboxing.
  • They talk with and about a lot of people that I've never heard of.

Thought #3:

How does my letterboxing experience fit with all of this?

  • No, I don't hold LTCs, postals, virtuals and other non-traditional boxes on par with traditionals. In fact, my husband and I have discussed the fact that they really aren't letterboxing at all. The common theme is the hand carved stamp, and I just happen to do these other things with the same people that also letterbox and list them in the same place. In fact, I have actually gotten to know people through the non-traditionals in ways I never would out in the forest. When I box, I box alone.
  • I do not have the money or the leisure time to letterbox as I would like. I have responsibilities--one of them being a child with special considerations who has a very difficult time outdoors.
  • I learned about letterboxing from a friend. She read a magazine article about it. We both went and found the Smithsonian article and read it.
  • The "mutant" letterboxing activity of Boxing Buddies has actually encouraged my children to go out and look for letterboxes more than anything else has.

Thought #4:

I don't care beans about the pie chart and the response to it. Until a person "walks a mile in [my] shoes", they have no business passing judgement on how I choose to spend my time. If the Pepe's want to encourage outdoor boxing, so be it. If they are disturbed by the trend in virtuals, etc, so be it. That is not going to change how I partake in letterboxing.

But I kept reading and read their following post as well. Now, that bothers me. That someone who has never met me, talked to me, or in any other way gotten to know me in the slightest would feel that they could give me a "fatherly" lecture perturbs me to no end. My father would never shake his finger at me~as it were~and tell me to "just get out there and box". Because he knows me and my situation. He and my Mom have however, on many occasions, babysat my children so that I could go out and box. My Dad has gone with me to hunt and plant boxes so that I could feel safe out in the woods alone. My Dad, and my entire family have humored me on family vacations so that I could pick up a few boxes along the way. My Dad has encouraged me that things will get easier as my kids get older. My Dad even helped me pick out my hiking boots. Mark Pepe is NOT my Dad.


  1. Amen, I say AMEN!

    I, too, had the thought that Mark is not my father, nor is he the "father" of letterboxing, though many seem to see him as some sort of patriarch. I haven't met him, so I can't say whether I like him or not. I didn't mind his original blog posting, but the subsequent AQ post ("lecture") definitely did rub me the wrong way.

    For me it comes down to the fact that as much as I love letterboxing, I can't always justify the gas $$ or the time away from other responsibilities to do it in the traditional way, so I enjoy postals as my LB fix. I view it as art that comes to my house. And no, I don't think they should be counted in with traditional finds and plants.

    Bottom line: in the grand scheme of Life, the Universe and Everything, arguing over the "proper" way to letterbox seems fairly, well, ridiculous. There are far bigger and better things to worry about!

  2. amen, honey! i too prefer to traditional letterbox, BUT my area is very limited in how many boxes i can get. WV is just not very populated with boxes or boxers in my area. i'm planting as i can, but in the meantime i want to fellowship with other boxers i will probably never meet in person, which has enriched my life. postals let me letterbox in weather i can't get out an traditional box in, as well as just box because of the dearth of boxes in my area. if i plant all of them, i still have no boxes to find. now you know why i avoid the main list! people have no business judging others. i don't remember anyone making them the official carriers of the torch and letterbox police.

  3. I'm the one that opened the floodgates on Jan 3rd. One thing I am sorry about is bringing Mark and Sue Pepe into it by pointing out his blog article.It was not my intention to cause trouble for anyone.


Your feedback means a lot!