MIDWESTERN POLITENESS BACK IN THE DAY. Lee Bryant sent me a link to an exchange of letters from the 1970’s between the Cleveland Browns and a fan. The fan protested that other fans had been turning game programs into paper airplanes and throwing them and that this was dangerous. The Cleveland Browns responded that: “I feel you should be aware that some …[expletive deleted by this blog]…is signing your name to stupid letters.” the letters appear to be authentic. I do remember another Ohio story from the same period. Back in the sixties, a candidate, Steven Young, had been elected unexpectedly to the United states Senate. He served from 1959 to 1971. I remembered that Young assumed that he would lose for reelection so he responded to some of his critical mail by beginning: “Dear Sir: I think you should know that somebody has been sending stupid letters using your name…… This article from the Harvard Crimson from 1966 confirms my memory, saying: “When Young is displeased by a letter–whether or not it comes from a constituent–he writes a thoroughly nasty response. For example: ‘Dear Sir: It appears to me that you have been grossly misinformed, or are exceedingly stupid. Which is it?'”

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