Collection of 20 autograph items from a variety of 20th century notables all answering the same question posed by a 7th/8th grade English teacher in Illinois: "We will be very grateful if you will tell us what you feel was the most important lesson you learned when you were a teenager." By profession, the correspondents consist of (most to least) entertainers, politicians, authors, athletes, military and religious. Replies consist of 9 Typed Letters Signed, 7 Autograph Notes Signed, two Typed Notes Signed and one Autograph Note Signed. Several of the ANsS and one TNS are penned on the educator's handwritten letter and another is penned on the verso of an inscribed photograph. Dates range from August 1990 to December 1999, with the majority dating from the early 1990s, sizes ranges from 8½" X 11" to 3" X 5", and condition ranges from near fine to very good. A small but fascinating collection, with answers ranging from thoughtful and inspirational to pithy and comical -- as itemized alphabetically below with brief quote from each:. Item #46530
1) ASIMOV, Isaac (1920-92) prolific sci-fi author. Amusing ANS: "I don't remember if I ever learned anything at all as a teen-ager. I.A." 2) BERNARDIN, Joseph (1928-96), Archbishop of Chicago (1982-96). Outstanding, intimate, heartfelt 2-page TLS: "The lesson I learned was to be open to surprises in life, to be willing to change my mind. While I left high school with a clear course of action in mind, the road God called me to take went in a rather different direction.... Please ask your students to... walk through their teenage years with courage and hope for the future!" 3) BOUDREAU, Lou (1917-2001), baseball player and manager and Hall of Famer. ALS: "The constant reminder of -- 'keeping my body and mind healthy by eliminating smoking & drugs' I would be able to compete and do my best at all times." 4) BRADBURY, Ray (1920-2012), celebrated sci-fi author. ANS: "Fall in love with something and love and do it for a lifetime! For me, it was writing, starting at age 12!" 5) BUSH, Barbara (1925-208), First Lady. White House letterhead TLS: "There were many important lessons that came my way as a youth, but the one that has held me in good stead... was to study and become well educated.... The demands of our complex world make it practically impossible to live up to one's full potential without knowing how to read, write, comprehend, and think." 6) COUSINS, Norman (1915-90), political journalist, world peace activist, author. TNS: “The most important thing I learned as a teen-ager was not to accept the advice of anyone who flatly said something couldn’t be done.”7) DOOLITTLE, Jimmy (1896-1993), pioneering aviator and "Doolittle's Raid" leader. TNS: "Study hard, enjoy life and make a contribution to your fellow man." 8) GOLDWATER, Barry (1909-98), long-time Republican senator from Arizona and 1964 presidential candidate. TNS: "my mother always told us to tell the truth, this is something I've tried to do even when it would be painful for me." 9) GREELEY, Andrew (1928-2013), Roman Catholic priest and bestselling novelist. TLS: “I believe the greatest lesson I learned as a teenager was to have big dreams because even though they don’t all come true, those that do are wonderful….” 10) HAIG, Alexander (1924-2010), U.S. Army general, 5th White House Chief of Staff and 59th Secretary of State. TLS: "Soon after my father died (I was ten years old), I recognized that my own hard work and motivation would be required to get me through life... I learned that education was the best way to advance my ambitions and to accomplish whatever goals I sought." 11) HOLTZ, Lou (born 1937), college football coach elected to College Football Hall of Fame. TLS: "one cannot attain success without first experiencing some adversity." 12) INOUYE, Daniel K. (1924-2012), decorated WW2 soldier and long-time Hawaii representative and senator. Lengthy and touching 2-page TLS: "Although, my parents have since passed away, they have served as my role models and guiding lights. Their advice and words of wisdom have shaped and molded me into the individual I am today." 13) KENNEDY, Edward M. (1932-2009), long-time Massachusetts senator. TLS: "I remember when my brother, President John F. Kennedy, first guided me around the historic sites on Capitol Hill. He said to me that now that I have seen the buildings, I should take care to know what goes on inside of them." 14) MICHENER, James A. (1907-97), author of many multi-generational family sagas. TLS: "Do you realize how long ago it was since I've been a teenager? I am over 80 years old! From my earliest years I have had a great curiosity about the interesting world we live in and a desire to know all about and enjoy it." 15) PECK, Gregory (1916-2003), Academy Award-winning actor. ANS: "the Tried and True: Never, never quit. Do not allow rejection to dishearten you. Do not blame others for your troubles. Keep going. The world is in you." 16) PRICE, Vincent (1911-93), versatile actor of film, television, stage and radio. ANS: "Be ambitious and have worthwhile ambitions." 17) RIZZUTO, Phil (1917-2007), famed New York Yankees shortstop and Hall of Famer. ANS (on inscribed color photograph verso): "stay in school and don't get mixed up with the wrong crowd -- don't be pressured by anyone trying to get you in trouble -- knowledge and fun, a great combination." 18) ROGERS, Fred (1928-2003), beloved children's television host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" fame. TLS: "I learned a lot about friendships as a teenager, and I've continued to learn about relationships throughout my life." 19) SILLS, Beverly (1929-2007), American operatic soprano. ANS: "I learned that I could get more accomplished with a sense of humor and kindness than with anger and bad temper." 20) SNEAD, Sam (1912-2002), one of the greatest golfers of all time. ANS: "I caddied when I was 7. By age 9 I could club my (man) I caddied for. I learned the hard way 'Pay attention'." Intriguing, eclectic -- and educational! This appeal from a teacher of middle school kids struck a chord with his subjects and most truly gave it thought and wrote from the heart: Bernardin and Inouye are especially moving, while Haig and Kennedy are particularly evocative and Asimov and Bradbury worth a chuckle. An exceptional archive.