Remember the story of Ernie Ray who sponsored a Love Letter To the World comma for Tara Zlacki, who then wanted to pay it forward for someone else’s comma?
At least two things happened in direct response to Tara’s generous offer. First, Angela Baldridge was the first person to write to us and ask about the sponsored comma (Angela now has her own comma and is sponsoring a LLTW comma for someone else!). Second, someone who asked to remain anonymous handed us $50 so as to pay it forward for another comma.
Samantha Harp, another person who responded to the announcement of the comma sponsored by Tara, ended up getting the “anonymous” comma. As soon as we told her she could have it, she said that she, too, wanted to pay it forward. So a few days later, we headed to Third Street Stuff to meet Samantha in person and give her $50. We had also arranged for Becky Fox, the recipient of the comma Samantha was paying for to meet us there.
And it gets better!
Samantha got her own comma inked on that same day. Here is the picture she sent us (yes, that was in August, when all of Kentucky was green):
She also sent us her story:
“My obsession with the Love Letter To the World project began a few years ago when I got a Facebook invitation to participate in the Lexington Tattoo Project. I loved everything about it and was devastated when I could not participate. When I received the invitation for the Love Letter To the World project, I knew I had to be a part of it.
When the poem was released, I read it over and over again, trying to decide on the perfect phrase for me. I probably changed my mind ten times; the poem was so beautiful, I could not decide. I was browsing the Facebook page one day when I came upon the blog entry about Ernie, the man who collects commas. Reading about Ernie and his commas, and how he pays it forward for other peoples’ commas, summed up everything about the Love Letter To the World project for me.
From the very beginning, I wanted to be a part of this artwork because I wanted to be a part of something big. Not just something big, but something completely positive. I wanted to feel connected to other people. But I was not satisfied with that; reading the poem made me want to contribute something of my own. This is where I got hung up every time. I did not know what ‘contributing something’ meant until I read the blog entry about Ernie.
This comma is so perfect to me. I feel connected to the poem. I feel connected to all participants. I feel connected to the person who donated my comma to me. I feel connected to the comma that I donated. It’s small, but it’s part of something so big and so good.
What really sealed it all for me was meeting the person who I ‘paid it forward’ to. When we met, we realized that our paths had crossed a few years earlier, though we had not introduced ourselves to one another at the time. So here we were now, meeting for the first time, both obsessed with Love Letter To the World, both obsessed with the idea of commas.”
Two months later, Becky got her own LLTW comma. We met at Third Street to photograph her. Afterwards, we realized we had taken her picture one table away from where we had sat with her and Samantha in August!
And now Becky is paying for someone else to get “every day” as their own LLTW tattoo! (She chose the phrase :).) Interested? Send us a message!