, Corbin, KY

November 9, 2012

Greetings from The Palace

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Not gonna happen. Celebrities simply don’t have — or make — time for the little guy. Oh, they brag and go on about how many fans they have and how important the ‘little people’ are to them, but seriously folks, just how many of their so-called fans have they actually had real face time with — notice I did not say FACEBOOK time.

Now, when it comes to high-ranking dignitaries of other countries, you would expect more — or less — of the same. As would I. Guess that’s why I was pleasantly surprised when little Davie Smith, a 7-year-old second grader from Corbin Primary, walked into my office and told me the Queen of England had sent her a letter.

What? A letter from The Queen herself? This is big news — or at least it would have been had the letter actually been written or even signed by The Queen. But, alas, it was simply a form letter signed by... well, somebody claiming to be the queen’s Lady-in-Waiting.

Whoopie, do you say? I suppose I would too if it weren’t for a still-vivid childhood memory of a young third-grade girl living in Hicktown U.S.A. receiving an answer to her letter to the President of the United States. Oh yes, the President himself. Lyndon B. Johnson actually answered my letter. He told me it was exciting living at the White House and he was kept very busy running the country... or something like that.

All I really remember is that the envelope and the letter itself were both stamped with the Presidential Seal. And I remember the flashy signature.

Was it really the President’s signature? I don’t know. Was the letter even from the President, or was it simply a form letter filled out and signed by a flunky down in the bowels of the White House? I don’t remember.

I remember that I was as proud as a peacock that the President of the United States took the time out of his busy schedule running this giant country to answer the letter of one little girl who just wanted to know how about his day.

Davie’s mom, like mine, might frame that letter from the Queen of England and hang it up on her daughter’s wall. It’ll be great for bragging rights for months (and maybe years) to come. But, eventually greater and much more important events will happen in Davie’s life. The old yellowing letter from the Queen will be replaced by a family photo, maybe a boyfriend, or better yet, a group shot of Davie and her girlfriends.

The point is, this one simple — and very important — piece of mail will be fondly remembered 30 to 40 years down the road by a grown adult woman as she glances at the TV screen to see an elderly, but stately great-grandmother queen waving to her loyal subjects from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And the woman will smile.

Yes, Davie will smile at the memory, at all the joy — and pride — the Queen’s letter brought to her when she was just a child, at how she felt it was so important that she needed to take it to the newspaper and announce to everyone that she, Davie Smith, received a personal letter from the Queen of England.

She won’t remember the name of the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting. She probably won’t even remember that it was signed by someone other than the Queen herself.

But, she’ll remember the letter.

And I’ll remember the smile a little girl put on my face when she came bouncing up the stairs to tell me the Queen of England wrote her a letter.

For that, I curtsey — not so gracefully, I expect — to you, Queen Elizabeth II. With one little letter, you’ve made two little girls very happy.

God Save the Queen.

Bobbie Poynter is the Community Editor for the Times-Tribune. She can be reached at