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Giving Thanks

Rita Price

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we all take the time to take a good long look at our past and present and give thanks for the things that really matter. To Rita Price, our Membership Certificate Calligrapher, it is the opportunity to practice her craft and have it admired by many of our members. Recently, we received the following email, in which she expressed her gratitude for the continued opportunity, as well as her love for creating each piece as an individual work of art.

I am happy to see that certificate orders are still coming in. There was a lull for a while and I was beginning to worry that my skills had gone the way that technology leads. This recession touches us all. I don't make a lot of money on these, but I do enjoy creating beautifully lettered tributes to outstanding contributors to humanity. Some calligraphers hate having to write out foreign names and charge a "surcharge" for such. Personally, I love the unusual. And, I love the written word in beautiful letters. To me, each name is a celebration--a person who matters. I also appreciate the fact that your organization does not opt for computer generated typefaces or fonts and you don't just give out typed certificates. You are rare. Scribes, of course, have had this problem with public conception of what they do since Gutenberg invented moveable type. That's been a long time--since the Middle Ages. We are used to it therefore we appreciate people like you as patrons. Gutenberg's goal was mass dissemination of the written word to spread knowledge. I revere him since I use all the modern conveniences of technology as it is today. Yet, there is something special about calligraphy. It elevates the written word. It is distinct, original and from one human hand propelled by a beating heart to the heart of the recipient. I can't think of a better way to describe it. I am honored to be your scribe. Heart and Lung is your business in Science. Your achievements, even in the work day world of the office, are so necessary. Yet, you chose me to letter in Art.

Science and Art go hand in hand, heart to heart. Thank you for appreciating this. Your certificates are testimony to this. They are well designed, they are colorful. They are embossed. They do not lend themselves well to being run through a computer printer for mass distribution. They are printed on quality paper which does not bleed, smear, or require a sharpie marker or chemical sprays to complete. They love the touch of a pen nib with hand ground ink and a deft stroke propelled by a human hand and heart and years of study of lettering to complete. They show that you are proud of your organization and who you are and the immeasurable good that you do.

Thank you. I am descended from a long line of heart patients whose lives were extended due to heart research. They were not transplant recipients, but it is such a miracle that many others are given this special gift. I personally know and understand what your organization is about. There isn't a name that I write on your certificates that I don't thank for their contributions in Science. Their names mean Life to many families. My contribution is Art, and gratefully, so. I thank you for the opportunity and also for the gift of being able to contribute.


Rita Price
Calligrapher & Scribe

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose

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