Saturday, July 21, 2007


I began writing letters at a young age, and it would quickly become an important part of my identity.

I think my first fan letter was to Jim J. Bullock. (Remember him? Perhaps not. He was a regular on my favorite show, Hollywood Squares. And Too Close for Comfort, another one of my favorites, even though there was NO way that show was appropriate for children. My mom and dad didn't censor much in our's a miracle I turned out as wholesome and old-fashioned as I did!

The letter is still in an old photo album. My parents never mailed it. I wrote him a short paragraph about how Hollywood Squares was my favorite show. I watched it every night, and he was very very funny in it.

(I guess my affinity for funny gay men began at a very young age.)

I wrote on the wrong side of the lined paper, too.

Years would pass...and I would write letters...lots and lots and lots of letters. To EVERYBODY. (And when I say "everybody", I am including the people who ran the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Missouri.)

There were several standouts...

-Harry Connick, Jr. I met him at a CD signing when I was in the 8th grade. I gave him a pillow for his new baby (that I made, with her name "Georgia" on it) and a nice card. Three weeks later, Mr. Harry Connick, Jr. CALLED ME ON THE PHONE to thank me, and his lovely and wonderful wife Jill sent me a card.

-Nick Clooney. "Who is Nick Clooney?" George's dad, among other things, and he used to host movies on AMC, which was my favorite channel when I was a child. (It's just not the same anymore!) He sent me a very nice note telling me that my address brought back fond memories of when he was a youngster vacationing by the Jersey Shore and met his first love, Lorraine.

-Paul Anka. He sent me a signed photo saying, "For Diana...the one and only!" (Since one of his biggest hits was "Diana."

-Tina Sinatra. (

-Tom Brokaw. I sent him my school's literary magazine when I was in high school, because I wrote of the "Greatest Generation". Two weeks later, my sister got the mail and said, "Okay, I don't even want to KNOW why you're getting a package from NBC Studios." It was a signed copy of Tom's newest book, in which he inscribed "To Diana...who understands...Tom Brokaw." It is one of my most-prized possessions. It now sits in a protective vault, and Tom Brokaw remains number 1 on my "to meet" list, and if I ever DO meet him, I will most likely cry and beg him to adopt me.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a long overdue letter to Maria Shriver.

If you might remember, I met Maria Shriver two years ago.

And this all happened:

I decided..."I am going to WRITE a letter to Maria Shriver! I am going to remind her of our exchange at the Rockefeller Center Barnes and Noble and tell her that I am still rather frustrated with my life and hold her wise words close to my heart because I KNOW Maria Shriver would never lie to me."

She was going to LOVE this letter, I decided, and call me immediately and offer to help me in any way she could.

"Any way" would just might include introducing me to literary agents, letting me move into her New York City penthouse apartment which she and Arnold never even use (I'm not sure if they actually have one...but I bet they do), or even doing something as simple as hooking me up with one of her cute Kennedy cousins. There's about seventy-thousand of them...shouldn't be too hard.

Alas, I seemed to have lost my magic touch for letter-writing, because today, I got this letter in the mail:

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A form letter from Maria Shriver.

She didn't even read my letter!

She doesn't even know that I still think back to her telling me, "Everything is going to be okay!" in the bookstore that day and how I never, ever forgot it!

Instead, I just got the same old letter every other random person sent her that day.

Let this be a lesson, I tell myself. When I start receiving multitudes of fan mail, I will respond personally to every last letter and will fix people up with my hot single cousins when the situation sees fit!!!!!

Diana Rissetto

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