Heritage Fest At-Home Talent Show

Heritage Fest At-Home Talent Show… & Tell:
Letter Writing Q&A with Renée Rubin! 

With our anniversary coming up, we decided to celebrate the parts that make up the sum — our staff. In that vein, we have decided to showcase their special skills and talents. Within that celebration, we’re sitting down for a virtual beer with our co-workers and doing a deep dive Q&A with a few folks on why they started their craft and what the inspiration is. First up: Renée Rubin!

Who are you? What’s your role on the team?

Hello! I’m Renée Rubin and I’m based at the Angel City Brewery. However, I’m currently spending most of my time at my apartment in Downtown Los Angeles. I am the Retail Operations Manager for the Local Tap Rooms at Boston Beer. Process development and inventory and Bill of Materials costs, Oh My!

What is your special talent?

I am an avid letter writer and origami envelope folder.

How long have you been doing it /or is this a newly acquired skill since quarantine?

I’ve been into letter writing for the better part of the last 20 years.

How did you learn this talent / get into it?

When I was young, I spent my summers at an overnight camp in northern Vermont. It was there that I really built my appreciation for receiving mail. The problem with developing a strong desire to receive mail is that you must envelope others into your habit (see what I did there…). I quickly learned that if I was to get any mail, I would need to create mail. Some pen pals are fleeting, but a delightful few have kept things running smoothly for a long while.  I’ll periodically throw someone from my address book just to see what happens.

Any funny stories associated with this special skill?

I almost always use old New Yorker Magazine covers as envelopes. The way the page is folded to resemble an envelope (another thing I learned at summer camp!) can make for some funny alignment of the art or cause for a letter to appear missing. I’ve had a few odd ones along the way but often a cartoon character will look like his hand is picking his nose or scratching his bum.

What’s your favorite part about it?

Our lives are fully entrenched in technology and as so many of the analog activities of the past go by the wayside, I find that letter writing can and should continue to prevail. An email chain is nice for a while but inevitably it stops, I think it’s because it is so quick to be “all caught up” on information to share. A letter takes time to arrive to its destination and then (hopefully!) for a return letter to be routed back.  It allows for time to pass before a new letter can then be written with new updates. I love that whenever I receive a letter, I can almost always wrestle something up to share for the return journey.

What other talents are you hoping to learn while in quarantine?

I thought with all the letter writing my handwriting might improve… I was mistaken. I’ve been repainting my apartment and thought that maybe the time at home would help me enjoy it more… I was mistaken there as well. Painting is terrible, with or without quarantine. I have had some successes though! I’ve always been an avid meal prepper and I’ve been spending the extra time at home diving into some of the cooking projects I might have shied way from for lack of time. I cured some salmon last week and while I haven’t latched onto the bread baking extravaganza, I have doubled down on re-growing vegetable scraps, “can I pickle this?” and house made cleaning supplies.