John Hughes: Influential Director — and Pen Pal

Director John Hughes, who passed away Thursday at age 59, made a big impact on those of us who grew up watching his films and crushing on his characters. But he made an even bigger impact on Alison Byrne Fields: he was her pen pal.

As she recounts on her blog, We'll Know When We Get There, Fields and Hughes sent letters back and forth between 1985 and 1987, after Alison poured her heart out to Hughes praising The Breakfast Club. Initially, she got a form letter back and wrote Hughes again, chiding him. Find out what happened next.

Crazily, the director wrote again, apologizing for the form letter and saying her note meant a lot to him. Alison boldly asked if he would be her pen pal, and he said yes! Here's more:

"I'd be honored to be your pen pal. You must understand at times I won't be able to get back to you as quickly as I might want to. If you'll agree to be patient, I'll be your pen pal."

The two wrote back and forth for two years about everything from filmmaking to high school to boys to Judd Nelson. Though their correspondence eventually ended, the pair reconnected by phone many years later. You should really read her post to get the whole story; if it's true, and it seems like it is, it's a crazy and adorable tale.

Did you ever have a pen pal when you were a kid? Did you ever write letters to famous people?

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