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Letters to President Obama


Phil Freshman, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Obama

No doubt about it: you've just been through one of the roughest weeks of your presidency yet -- the kind that queasily portend more such to come. I support and respect you, but rather than offer mere tepid cheer (or, worse, unsolicited policy advice), I here send an item that may actually be of practical use.

I understand Lawrence of Arabia is among your favorite films. (It is my all-time favorite.) One of its most telling bits of dialogue-words I've heard you (slightly mis) quote- is found on these pages from my copy of the shooting script, which a friend gave me in L.A. long ago. (How he came by it is a question best left unasked.) I took the script to a private screening in May 1988 of the then-not-fully-fine-tuned restored version of the film. Among the 50 or so in attendance were David Lean and Peter O'Toole, both of whom graciously autographed it.

Since I gather these words carry personal meaning for you, I'm hopeful that this enclosure will serve as a reminder of something important and will lend you strength-not only now but also in needed times yet to come.

Patience, fortitude, and humor!

Phil Freshman

St. Louis Park, Minnesota