A Teenage Dream: John Hughes Was Her Penpal


johnhughes01When I was a teen, I wrote my share of fan letters. Duran Duran’s John Taylor , Adam Ant and Martin Scorsese never wrote back me back. But Alison Byrne Fields not only got a response from her idol but John Hughes became her penpal. On the blog We’ll Know When We Get There, Alison shared her touching and amazingly sweet story.

One night while babysitting she wrote a fan letter “pouring her heart out” on yellow grid paper. About a month later she got a response. But it was a form letter with some Breakfast Club stickers. Apparently she was pretty damn pissed. She writes, “I wrote back to John, explaining in no uncertain terms that, excuse me, I just poured my fucking heart out to you and YOU SENT ME A FORM LETTER.”

What happened next? John Hughes wrote back …for real. He told her how much her letter meant to her. She asked if he would be her penpal, and he kindly said yes. They went back and forth from 1985 to 1987 with his letters in long hand. He’d share with her news from his film sets, things about his family and Alison wrote about school, her parents and boys.

One of the most touching things John wrote was :
“You’ve already received more letters from me than any living relative of mine has received to date. Truly, hope all is well with you and high school isn’t as painful as I portray it. Believe in yourself. Think about the future once a day and keep doing what you’re doing. Because I’m impressed. My regards to the family. Don’t let a day pass without a kind thought about them.”

Check out the entire post right here. It just shows again how in tune John Hughes was with youth culture. Let’s hope the “next John Hughes” keeps in touch and is so supportive of his fans he was.