My Pen Pal, John Hughes

Teen approached iconic filmmaker, who responded with kindness, advice
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 7, 2009 10:43 AM CDT
This 1984 file photo shows director John Hughes.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – For one teenage fan in the 1980s, John Hughes was more than just a director; he was her pen pal. "He made me feel like what I said mattered," a grieving Alison Byrne Fields writes on her blog. They corresponded for 2 years, and "he loved knowing that his words and images resonated with me and people my age." He also encouraged her ambitions, writing, "Truly, hope all is well with you and high school isn't as painful as I portray it. Believe in yourself."

“He told me about life on a film set and about his family. I told him about boys, my relationship with my parents, and things that happened to me in school,” Fields recalls. Years later, he called her at work and shared details about his decision to flee Hollywood. When she heard he had died, she writes, “I cried for a man who loved his friends, who loved his family, who loved to write and for a man who took the time to make a little girl believe that, if she had something to say, someone would listen.”