Your front-page article last month on the “I Am Loved” buttons made me think back to 1986 when I went to the Soviet Union. Wanting to take gifts to give to the Russian people, I thought of the traditional gum and inexpensive ball-point pens, and then I saw the “I Am Loved” pins in Helzberg’s.
We had been told the people loved pins, so when I explained to the saleslady what I would like them for, she very generously gave me a bag full. I started to leave and then decided I might need a few more. She gladly gave me another bag. I later found out there were 500 in each bag.
In each of the Soviet airports, the customs officials were always “gruff” and rude women, but when they found out what the pins were and were given one, they immediately put them on and became very excited and friendly.
Regardless of their age, they always beamed and showed their pride when given a pin. Language was no longer a barrier.