In 1988, aged just 8 but already a fan of the teen actor due to Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation and his “awesome smile,” an excited Teresa Jusino saved up the $12.00 membership fee and applied to join “WilPower,” then-15-year-old Wil Wheaton‘s official fan club. She then waited. And waited some more. And then gave up waiting altogether. The membership kit never materialised, and before long the initial disappointment was forgotten.
In 2009, Teresa Jusino, now a 29 year-old writer, received — along with a package containing the very items she had waited patiently for 21 years ago — the following incredibly endearing letter of apology and belated welcome to Wheaton’s now defunct fan club, written by the man himself after being alerted to her story.
He gets a big thank you from Twenty-Nine Year Old Me. Don’t get me wrong. Eight Year Old Me is very, very pleased. But Twenty-Nine Year Old Me better knows the importance of a kind gesture, and hopes that her gratitude carries more weight.
Dear 8 year-old Teresa,
I wanted to apologize to you for making you wait so long to get your official WilPower fanclub membership kit. You see, 15 year-old me is very busy with work and school, and the people who were responsible for getting your membership kit mailed back to you must have made a mistake.
It’s been a long time since the fan club did anything, but I’ve enclosed a membership card for you, as well as a wallet photo, and a picture that shows you how much I love Batman (HINT: It’s a lot.)
WilPower members got updates about me and my work a few times a year, but the fan club stopped sending those out a long time ago. My latest update, though, goes like this: I got married, I have two boys who I love more than anything in the world, and I’m a writer now, just like you!
And now, 8 year-old Teresa, I want to tell you something very important before I sign off, so listen closely: When you grow up, you’re going to be a great writer. I can’t tell you how I know, but I hope you’ll trust me; I just do. So stay in school, always do your best, and treat people the way you want to be treated.
Thank you for being part of my fan club,
(Signed, ‘Wil Wheaton’)