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Staff photo, Shea Johnson
Carson Hughes, 6, poses with his mother, Rindy, and a signed, personalized letter and photo of Obama he received from the White House.

Local boy receives letter from Obama

Flag drawing garners a response from White House

Staff Writer

BARSTOW• Imagine the surprise for two Barstow parents when their six-year-old son received a big, brown paper envelope containing a personalized letter and photo from President Obama last Friday.

The envelope, which also included a photo of the first family’s dog, a pamphlet about the arts and a photo of the White House, was the result of months and months of waiting for Henderson Elementary student Carson Hughes.

One day, this past summer, Hughes drew a crayon picture of the American flag and wanted to send it to President Obama. After he told his parents, Mike and Rindy—both Republicans—they agreed to give it a shot.

“In my mind, we’re just going to play the game,” Mike Hughes said. After dropping the picture into an envelope and casually addressing it to the White House—neglecting to add the “1600” part to the Pennsylvania Avenue address—they thought of how to appease their son when, inevitably, the response would never come.

They thought of putting a faux-letter together from the president, but never did.

Last Friday, the real thing did come though and addressed to Carson, himself.

“The whole day was surreal,” Rindy Hughes said. She told of how Carson was jumping up and down, running around outside and wanting to tell everyone.

The typed letter, complete with an official White House seal, begins with “Dear Carson, this is just a quick note to congratulate you on your artwork.” The rest of the letter details the importance of art education. At the end, it’s signed, “Sincerely, Barack Obama.”

According to the official White House website,, President Obama reads ten letters from the public each day out of the tens of thousands of letters, faxes and emails he receives. It’s unclear if that includes children’s letters as well but, either way, the package is one Carson won’t soon forget and from a man his parents may not have voted for, but admittedly “really respect” now.

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