I received a radiogram the other day from a gentleman in Ocala, FL, via another in Owls Head, ME, congratulating me on my new license. That was pretty cool of them!
Radiograms often include a numbered code written in longhand, to abbreviate entire sentences. Mine included ARL FIFTY SIX NEW AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE, or “Congratulations on your new amateur radio license, a most worthy and deserved achievement.” See Wikipedia for the complete list of codes.
Radiograms date back to the telegraph days, when shorthand was important to keep the messages concise and communicable. The ARRL has very specific guidelines on how these are transmitted and relayed to their intended destination, as these are often used in emergency situations where other means of communications are unavailable.
I wrote back and asked the forwarder to send a thank you to the sender, and we started chatting about packet radio and our BBS days. We both hosted Wildcat dial-up BBSes back in the 1990’s, here in Maine! He invited me to a Maine Packet Radio group.