Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 19 Post:

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 1952

Dear Linda;

Good old, tasty old payday again.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  Wednesday is the ideal day, I believe, for a payday as it splits the week in half.  Years ago we were paid on Friday and that long dim vista from Monday morning to Friday afternoon was almost unbearable.  It was difficult to see how the week would ever end and it was almost impossible to conceive how those two crumpled dollar bills you found in your pocket after the week end could keep body together, much less soul.  Ah yes, there has been progress in my lifetime.

Of course today, unlike those yesterdays, I enjoy my work tremendously.  I do not know nor often care what hour it is, I find that my mind has a singular and quite wonderful freedom in this regard, particularly since I discarded my wristwatch, that pokey watch dog of time, always reminding, always bedeviling.  (If you need any extra commas, there are several in that last sentence.) 

To carry this thought a little farther I think that not having an official and jaundiced eye constantly flicked on my comings and goings helps tremendously, within reasonable limits, my time is my own. Basically the only restriction is that I get my work done and that I keep my crew gainfully occupied.  Not too difficult an assignment, since they know their duties well and perform them studiously, exactly and with a devotion that sometimes astonishes me. 

All in all, I am a very fortunate person.  I’ll be damned if I know why, but I am not going to question or fight with my guardian angel, bless his golden little heart and generous impulses.

You, too, seem to be under the aegis of a kindly angel and I might tell you, if my experience is any example, to ride along with it, enjoy it and when the shots of adversity occur, you find yourself thrice armed and able to absorb a wonderful amount of it without apparent damage or deep-seated discouragement. 

The why of good luck, the why of the favored I am rapidly deciding is part of what for now must remain unknown. But I do know this: that most people, when in a lucky streak, spend it building up a load of dread for the unknown future, which must be (they suppose) a foul pit, and this fear inhibits them so they cannot enjoy their good times in anticipation of the bad times, and cannot enjoy the bad times or even weather them confidently because they haven’t built up the reservoir of confidence mentioned above.

Fear, I believe, is best explained as anticipation of evil.  Why not skip it and face the evil as it happens?  In a book on sailing I once read, a young man who was studying to be a master of a clipper ship asked his skipper how a captain could best prepare himself to face a hurricane or typhoon.  The old skipper said that he never anticipated anything at sea, since the conditions possible were so much more varied than he could imagine. He said his formula was to learn everything possible about his ship, about seamanship, about the potential of wind, sea and current and in training his crew to be master sailors.  Thus, when any situation arose everyone would almost automatically do what was necessary to meet it and nobody would spend foolish time in dread of the unknown…

This hasn’t been a very folksy letter, has it?

Love and kisses from old philosopher Jones


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