Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda


May 9, 1955


Post # 66


Howdy ma’am,

     Wonder why anybody ever
went to the trouble of hyphenating “madam” into “ma’am”.  It’s much harder to write a “’” than it
is a “d”, especially on a typewriter where you have to stop, hit the shift key
and then look for the “’” which is never where I expect it to be.  Seems to me it should be where the % is
or maybe the _ or even the (.  Not
the right ( but the left (.  The
right ( actually looks like this: ). 
Know that this # is?  It’s a
tic-tac-toe graph for small insects like cockroaches.  If you ever want to please a cockroach leave a few of these
around on a blank sheet of paper. 
In the morning you will find several tiny completed games of tic-tac-toe.

     I just talked to Dottie
at home.  She said that your grades
were there, which indicated that you were still alive and that they were
excellent, which indicated that even if you were deceased that your last days
were remarkably successful. I said that I was sure that you were not dead; that
all those letters you had written in the last few days had been improperly
addressed and had ended up in the dead-letter box at the post office.  I assured her that dead letters in no
wise indicated dead daughter.  She
hastened to say that she hadn’t been concerned, only curious, she said the year
she graduated from college she hadn’t written her folks in seven weeks and I
mustn’t be too hard on you, there were eight million things to do the last
couple of months in school and that we mustn’t expect any thing from you but
bad news.  I said that it would be
better if we never heard from you at all, wouldn’t it then?  (What a beautiful sentence—shows what
you can do just by thinking beautiful thoughts).  She said “Hell no, that isn’t what I meant at all!  Stop twisting my words.  Of course I would be delighted to hear
from her.  She’s already written I
know.  Stop picking on her was all
I said.”  I replied civilly enough
that I wasn’t picking on you.  She
said I was, too.  So I’m picking on

     They are actually at
work on the new studio!  I saw it
with my own eyes.  Holes being dug
in the earth!  Cement being poured
into the holes!  Unbelievable!
Perhaps by this time next week they will be digging holes in our new lot and
pouring cement there-in.  What a
fantastic age we are living in. 
Imagine!  Pouring cement
into holes in the ground!  Cain’t
believe it now.

     Nobody said nothin’
really about you not attending Shirley’s gathering of adobe girls.  What was intended was that your driving
that highway without more current driving experience comes under the heading of
foolish risk.  Calculated risks,
O.K.  Foolish risks, no.  Confidence and basic ability is not the
point.  Long distance driving is
safe only when you drive by reflex. 
When you have not been driving a lot it is necessary to approach each
driving crisis, large or small, as a separate problem and in a hundred or so
miles the mind is exhausted and driving becomes very dangerous indeed.  That is why this is a foolish
risk.  The train is not very
expensive and is considered fairly safe. 
Why not?  I am sure you
would have just as much fun while there.

     Now why did I use the
back of the paper?  Surely I have
no interest in saving Warner Bros.such a picayune sum.  Friend of mine once visited William
Randolph Hearst at that gigantic castle at San Simeon.  The thing that impressed him most,
aside from almost running over a camel, was that on the table at dinner was an
exquisite solid gold spray vase, emblazoned with lovely scroll work in shell
design and studded with precious stones. 
It dated from the fifteenth century and may have been the work of
Benvenuto Cellini.  Well, what do you
think was in that priceless object? 
Paper napkins.


I must leave you
now and traipse me way to art class. 
Wish me luck.


I love you



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