Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

 

April
15, 1955

 

Post
#64

 

Dearest
Linda,

 

Today
is the Ides of April for many people, TAX DAY.    Fortunately I chose this year to get my return
in early.  What a wonderful
feeling.  Why didn’t I ever do it
before?

 

Three
men were dining in a Chinese restaurant and eating those little Chinese cookies
that are folded over and enclose a printed fortune.  The first one said something about meeting a tall dark
blonde, the second insisted today was a great day for financial investments,
but the third one said, “HELP, I AM BEING HELD PRISONER IN A CHINESE BAKERY”

 

We
had a wonderful time this trip and of course it is always nice to enjoy
vicariously the pleasure a new person obtains on first visiting the
school.  Judy [my cousin, my age]
was completely enchanted, both by the environment and the warm friendly
reception she received from everybody. 
She said she was completely relaxed, more relaxed in fact in a few hours
at the ranch than she had been in several years at [her boarding school].  I think she meant this was a difference
in the general characteristics of the two schools and not just a personal
reaction.  Whatever the faults may
be of the [your] school, this is certainly one of the attributes and a major
one at that, I think students learn the art of easy conversation and getting
along with others to a much greater extent than they do at most schools.  I realize of course that by and large
we see the student body on their best behaviour but I make this appraisal with
this in mind and it still seems true to me.  I have never met a group of young people under any
conditions in which courtesy; good manners and easy friendliness were more
prevalent.

 

I
deeply hope that your affairs are in reasonable order.  If they are not and you need me, I am
enclosing a note to [the headmaster] to be used if and when you need it.

 

It
is very difficult, I know, to have your emotions so whipped about at a time in
your scholastic career when stability is so damned important.  It is unfortunate, but it is not
insurmountable.  I think a mark of
womanhood (or manhood) is the ability of the individual to do what she must do
in spite of vagaries of outrageous fortune (to paraphrase some unfortunate
poet).  I know that you have a
great and fine friend in F…. [maie friend] and this is something that many
people never enjoy.  I am not
speaking in this particular sentence for you, but for myself, but I love that
boy.  Not because of his accomplishments,
perhaps in spite of them, but because he is a man and a gentleman.  It is hard to know where the feeling of
true rapport originates between men and I have spoken few words to F…., yet I
would trust him in any way and be proud to have the opportunity to do so.  I know it is a hackneyed phrase, but if
I had had a son of my own, my hopes would have been that he could grow up to be
as F…. is.  Yes, you are fortunate
for I know he has a deep affection for you.  Another mark of adult-hood is the willingness to acknowledge
the need, at times, for help and love from another.  If you are still in the emotional jungle, there are two men
who may be of assistance to you at any time: F…. is one and I am the other.

 

All
things being equal, we should be starting to build [our new house] in the next
two or three weeks.  Keep all
fingers crossed.  There has been so
little of the kind of irritations and conflict supposed to accompany planning
and building that I’m beginning to wonder what kind of concentrated turmoil is
in store for us.

 

You,
personally, are wonderful, I love you…

 

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