Chuck Jones’s daughter, Linda Jones Clough, will be posting weekly, material from her personal archive of writings and ephemera created by her father over the course of his lifetime. Today, she presents “Ode the Washam Wedding” a poem Chuck Jones wrote celebrating the wedding anniversary of his friend and colleague, Ben Washam. It is important to note that Chuck was intimate friends with his animators throughout his career.
Linda recounted that as a four-year old, Ben Washam’s wife, Eddie, was one of her favorite visitors–always ready with a lap and a kind word.
From: Chuck Jones
To: Ben and Eddie Washam
Re: Eighth wedding anniversary, October 1942
ODE TO THE WASHAM WEDDING
Happy wedding anniversary to the Washams. I.E.: to Benny and Eddie,
Who apparently have gone together for a long time. Steady.
From where I sit it looks like you have been married since nineteen
thirty-four. To be exact, in October.
Were you sober?
Or were you drunk with love or liquor.
And so woke up the next morning with a screaming headache thinking
you had never felt worse or been sicquor?
Eight years is a good long time to have been married.
Some people I know quite well would rather be hari-karied.
But I want you to know that marriage is a thing that I spend a good deal
of time endorsing.
It’s better than horsing
And being a general gadabout,
Even though some irresponsible wolves may be madabout
Just remember that when you’re a hundred and nine years old and not
married and not pretty.
It’s pretty s—-y.
(That line is only dirty if you make it so.
I might have meant ‘sweaty’ if you pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘pretty’
instead of ‘pritty’, or I might have meant ‘sweety’ if you
pronounced ‘pretty’ ‘preety’ like Mexicans do, no?)
Well, anyway, you dirty-minded little couple you, Happy Birthday to
the inception of your connubial bliss.
Do you realize this:
For twenty-nine hundred and nineteen nights Benny has been saying:
And Eddie answers, “Ready.”
Ben Washam, contemporary to the poem. Alas, no photo of Eddie Washam to share.