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Ab1lene, Texas, Oct 6 1921
Ive been studymg letter wr1t1ng and thought ld pracuce on you be1ng as you have a sweet
d1spos1t1on and IIVC a long way off Besldes IIS more economlcal to WTIIC to you than to any
body else I know because you l1ve a couple of thousand m1les away and I get the whole two
thousand for two cents, whlle 1f I wrote to some fellow only flfty mlles away It would cost just
the same and I wouldnt get my two cents worth, so you see, ll s a hargam
Im go1ng to the Ab1lene H1gh School now They appreclate the honor I do 'hem too Im
awfully popular They almost always 1ns1st that I stay an hou1 after school, and the teachers
have to fl1p a n1ckle to see who gets me after detentlon
Besrdes 1ts other attractlons th1s school has got a chapel perrod Presummg your 1gnorance,
Ill explaln what that 15 Chapel perlod IS a th1rty mlnute 1nterval allowed the students for recre
atlon flf you happen to be on the program It a1nt recreat1on, It s torture? The school IS dlV1dCd
1nto llterary soc1et1es wh1ch perform 1n turn for the benefit of the whole school thus the .lun1or
Llterary SOCIEIY Sophomore L1terary Soc1ety, and Sen1or Socxety and Mr Dudley and the VIC
trola organlzed 1nto a k1nd of a scrub team, wh1ch treats us once 1n a wh1le
It happened to be Mr Dudley s turn one day and he pushed the Vlctrola out and cranked It
up ht a1nt a self starter? The first p1CCC he played was the Hammer and Saw Chorus by
balll Carpenter, accompamed by her ma1d and the holler factory It was awful Sounded l1ke
a dog fight on a t1n roof Mr Dudley got up and gave us a lengthy d1scuss1on of IIS ments,
saylng lt was one of the most beautlful selectlons of F111 opera and that next 'o da da and the
ABCs baby should be taught the v1rtues of F111 opera, fsorter on the pr1nc1ple that chlldren
should be taught the hardshlps of l1fe at an early age I suppose? The next plece was the
that It was an acc1dent, and that he hadnt lntended to play the lowly th1ng
Oswald fhes the guy that shares my chewmg gum and mrnts and seat durmg chapel per1od?
Aw, that dont sound stra1ght to me Every tlme he plays a PICCE that makes you want o
wlggle your toes, he apologlzes, then when he plays somethmg l1ke that Hammer and Screw
drlver Chorus, whlch makes everybody w1sh graphones was a lost art, why he gets up and trles
0 k1d us 1nto bellevlng 1ts one of the blesslngs of c1v1l1zat1on
Sure, I agreed 1f that carpentry plece had a blue label and a name that dldnt rattle
your false teeth why hed be g1v1ng It as the reaso11 glrls leave home, or one of the causes of
the World War
'Alt a1nt r1ght" Sald Oswald, sorrowfully
Say Os I Sald, nudglng h1m 1n the wlshbone, Ive got a scheme
I whlspered my plan to h1m
Oswald let out a grln that crowded h1s ears up 1nto a corner, and slgswed the 22 kt marks
on hls gold Jaw teeth Great' you ve got a bra1n thatd make Socrates look l1ke a lowbrow
You send for It to nlght "
That nlght I sent a letter to the Vlctor Company, lncloslng five dollars and requestlng that
they send me a blank lmpresslon record I dont know whether 1t was the maglc of my name or
the lure of the five bucks but they sent a couple of blank records a few days later
Os had an old dlctaphone that would serve as a recordlng machlne, so me set out to get our
Lets get a couple of rounds of your uncles sneeze suggested Os
Naw, Sald I 1t a1nt volum1nous enough, and theres no var1ety Asbestos, our burro,
has got a VOICE equal to a couple of sextettes and a bass drum band iYou remember Asbestos
Blll shes that donkey that took up w1th us whlle you were v1s1t1ng me last summer She found
out I had a k1nd heart and an account at the feed store and adopted me as a stepfather? Shes
got an awful m1ld d1spos1t1on, Os, and no VICBS, except that she 1ns1sts on ra1s1ng her vo1ce 1n song
1f the alfalfa and oats a1nt forthcomlng regularly
Yeh but we d have to starve her three or four days to get her to perform cont1nuously and
harmonlously, and the nelghbors a1nt got the same fme ear for muslc that Mr Dudley has Be
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Borneo Blues. It sounded pretty n-early l1ke muslc, and Mr. Dudley k1nd of apologlzed, saylng
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