2 July 1986

Here, there, Tommy!–

What do you think of my designer-class logo? It was designed by Christian Dior or Bill Blass or Andy Worhol. If you can guess which one, he’ll design one for you, free.

I enclose a weather report from the local paper, to show you that we are serious about the summer out here. How can you ask whether or not we “want to displace Death Valley”? We have been way ahead of Death Valley for years. As I told you in my last letter, the Chief Ranger down there is mad as hell and not going to take any more of our clear superiority in the heat stakes. He may have some kind of a secret scheme to float an iceberg through San Francisco bay and up here on the river, to change the climate. Or cloud seeding. Otherwise, what’s available to him?

You have asked me what retirees “do all day” on several occasions. I don’t know what other retirees do, but I don’t do anything and I love it. But, you must understand something. I was born out of my time and place. When I told you that I am a Monarchist, it was the truth. I worked for more than 35 years at at least 12 different jobs, and didn’t like any of them for more than a couple months. I finally understood that I don’t enjoy work. I have the temperament of a 19th-century English aristocrat, which is of course too bad. Nothing can be done now. However, I can at least openly support the Monarchy. If I am reincarnated as a member of the nobility or aristocracy (forget the Royal Family; that’s another job assignment) I will have no trouble at all riding to hounds, belonging to London clubs, and voting Tory. An altogether splendid lifestyle. In fact, you might give it some thought.

I wrote to Her Majesty and told her that I plan to initiate a monarchic groundswell over here, using the slogan “Send In The Crown.” More than a bit catchy, wouldn’t you say? My letter hasn’t been answered so far, but dawdling has always been one of the more engaging qualities of the upper classes.

Thanks for locating Orchard Park for me. I don’t know anything about the Buffalo area, but would you believe that Ray Powell was born there (in the area)? In spite of your encouragement, I can’t bring myself to write campaign literature for him. As someone wrote about Steinbeck, Ray is “roundshouldered from bending over the Little People.” All the Little People want is to be left alone with their corncakes and pulque. Ray is determined to feed them vitamin supplements. A grievous error in which I refuse to participate. The Friends’ Seminary should be excellent grounding for a future Estonian. Happy to hear that Thomas is enrolled. Regards to all, and keep warm (like us).

Fred C. (“Cold Hands”) Dobbs

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