8 Nov 1987

Hey, there, Udo–

Many thanks for the magazine about Stamford and enviorns. Would you believe that after having spent so much time in Delaware County as a small boy, I didn’t know that John Burroughs was its big citizen? That area of ignorance has now been expunged, thanks for Squire & Goodwife Udo, who are clearly bringing the county into the 20th century.

Looking through the magazine’s advertisers, I didn’t seen any businesses in Arkville, which may be in another county, or may have disappeared because it was so small. I remember Arkville as coming before Margaretville, on the trip from the city in our 1927 Pontiac. (My father cursed the day he bought it: no power on the hills. Now Pontiac is known for breaking the sound barrier between stoplights.) We also used to stop at Mount Tremper, where a lady had worked for my father ran a little coffeeshop: Weber’s Rest. If you every stop there, mention my father’s name and they’ll tear up the check (and probably the menu, too).

Your trip through the snowstorm doesn’t sound like the kind of adventure a person would jump out of bed to attempt every day in the week. Apparently Anne is unfazed by Nature as well as by 200-year-old houses. If she grew up in Buffalo, she probably knows a friend of mine who also grew up there: Russ Gumbrone. He used to sell papers at the corner of Delaware and Chippewa. His family still lives there, and he and his wife go back every year. “I don’t know why we do it,” he always says. Not only is it a long trip from California, but they’re not used to that kind of weather an more. Must be the city’s charm.

I seem to remember that Walton was where the county fair was held every year. True? (Well, am I legally responsible for remembering everything accurately? Be reasonable.)

I remember the name Morris Kolodny, but don’t think I ever met him. If he’s interested, he can get a Dial-A-Croc franchose in Nokomis, where we don’t have any representation yet. All he will need is an answering machine and a pen enclosed with a chainlink fence. A nice change of pace from speculating about Man and the Universe.

You say your gardener doesn’t rake leaves. I think something can be worked out from here. Our gardener rakes leaves. Not only that, he takes them away. All you need to do is pay his air fare both ways when you want your leaves raked. And to that air freight charges for leaves from Stamford to The Big Tomato (next to nothing). How’s that for a deal an a half? Besides, you know very well that squires are legally required to have estate leaf-rakers. You may be in more trouble than you realize. Act now!

Try thinking of every fallen leaf as one more blessing. We do that every week, as we look out the window and watch them being raked and hauled off.

John’s eye problem seems to be abating. His eye doctor pointed out that he has had four surgeries in less than a year, and they are all healing nicely but slowly. Discomfort is inevitable. John feels better about his eye now. His arterial situation is unresolved. In his last letter he mentioned setting up an appointment with his “family” doctor to solicit advice about that operation I described previously. (I would describe it again, but I can’t remember the details. It’s possible that my previous description was completely inaccurate, even if well meant. You must realize that I no longer subscribe to the Reader’s Digest.)

We are having The Big Tomato’s prelude to Winter: nights in the 40’s, days in the 70’s. What we need are the rains. Anyhow, it’s great weather, although my subterranean den in the mushroom cellar is cold as I type this at 6:30 a.m. (I get up earl to take calls from the Dial-A-Croc Regional Manager in Tarpon Springs.)

The pieces are now falling into place: your company is Auric Corporation. Goldfinger’s first name was Auric. You are involved in an international power-mad conspiracy against the world. I won’t say anything, but keep your eyes open for Sean Connery. Regard all drivers of ancient Bentleys on the country lanes as The Enemy. I need say no more.

Anybody who works on a street named “Frelinghuysen” is in deep trouble, anyway. Courage, mon ami!

Will now get more coffee while my steam-powered printer deals with this at six characters a minute. Notice the results of the new ribbon. Who would want to live in any other century?

Regards to Anne and Thomas and the whole gang down at the feed store.

Fred C. (“Leaf Lover”) Dobbs

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