HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

11 November 1994

Hey, they’re Udo!–there,

Glad to hear from you at long last.  We thought the weather was delaying the mail stage from Stamford, but nothing stops it, we now realize.  When they take a pledge to deliver Udo’s letters, they deliver.  Or else.

Excellent news about Thomas.  Straight A’s!  We always knew he had what it takes.  Next he’ll be taking extension courses from Harvard.  If he says he wants a Nobel Prize, don’t fight it.  Most kids howl for a driver’s license.  You’re lucky.

As you see, I am still using my steam-powered word processor, but relief is near.  Guru stepson finally received his cutting-edge computer, but relief is near, and will turn over his almost-new computer to me.  The hangup is that he recommends, strongly, that I keep the one I’m using until I have really mastered the new one.  That means I have to make space in my “den,” which is slightly larger than a broom closet.  The computer he will give me has a different keyboard, and the word-processing program responds to different commands as well as a mouse.  I estimate that it will take me no longer than fifteen months to figure it out.  By that time it will of course be obsolete.  But the Valley News will resume publication, and you will be updated on “Inky Hive, Pete Rizzo, Mrs. Rizzo, Zin Fandel, and the whole wonderful gang.

We have been having early rains, and are 2/3” above average for the season.  “inky” Hive is reported to be taking it badly, especially after last season.  About two months ago he started to print stories of impending doom, with photographs of reservoir levels falling, interviews with government water “specialists,” and grim warnings of a Sacramento Dust Bowl.  Now all his efforts and grim warnings have been for naught.  He has already been pulled back from his office window-ledge, and had a bottle of rat poison wrenched from his sweaty hands.  Each time he promised to carry on in the interest of Bee subscribers.  Some of us are talking about signing a protest letter asking that we be consulted before his staff takes any more impulsive action like that.

We survived Halloween by giving each Trick-or-Treater a roasted peanut and inviting them to call again next year.  It pays to keep on the good side of neighborhood kids, even if it means going over the household budget.

Our regards to Anne and Thomas (and the Nobel Committee).

Fred C. (“Peanuts”) Dobbs

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