HLS - The Letters Of Harvey L. Slatin

Plaza Azul Productions

Offices of
(505) 473-1954

October 29, 1988

Dear Tommy,
I am experimenting with a two-column format, right justified, that I may use in my next issue of the Santa Fe Community Theatre Newsletter, of which I am Editor-in-Chief.  Let’s see how it works.

First, I must comment on the envelope in which your latest letter arrived.  It is the quintessence of slovenliness and is, I fear typical of the sort of with you do.  I have enclosed it so you can look it over at your leisure.  Please try to do better in the future.

By all means, Tommy, revise your resume.  Get it to conform to the facts.  If you can do it with white-out (as you repaired the envelope referred to above), by all means do so.  Personnel officers, of whom I was one years ago, like tidy and factual resumes.

“Some people never express gratitude,” you whine.  Well, Udo, this here person never expresses gratitude for things that never happened.  If you want my gratitude, it is yours if you will stop lying about your role in my theatrical career.


Now that you are throughly chastened, let us move along.

I had a Step-Mother-In-Law named Elizabeth Paterson.  Note spelling of “Paterson.” Once, I said that she had been named after the two most evil-smelling cities on Earth, both of them in New Jersey.  She never understood.  Now, she has gone to the Great Riddle-Solver In The Sky, and I hope she has caught on to my bit of whimsy.

Thomas sounds like a dandy kid.  If he is into puns and jokes, he might enjoy the first one my ex-daughter told me, when she was about his age.  It goes like this:

“What happens when a duck flies upside down?”

“i give up.  Tell me.”

“He quacks up!”

Followed by gales of girlish laughter that was contagious.  Try that one on Thomas.

Anne Pratt is a stranger to me, but I am certain I would love her at first sight.  Your romance, from babe-in-arms to wife and mother is the stuff of which dreams are made.  It makes me think there may still be a future for me, other than as a renowned performer.  If I had held Jeanne in my arms when she was three months old, she would have wet her pants all over me, and that would have been the end of that.  No such luck.

As the Dutchess of Plaza Toro said to Luis, in “Gondoliers:”

“Your pure and patient love has been rewarded, warded, warded.”

Write for the particulars.

I visit the Jemez Mountains every so often, my destination being the Valle Grande.  I go up there three or four times each year to get my shit together.  The utter serenity of the Valley, and the knowledge that, under my feet, is a sleeping volcano that was once higher than Everest, make me aware of my puniness and of the silliness of what passes for much of life.  In that awesome setting, it is hard to believe that having the IRS chasing you is of any importance at all.


Sometimes, in the stillness, I hear Yeffee crooning to the Indian children that you raised, and to all the Indian children of the World.  I will give her your regards, next time I am up there.  Anne cannot possibly object.


By all means, retire as soon as you can do so.  I have found retirement to be the best of all possible times in my life.  I don’t do anything I don’t want to do; my income is roughly equal to my outgo; I am sort of emeritus because of my advanced age; and one of the cast members (THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER) is a fifteen year-old beauty who evidently has the hots for me.  Female, I hasten to add.


Well, Tommy, that’s it from here for now.  Keep up the Voo-Doo.  It may work.

Fondly, as Always,

John K. Herzog
President and C.E.O.
a/k/a Howard

Encl: Dreadful envelope, as noted.

(Visited 66 times, 1 visits today)