Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 2, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Fond letter memories

By Dorothy Copus Brush
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — There comes a time when decisions must be made. Do the many autograph and letter memories that have meant something to me mean anything to anyone else in the family? The answer has to be no.

These questions came to my mind from one scrapbook. There is an autographed program from a Bryan, Ohio concert in May 1958. Rubinoff  personally autographed the program which listed the songs he played on his violin during that celebration of his golden anniversary in music.

Alongside it is an autographed copy of mezzo-soprano Blanche Thebom’s program given for the Civic Music Association in Lima, Ohio during the ‘60s. She insisted that her pianist also autograph the page.

There is a letter from Arthur Godfrey dated March 8, 1954. I had written him and expressed some concern about his attitude. He responded by thanking me and hoping I would keep listening.

The next letter is handwritten June 29, 1961 from Ned Garver in Ney, Ohio. We lived in Hamilton, Ohio and his teenage son and two friends had been traveling to Florida when they were involved in a terrible auto accident just near our town. All were rushed to a local hospital.

As soon as I heard the news I thought of the mothers and I went to the hospital immediately. Every day through their long stay I visited and filled their wishes. This letter was a thank you for the time I spent with them.

Ned Garver was the only player in modern major league history to pitch a 20-win season for a team, the St. Louis Browns, that lost more than 100 games. He was honored by the U.S. Postal Service for that feat.

Since I couldn’t attend concerts often I decided to write letters of appreciation but I never expected a reply. On February 11, 1963 is a short letter from Eddie Cantor. I had written to thank him for the many hours of entertainment he had given me and included the column I had written about him.

He wrote thanking me and said, “It brought back many fond memories of those happy years — before we heard of nuclear weapons and Mr.  K., whose threat remains as a possible end of civilization.” The postage for that first class letter was five cents! 

In August 1963 I have a letter from author Janice Holt Giles who wrote “A Little Better Than Plumb.” She thanked me for writing her. A second letter came from author Jessamyn West in 1976 for her book “The Massacre At Fall Creek.” It happened that my mother-in-law had been married in 1908 in the house she wrote about in the book.  

There are letters from politicians too but the one I am proudest of is from Greer Garson. The press women visited the Pecos National Monument in 1979. We were about to leave when someone asked if I had seen the weed hanging from the ceiling in the headquarters building. I rushed in to look and that is when Garson appeared. She explained that she and her husband, Buddy Folgeson, owned some of the property and wanted the park to have it.

The 71-year-old looked lovely and refused having a photograph taken but was more than happy to sign a post card. It reads “Greetings and many happy wishes from — Greer Garson Oct. 2, 1979.”  

Letters may be on their way out, a thing of the past, so I had better save these and let others decide what to do with them.

• • •

Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at dcb1@frontiernet.net.