1972, April 10: Letters from Marcy and Jed to G&H

One-page handwritten letter from Marcy, followed by one-page handwritten letter “from” me (probably dictated by me) and written by Marcy. I had just turned four years old.

Mailed almost exactly 50 years ago as I write this!

Also included in the envelope with these letters was an acrostic puzzle from the San Francisco Chronicle that Peter had completed in about 20 minutes with no errors. I’m not sure whether Marcy included the acrostic just to brag about Peter, or whether she thought George and Helen would like the quote (about love, from Ashley Montagu’s The Cultured Man), or what.


Thanks so much for the letters. They’re wending their way.

We have a funny situation. The course-&-credits computer, in it’s biannual ^^biennial?^^ evaluation decided suddenly that Peter needed another math course & 2 composition courses. He convinced them that he knows enough algebra but has yet to persuade them that he knows how to read & write, so as not to have to take two (2)(!!) Frosh english courses. Which there’d be no way he xxx could do this quarter anyway. So if his list of 800 authors and so forth isn’t satisfactory it’s going to mean Fall quarter, possibly winter too, with no financial aid (past the deadline for application), welfare scheduled to stop in June—oh well, whatever’s supposed to happen will.

Thanks again for the letters. They were letter perfect!


P M & J’s

Aside written in the middle of the above paragraph (By the way, could you look around for any papers or anything Peter may have written any time at U.W. ’Twould be appreciated most extremely!)

And here’s the part from me:

Dear Grandma & Grandpa

Thank you for the wheeler and the yo yo in xxx shape of a baseball.

I have a play-doh game. It’s about the play-doh getting squeezed out and it will make a king and a queen.

Written in the margin next to the above paragraph: this is a coin-press

It has a squeezer and a box that shows you the directions. It makes a king & queen. You have to take a piece of tinfoil and put it in the squeezer

I have a new drawer with hooks in it. (Sorry—this is the point where I fell asleep) I found it in the courtyard. I’m gonna get a tea party [set] for my BIRFDAY and put it in the box that has hooks.

That’s all.



Drawing of Smokey the Bear’s forest fire
Drawing of Smokey the Bear’s forest fire

At the bottom of that page, there’s a drawing, sorta kinda: a scribble, which Marcy labeled “This is Smokey the Bear’s forest fire.” I vaguely recall being a big Smokey Bear fan for a while when I was a kid.

Jed’s name, hand-written by Jed
Jed’s name, hand-written by Jed

On the back of that page, there are a couple of attempts by me to print my name, in large block capitals. In one, I was a little shaky on the D, so someone (presumably Marcy) wrote a large capital D for me to use as a model. This version of my name that I’m showing here was apparently my next attempt, at which I did much better. Next to it, Marcy wrote: “Jed wrote this one all by himself—held the pen correctly, too”

Drawing of a bear
Drawing of a bear

Nearby on the back of the page was a drawing, next to which Marcy wrote: “Jedo asked for a little baby bear—this was best I could do.”


missing intro-level English classes
This situation was the reason that Peter wrote his epic list of authors he had read, titled “A Meta-Essay: ‘On the Ineluctable Eleuthero-Entelechy of the Integral and Rodential Curriculum.’ or, It Shall Come to Pass that We Shall Be Delivered from This Whole Rat-Race.” For a copy of the essay/list, plus my comments on it, follow that link.
Play-Doh coin press
If you want to see what this toy was like, here’s a 20-minute video of someone unboxing and trying out a previously unopened Play-Doh Coin Maker.

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