Favorite mail of the week: A welcome face from the past
Early in my career in Florida, a piece of mail with the above-mentioned characteristics contained not just a block-lettered diatribe against my reviews of the local symphony, but, for good measure, an actual "Palmetto bug" (as Floridians like to call the gigantic cockroaches that inhabit the area -- one of them seems a gazillion sizes larger than the ordinary household vairtey up North). Luckily for me (less so for the poor creature), only the corpse remained after the letter had been through the mail, but the shock value was still pretty high.
Then there was the time when, after writing about one of my favorite conductors, Wilhelm Furtwangler, and his controvserial years during the Third Reich, I got a 'personal,' no-return-address letter from a neo-Nazi organization suggesting that I should embrace the greatness of Hitler and his breed. Ah, but I digress.
As I said, I usually expect the worst. Such was the case last week, when a plain white, 9x12 envelope arrived, with my name and Sun address neatly hand-written, the word "Personal" on the side, and no return address. But my face brightened considerably when I opened it and discovered
She had somehow spotted my reference to her in a review of "On the Verge" at Rep Stage, and that, I guess, was enough to merit a response. All I had done was mention that Natasha Staley, one of the three excellent actresses in this production of Eric Overmyer's imaginative play, reminded me of Ruth Buzzi -- partly a coincidental physical resemblance, partly the amusing way she carried out stage business. (To tell the truth, I didn't think I'd even get that allusion past the editors, since it does rather date some of us.)
Well, many, many thanks, Ruth Buzzi, for the great surprise -- and for all the laughs over the years. I hope you're doing well. I also hope you don't mind my sharing your pictures with my valued blog readers, but I couldn't resist: