Maxine Taverner of Lakeville, New York, writes, "Till last evening, I hadn’t checked out your Rewritten Rewrites for some time and I’m very happy I did! I especially like your reworking of Rising Waters, a look ahead which, oddly enough, takes me back—in a previous life, I raised goats just east of Holland Landing and used to gas my truck at that service centre. I really enjoyed your more recent stuff, too. Loved Bad Things. Thanks for all the laughs.”

Gladys Thorne of Meaford, Ontario, has written to thank me for “so eloquently preserving the memory of Meaford’s all-but-forgotten Daisybacks. For this and other contributions to Canadian lore,” she writes, “I’m not alone in considering you one of our most notable native sons, so am outraged that Council continues to do nothing about your ‘Birthplace of Tom Dickson’ sign at the north end of town, which has been an eyesore, now, for years. The least they could do,” she writes, “is plug the bullet holes and give it a fresh coat of paint. I don’t buy into their argument that, seeing as how you’d erected it, you should maintain it, and I shall go right on being a Thorne in their sides till they come to their senses.”

Walt Windermere of Cape May, New Jersey, says that my writing reminds him of how his father talked, so he really enjoys it. “And I’m sure he would have, too,” he writes. “And your illustrations, as well. Especially Painter, which is a lot like looking out our front window. There’s even a guy like that walks by from time to time.”

James Musky of Anchorage, Alaska, writes that he moved there, recently, from Bob’s Neck, Nebraska, for no other reason than to get away from Truthers—his two younger brothers, in particular. “I couldn’t listen, anymore, to their cockeyed conspiracy theories,” he writes, “I had to get away, and the farther the better. Turns out, though, I haven’t gone far enough—they’re here in Alaska, too. They’re everywhere, I suppose. The other day, a serious young man in a red MAGA cap informed me, in no uncertain terms, that there’s a guy living in a cabin in the backwoods of Quebec who’s discovered a cure for cancer and that the medical profession is doing everything in its power to suppress news of the discovery so they can keep people sick and paying medical bills. I told him they were doing a piss-poor job of suppressing the news, that I’d just found out about it without even trying. I told him, too, that if this guy could cure cancer, he wouldn’t be living in a cabin in the backwoods of Quebec, he’d have a penthouse suite in the Chateau Frontenac and a villa on the French Riviera. Wasted words, of course. Happening upon your Golfing Story was perfect timing.”

Al Wickers of Johnson County, Wyoming, writes that he's never liked poems much but likes mine. “I think it’s because they're short and make me smile—most of them do, anyway. The notable exception,” he says, “is No Kisses Today, which I still can’t read beginning-to-end without choking up. My dog, Bill,” he explains, “was carried off by a tornado last fall. Still and all, to be choked up by a poem—that’s not something I’m used to. I’m amazed you can plumb such emotional depth with so few words. I’m also amazed that I wrote what I just did. I don’t think like that. You've shaken my foundations!"

Jonathan Hertz of Evanston, Illinois, writes that he and his wife, Maddy, are not much into art and only have pictures on the wall because they came with the house. Encouraged to do so by an old friend, however, they’ve been checking out my illustrations and, to their delight, my the Last Straw has roused long-dormant memories of a crazy but fun time. "You never hear about central poppers, anymore,” he writes. “It’s like they never existed.” Maddy, he says, being an animal-loving identical twin drawn to men with boats, is especially fond of Chance Meeting.

Alfred Carson of Blackjack, Missouri, writes that he’s never had anything, himself, he wanted to say on a shirt and always feels like a billboard wearing other people’s words, so, all his life, has been a plain-shirt guy and was expecting to die one. “But then, while surfing the interweb, I chanced upon your DIRT SHIRT,” he writes, “which struck a chord like no other shirt ever had and loudly enough that I couldn’t help ordering a couple. I had my grandchildren help me. While I was at it, I also ordered a couple of RELAX, IT’S ME I’M TALKING TO shirts for Doris’s older brother, Bert, who has taken to shouting nasty things at himself in public places. He’ll get into fewer scraps wearing your shirt." 

Marvin Couch of the Bronx, writes: “Last weekend, I gave a 30x20-inch print of your Lenin and McCarthy to my Beatles-crazy friend, Pete, for his 50th birthday.

He always wants Beatles stuff and it’s hard to find things he doesn’t already have, but I doubted he’d have one of these and I was right. And I could tell, the instant he tore off the paper, he didn’t want this one, either. He pretended he did, but he’s a lousy pretender. And it wasn’t necessary. I’d have been fine with his coming right out and telling me he didn’t like it. But that’s not Pete’s way. He took my arm and walked me through the entire house looking for the perfect spot to hang the unwanted print, had me hold it up a half-dozen different places in every room to see how it looked. Still undecided at the end, he insisted we go through the whole tiresome exercise a second time, starting, again, in the kitchen. Luckily, I’d only held the print up a couple of times when there it was, right before my eyes—a way out! I suggested to Pete that perhaps he’d prefer your Lenin & McCarthy as a fridge magnet. Boy, was he relieved! He thought that would be perfect! So, I’ve ordered him the magnet, which he’s cleared space for on the side of his fridge, and I’ve hung the unwanted print in my game room, next to the pinball machine. It looks pretty good there, though it is a little small for the space and I’m wishing, now, I’d given him a bigger one.”

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