Sep 7, 2009

Labor of Love

Leave It to Beaver: 1958

So my good friend Dave over at Shorpy was watching an episode from the second season (1958-59) of "Leave It to Beaver" when he got to the part where Ward reads a note from Beaver's principal, Mrs. Rayburn. He freeze-framed the note. It reads:
Mr. Ward Cleaver
485 Mapleton Drive
Mayfield, State
My Dear Mr. Cleaver:

This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
It is here merely to fill up space. Still, it is words,
rather than repeated letters, since the latter might not
give the proper appearance, namely, that of an actual note.

For that matter, all of this is nonsense, and the only
part of this that is to be read is the last paragraph,
which part is the inspired creation of the producers of
this very fine series.

Another paragraph of stuff. Now is the time for all good
men to come to the aid of their party. The quick brown
fox jumps over the lazy dog. My typing is lousy, but the
typewriter isn’t so hot either. After all, why should I
take the blame for these mechanical imperfections, with
which all of us must contend. Lew Burdette just hit a
home run and Milwaukee leads seven to one in the series.
This is the last line of the filler material of the note.
No, my mistake, that was only the next to last. This is last.

I hope you can find a suitable explanation for Theodore’s
unusual conduct.

Yours truly,
Cornelia Rayburn
Dave writes: The Lew Burdette reference would put the date at October 2, 1958 — Game 2 of the World Series between the Braves and the Yankees, and a month before this episode ("Her Idol") aired. I see where this has been referenced elsewhere on the Web but as far as I can tell no one has transcribed the entire letter. Until now!

Great work, Dave. Might want to spend more time at the soup kitchen or helping disadvantaged kids learn to read? Just a thought. Not only do you have the free time to watch the SECOND season of Leave it to Beaver, on blu-ray, but by golly, you also had time to transcribe this prop.

And Lew's three run homer came in the first inning of game 2.

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