David Bruce is an anecdote columnist at "The Athens News" in Athens, Ohio.
The Kindest People Who Do Good Deeds, Volume 6: 250 Anecdotesby David Bruce
Some samples: 1) Andrew Buckingham was 13 years old when he started to write comedian Kenneth Williams, co-star of many British "Carry On" movie comedies. The correspondence lasted almost three years, ending only with Mr. Williams’ death. Mr. Buckingham says today, “He replied to all my letters, often by return of post. It still surprises me.” The
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Some samples: 1) Andrew Buckingham was 13 years old when he started to write comedian Kenneth Williams, co-star of many British "Carry On" movie comedies. The correspondence lasted almost three years, ending only with Mr. Williams’ death. Mr. Buckingham says today, “He replied to all my letters, often by return of post. It still surprises me.” The first letter was simply a request for a photo — autographed, of course. But young Andrew mentioned positively a book that Mr. Williams had written, and Mr. Williams thanked him for the compliment. The correspondence continued, and young Andrew, who knew that Mr. Williams had been bullied while in school, once asked him for advice about how to handle being around bullies. Mr. Williams wrote back, “Obviously, one does anything to avoid confrontation. My method was to chum up with a tough guy at school, and that provides protection. But the individual invariably has to find his own way round all the pitfalls.” After Mr. Williams died, his sister, Pat, went through his possessions, and she was surprised to find letters from young Andrew. She called Andrew and told him, “It’s amazing. Most letters from people your age would have gone straight in the bin.” She also asked Andrew if he wanted anything that had belonged to Mr. Williams. Today, he wishes that he had asked for Mr. Williams’ fountain pen. 2) Joe Bob Briggs once followed Bob Hope around at a golf tournament in Texas in order to write an article about him. He liked the comedian, and he even wrote a joke for him, which he passed along to Mr. Hope’s press agent. (Joe Bob was never able to actually meet Mr. Hope.) The press agent asked such questions as “You’re a joke writer?” and “You want money for this joke?” The answer to both questions was, No, and Joe Bob said to the press agent, “It would be an honor if I could say I wrote a joke for Bob Hope.” That night, Mr. Hope told the joke to an audience. The press agent found Joe Bob the next day and said, “Bob wanted me to personally thank you for the joke.” Joe Bob says today, “So I never met him, but I never got anything in professional compensation that compared to that moment.” What was the joke? This is it: “I love Texas. Big hats on the men and big hair on the women. Even the golf courses are big. I lost my ball three times today, and I was putting.” Joe Bob says, “Okay, I admit it, not that funny. The point is, when Bob Hope said it, it was hysterical.”
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