Jane Scruggs

November 3, 2005

Post #1877 – 20051103

Dear Daniel,

I think I *may* be high up on your Greatest Fans of All Time; to give you some history . . . back in 1978, my best friend, Charles Grimesman, stumbled upon Fat Men From Outerspace in our school library. Needless to say, many, many years have passed. I belive I have read all, if not 90%, of your publications since then. Sadly, Charles died several years ago.

In any case . . . today, I am an elementary school teacher. I feel a great need to pass on my Love Of Pinkwater on to my students. So, I have been reading Fat Men From Space. Memories about . . Lizard Music . . . Blue Moose . . . Hoboken Chicken Emergency . . .

In any case, You are my hero. If you EVER want to visit a class of amazing 10 year olds who think you are wonderful, I can arrange it! I am going to buy a class set of one of your books–you tell me which one you think we should read–to prepare.

I am very serious. You had a huge part in my upbringing. It would be an honor for my former best friend, Charles Grimesman. If it weren’t for him, I may never have been turned on to you.


Jane Scruggs

4th grade teacher

Long Branch Elementary School

Arlington, VA

Daniel replies:

Here's what you do. Get hold of an ordinary cassette recorder. Get the kids to ask me questions, make statements, complain, compare me to better writers--whatever they want. I suggest you do a little practicing with the tape recorder, to get an idea of how close to the microphone, how to set things up for clarity, etc. Keep the questions short, and one per turn at the mic--but kids can come back for another turn, if they want. Have the kids say their names. Keep the whole thing under 20 minutes--less is better. Then, send the finished cassette, plus another blank, brand-new cassette to me with a prepaid return mailer. (Ed the magnificent webmaster will forward a mailing address). I will make a recording, in real time, of the kids' questions, and my replies, and send it back to you. This is better than a visit, which I am not going to make anyway, because you can play it next year, and you don't have to buy me lunch. OK?