Ben Kolp

January 1, 1997

Post #524 – 19970101

Mr. Pinkwater,

My name is Benjamin Kolp. I live in Hyde Park and occasionally see you at the Vanderbuilt Mansion, or driving around in your Volvo. I do not consider myself a “yokel” as Stefan Jones described your fellow residents of the Hudson Valley. I am currently a freshman at Cornell University. (If you want to see yokels, come up to the Finger Lakes region!)

I read and enjoyed Fish Whistle when I was 12, and Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights a few years later. I still ask everyone I meet what a dyslexic, agnostic insomniac does, and think of you when I hear the elevator music at the Galleria. I must say that your books played a major part in the development of my own sense of humor. This letter does not have much of a point, as you may have noticed…I just heard about this web site and wanted to say thanks for the hilarious stories that truly stick with me to this day, one “yokel” to another. Do you plan to do another such compilation of short stories from All Things Considered?

If you’re interersted, please send me your “real” e-mail address, so I can continue my pointless yokel ranting on a more personal level.

Thanks for the Laughs,

Ben Kolp

Daniel replies:

You will note that Mr. Jones makes reference to ""Poughkeepsie Yokels,"" not Hyde Park ones. In fact, Poughkeepsie yokels feel superior to Hyde Park ones, and laugh at them. I have tried for years to find out if there is a variety of yokel to whom Hyde Park yokels feel superior, and to this end have informally polled the locals here. The usual response to my question is, ""Duh. What do you mean?"" or ""Duh, I laugh at people who live in Saugerties, New York,"" or simply ""Duh."" I sold the Volvo a number of years ago when it shrank after being washed in hot water--so you may have been waving to some other fat yokel in such a car.

We here are all proud to know that you are attending a fine university.