Dear Mr. Cameron:
As a courtesy, we are sending you a copy of this letter we recently
wrote your 15 year old daughter in response to a query we received from
Dear Ms. Cameron.
Thank you for your letter. Yes, we are pleased to report, your father’s
old high school is still standing and our library was able to find
yearbooks dating “all the way back” to his graduation. In fact, a few
teachers even remember your father, which I will get to in a moment.
In answer to your first question: In every picture extant of your
father he is well shod, wearing what I believe were called “earth shoes”
back then. Also, the weather here is moderate, with snow generally
lasting from December until March–hardly the entire school year. Thus
his descriptions of the conditions under which he “struggled” to school
in the morning do, as you suggested, seem a bit exaggerated. In fact,
our bus logs are (remarkably) still intact, revealing that not only was
your father a registered passenger, but that his parents paid the extra
ten dollars a month for door-to-door delivery.
I am sure there were days when your father was very “sharply dressed,”
as you state he puts it, but in every single photograph I was able to
uncover he is wearing exactly the same thing: bell bottom blue jeans
with white strings trailing from the edges onto the floor, horizontal
rents in the knees, and no belt buckle. His T-shirt displays a message
easily communicated with hand gestures. His hair hangs past his
shoulders and looks as if it was exposed to a lot of wind – perhaps he
rode the school bus with the window open.
As to academics and “concentrating on the basics,” one must remember the
times: the “basics” back then may very well have embraced some of your
father’s elective subjects, which included “Personal Citizenship”,
“Ecology”, and one which apparently was called “Relevance”. We have no
record of what, if anything, was taught in these classes. What records
we do have show that your father did indeed take Geometry, just as he
claims. In fact, he took it his sophomore year, repeated it his junior
year and repeated the course again his senior year – Geometry was
required for graduation.
Now as to Mr. Muggins, who had your father in a class called “Problems
of Modern Relationships.” Mr. Muggins does not wish to dispute the
claim that your father always had his homework done early, he merely
wants to point out that no matter when it was done, it was always handed
in late. In fact, your father sticks out in Mr. Muggins’s mind as
having the most outrageous excuses for being unprepared, including
having to evacuate his home because it was infected with the China
Your father was not, sad to say, President of the Student Council.
Perhaps he is confusing student government with a social group called
“The Slackers,” which Mr. Muggins recalls was a group of boys who sat in
the hallway and made loud groaning noises whenever an attractive girl
strode past. Your father was assistant vice president of the club, and,
to our knowledge, is the only past member not currently serving time in
a federal penitentiary.
One thing IS completely verifiable: your father’s name is, indeed,
carved above the door to the school. Please advise that, now that we
have noticed it, we will need to have it sanded out and refinished, at a
cost of approximately three hundred dollars. We would appreciate it if
your father would agree to pay for the damage without having to engage
The honor roll to which he apparently referred is not above the door, it
hangs outside my office. I will leave unanswered the question as to
whether his name is upon it.
Thank you very much for your letter, which we found most amusing. Be
sure to tell your father hello from Mr. Muggins.