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4209Re: DB letter to "Ma"

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  • keith2draw
    Aug 8, 2007
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      Hi tj

      I've got a hunch this letter was written in the early 1940s. Don didn't start using the
      Goofus Bird, as he called it, until then. Just before he joined the Army again in the Fall of
      1942 he spent most of his time on the lecture route (mainly to get away from Dorothy). He
      may have gone up into Canada for lectures and booksignings. He also did alot of touring
      after he got out of the Army in early 1943.

      As for the "Ma" mystery...Don had a friend named Julia Robertson who he knew from
      Lawton as a child. She was the person that bought his first drawing when he was around
      12. A few years back I obtained a cache of letters from the Robertson family which was
      correspondence with Don. In them, I think he referred to her as Ma. It wasn't so much that
      he considered her a mother figure...I think lots of folks called her that because she did so
      much volunteer work with young army soldiers from the nearby base. She had them over
      for meals and let them spend the night on their leaves if they couldn't get home to their
      own folks. So she became a Mom to all those young men...and I think Don started calling
      her Ma around then. This supports the early to mid-1940s timeline, as she did this work
      during WW-II.

      If you want to send me a scan or photocopy of the letter (and especially the signature) I
      might be able to find more clues. I've gotten pretty good with dating letters by the
      signatures. It changed over the years, as you can imagine.

      Keith
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