My wife wants to tell you about something that happened many years ago, showing how nice Maurice Sendak was. She just got her account here, after many years of lurking, in order to do so-- she's crowegg, for future reference-- and now feels frustrated by the one-week new-user posting delay. So, I hereby host two letters, below.
Her letter to him went something like this:
Dear Maurice SendakHere's his letter back. Check out the picture of Jenny and the mop, from life and from Higglety Pigglety Pop. Transcript below.
I was at the Library of Congress last night listening as the zombie librarian in a fright wig interviewed you. I don’t know what you felt but here’s my audience perspective.
Never during the time you were both on stage did she look at you or change her expression. Never. Not once. She read her questions from cards, and stared over the heads of the audience totally blank-eyed.You on the other hand were wonderful. Your answers were straightforward interesting, humorous. You totally charmed the audience. The librarian, however, seemed only to be waiting for your voice to stop, and when she noticed a prescribed amount of silence she turned to another card. Sometimes those cards contained questions you had already answered. One could almost hear the eyes roll in the audience. But not yours. “I believe I’ve already touched on that. But perhaps I could elaborate,” you said, easily, and brought in another anecdote to keep the librarian’s guise of normality intact.
I'm sending you some lemon bread as a reward for carrying off the evening so well. If being from New York has caused you to distrust goodies sent through the mail by strangers, please feed a bit to a mouse and I promise he’ll not drop dead at your feet but come back for more.
All best to you.
Dec 9, 1970
Hurray for you! Your letter cheered me immensely— and the bread (I’d call it cake) was terrific— took me two days of straight devouring— and better than a librarian even it was— definitely! Gad I’m amazed the “zombie” was so obvious— I thought only I had the benefit of that ghastly grimace— never thought I’d get through it. There’s a history behind that look of death— let me tell you! Anyway, it was worth it— the audience was spendid and your superb bread/cake truly makes it all worth while. You’re very kind and I thank you with all my heart and belly.