UNTITLED STORY (Tumba Hooey). (A typical small town drugstore . . .). From a letter To Tevis Clyde Smith, circa November 1928.

The letters starts like this:


I got such a laugh out of your parody ballad as I haven’t gotten in a long time. It was great and has mine beat seven ways from the ace. The two pictures were good, but I wish that one I took of you and Truett had been better. My cursed hand shakes so much that it’s hard for me to take a picture with a quick focus like I tried to take that one. Old Truett sure looks sophisticated, standing up there dressed in a suspensory and a pair of checkered socks. Ha ha! Also keh keh! — I have an idea — use pictures like that to advertize suspensories and drawers.

The opening of the “story” Tumba Hooey goes like this:

Tumba Hooey was an ordinary sort of fellow. He was of average education, average amount of money, average success. He read what the world at large, read, condemned what the leaders condemned and prided himself on his modernity, save where that modernity seemed to conflict with what the leaders assured him were unalterable standards which had held sway since the world began and always would as long as the world continues to stand.

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