THE BEAN HOME NEWSLETTERDedicated to the memory of our friend, Walter R. BrooksVol. 24, No. 3Spring 2017From the Mailbag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4The Syracuse Flying Saucer Mystery, by Harley Hahn . 5Accept No Imitations, by Randy Cepuch . . . . . . . . . . . 6In Brief: The Purring Lesson; The Reading Judge;Crossword Puzzle Solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Equines and Others, by Michael Cart . . . . . . . . . . . 9President’s Corner: I Didn’t Want to Like E-books . . 10The Wind in the Willows and Freddy, by Henry Cohn . . . 11Spreading Freddy via Little Free LibrariesSee story on page 3!Members are already sharing Freddy books by putting them in Little Free Libraries,from Houston (top left) to Toronto (bottom left) to Spencerport, NY.

From the MailbagMini-Con’17 Canada!Remember we’re getting together up north this year (see later inthis issue for more information about the area):November 10-12, 2017Gananoque Inn, 550 Stone St. South, Gananoque, Ontario K7G2A8 CANADA. 1.888.565.3101x398We have booked the Cedar House as our get-together locationand encourage members attending to ask for rooms in the adjacentWaterfront Building. Be sure to mention the Friends of Freddy sothey know you’re part of our group and get the best rate. Note thatcancellations are subject to a C 50 fee.Note also that as a mini-convention we are only planning one dayof activities (Saturday). The rest of the time we will spend on memberled outings or just getting better acquainted. Hope to see you! aThanks for the latest Bean Home News! While reading your goodstuff about our pal there was this perfect item on today’s radionews: during this cold snap some Boston-area group of women areknitting sweaters for chickens and the grateful hens are laying moreeggs. Checking this out on Google, I found that others are doing thesame! Can’t you just imagine Mrs. Wiggins organizing the ladies ofCenterboro to knit up warm winter gear for local hardworking hensand other animals!! (Not even Mr. Brooks can convince me that Mrs.W. could manage a pair of needles.)Also, can anyone solve a question I’ve had since early childhood(I collected all the books with my first adult salary): What on earthdoes the title To and Again mean?!?Judy Dawes(Swampscott, MA)The Bean Home Newsletter is published quarterly by the Friends ofFreddy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation andperpetuation of the writings of Walter R. Brooks and his literaryalter ego, Freddy the Pig. Print memberships are 25 for two yearsor 45 for four. Electronic memberships are 9.50 for two yearsor 18 for four. (US funds only, please.) Overseas members pleaseadd 12 additional for airmail delivery. Please make your checkor money order payable to Friends of Freddy and send it to theofficial address given below.Address changes may be sent to either the email or postal FoFaddress.Newsletter submissions should be sent to Michael Cart at theaddress below.ISSN 0882-4428. Copyright 2017 Friends of Freddy.FoF web site: addresses: Friends of Freddy, P. O. Box 912, Greenbelt,MD 20768-0912 USA. [email protected], who was born in 1886, was fond of unusual and antique words andphrases. Indeed, the books are filled with them, some from common usage andothers that he created himself. Though I can’t prove it, I assume it was in thatlatter spirit that he came up with To and Again as the title of his first book,which was, of course, about the animals’ journey to Florida and their return to theBean farm. Thus, they went TO Florida AND came home AGAIN at the book’send; q.e.d., To and Again. And so it makes eminently good sense that his secondbook, about another journey, should have been titled More To and Again. WhileI’ve always liked these two old-fashioned titles there’s no question that their revisedand updated titles Freddy Goes to Florida and Freddy Goes to the NorthPole are much more appealing to modern readers. — Michael Cart.President, Treasurer: Randy Cepuch, 1323 Dasher Lane,Reston, VA 20190. (703-757-7263) [email protected] President/US, Secretary, Book Donation Coordinator: Connie Arnold, PO Box 314 (178 St. George Street),Annapolis Royal, NS B0S1A0 CANADA, connie [email protected], Vice-President/Canada: Dave Carley, 11 ElmAve., #421, Toronto, ON M4W 1N2 CANADA. (416-921-4025)[email protected] Director: Henry Cohn, 80 Richmond Lane,W. Hartford, CT 06117. (860-523-9372) [email protected]: Aladdine Joroff, 43 Central Rd., #2, Somerville, MA 02143-1205. (617-308-1691) [email protected] Editor: Alice Tracy, 8300 Cypress St., Laurel, MD20707. (301-490-5639) [email protected] Media Director: Tim Deska-Kahn, 916 Rahway Dr.,Newark, DE 19711. (302-368-4854) [email protected] Editor: Michael Cart, 3250 Forsythia Dr., Columbus, IN 47203. (812-373-9604) [email protected] Newsletter Editor: Kevin W. Parker, 3-E RidgeRd., Greenbelt, MD 20770-2958. (301-345-2774) [email protected] aAbout 12 years ago I subscribed to the Bean Home News andmembership for my oldest grandson, Andrew Kafker. ( now about tograduate from college ). In fact, he and his mom, my husband and Iattended the convention in Margaretville. I was recently looking atthe pictures from the play and they made me smile.So, now our youngest 2 grandsons, Elliot and Lucas, love Freddytoo. They listen to many of the books on audible which are delightful to hear narrated by John McDonough. He sounds just like Mr.Bean should sound.They will enjoy receiving membership correspondence, just astheir cousin Andrew did.Thank you, Kevin, and all those who are keeping our Freddy aliveand well for more generations of readers.Warm wishes,Dianne Brooks aThe Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

please think in terms of at least a dozen books and don’t hesitate toaim higher!If you can identify LFLs likely to be frequented by 9 to 12-yearolds, terrific. If you want to monitor the LFLs you choose to see howquickly Freddy books are snatched up, that’s fine, too.But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Our goal isto get Freddy books into the hands of potential future Friends ofFreddy – and LFL users, young or old, are almost certainly a likelyaudience. Please note these books are stickered with a “Not ForResale” message.Let me know how many books you will distribute (remember, twoper little library) by sending me an email at [email protected] Feel free to ask for any of the titles listed above but we maysubstitute others when supplies run out.ONE REQUIREMENT: WHEN YOU PLACE BOOKS INLITTLE FREE LIBRARIES (OR SIMILAR BOXES), TAKEPICTURES ON YOUR CELLPHONE OF THE BOOK INTHE BOXES! Then send the pics – and a list of the box locations– to me ([email protected]).The boxes are often quite attractive, so we’ll feature some of thebetter pictures in a gallery right here in a future issue of The BeanHome Newsletter. They’ll also be a wonderful way to reassure TheOverlook Press that this is no pork barrel project and we’re puttingtheir extraordinary gift to extraordinarily good use! aEmbassies of Centerboro, on a stick –Spreading Freddy far and wide viaLittle Free Librariesby Randy CepuchTwo years ago, visiting Stockholm, I was intrigued by how thoseclever Swedes had converted many old phonebooths into tiny “takea book, leave a book” free libraries. When I came home I startednoticing similar things in the US, often in the form of birdhouse-likestructures on poles near roads or sometimes in grocery stores.It took our own Dusty Gres to point out the wonderful opportunityfor Friends of Freddy. At our 2016 convention, Dusty mentionedLittle Free Libraries and suggested that placing Freddy books in LFLboxes might attract new readers and further the mission of Perpetuating Our Pig. Not long after that, I spoke with our friends at TheOverlook Press to explore partnering with them. They asked for anexplanation of how the LFL program works; our former president,Connie Arnold, kindly took on that task.Bottom line: Overlook has given us 225 brand-newFreddy paperbacks to distribute!What’s more, the titles are among those often considered to begood “starters” for new Freddy readers – Freddy the Detective, Freddy theMagician, Freddy Plays Football, Freddy and the Flying Saucer Plans, FreddyGoes Camping and Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars.Several members of the Executive Committee have already agreedto personally place books in LFLs (or unregistered but similar roadside libraries) near them – usually two different Freddy titles per box.Our founder, Dave Carley, is traipsing around Toronto, for example,distributing 50 books!Can you help?While supplies last, it’d be wonderful to have members of Friendsof Freddy help find (there’s a map at and feedlittle libraries near where they live. To make shipping books to youfor distribution easier on those of us doing it and cheaper overall,The Bean Home NewsletterDan Meiller takes up the cause in Phoenix, AZ. Spring 2017

From the Editoron the telephone as you had promised me the introduction to Freddythe Detective last week. Do you think you could manage it for me?” Alltoo clearly the answer was no.Happily the book’s author was more reliable. Freddy the Detective waspublished in 1932 and from that first case (solving the theft of a toytrain) to the last, Freddy and the Dragon (1958) in which he uncovers acrime-committing Headless Horseman (shades of Washington Irving)Brooks always managed to create new and diverting cases for Freddyto investigate. In fact, “the games afoot,” as Holmes would have putit, in 16 of Freddy’s 25 adventures.In some ways Freddy was an unlikely detective: he was a poet,an often illogical thinker, and much given to flights of fancy. Fortunately he recognized this and took Mrs. Wiggins the cow into hisinvestigative partnership. “It was an excellent combination,” Brooksnotes. “He supplied the ideas and she the common sense, neither ofwhich is of much use without the other.” As the firm of Frederick &Wiggins Detectives (Office Hours: Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m. Not a lossto a client in more than a century”) grew increasingly successful, itbecame necessary to employ assistants, so Freddy formed the AnimalBureau of Investigation, “a large corps of birds, small animals andbumblebees” under the direction of the capable but nearsightedrobin J. J. Pomeroy.Like his mentor Holmes, Freddy was a master of disguise. Indeed,Brooks tells us, “He had more than twenty disguises that he used.”Among them were the desperado Snake Peters, Captain Neptune, thespace alien with a blue face, and Mr. Arquebus, a crotchety baseballcoach. Yet it is one of Freddy’s first disguises, that of an old woman,which he donned in The Clockwork Twin (1937), which seems to havebeen his personal favorite. In later adventures he would refine thefemale persona, in one adventure becoming a little old Irishwoman“from Ballyhooblin in County Mayo,” complete with an accent that,according to Riley, Mrs. Church’s Irish chauffeur, “is the worst imitation of Irish talk I ever heard.”Frankly, the costume wasn’t really much better. As Jinx said whenhe saw Freddy, “If you didn’t guess who he was right off, you mightthink he was something human or you might decide not to takeany chances and run up a tree.” Freddy, of course, said dressingup made things “a lot more fun . . . and perhaps that is as good areason for doing anything as you can find.” This last remark is notonly a prime example of the series’ signature wit and wisdom but italso explains why the Freddy books have endured as modern classics. The fun Brooks had writing them is evident on every page forreaders to share.And there’s absolutely no mystery about that! aby Michael CartAh, the deerstalker cap, the clever disguises, and the omnipresentmagnifying glass. Sherlock Holmes, right? Wrong! It’s Freddy thedetective on this case. Yes, Walter R. Brooks’ talking pig was a cluestalker to rival the famous Holmes. Although he was only a supporting character in the first of Brooks’ stories, To and Again, Freddy tookcenter stage in the third book, Freddy the Detective, when he decided tobecome an investigator. He explained his new venture to his friendJinx the cat: “I got the idea from a book I found in the barn, TheAdventures of Sherlock Holmes. It’s the best book I’ve come across in along time . . . there are a lot of mysteries on a farm like this, and I’llsolve ‘em all. Maybe I can write them up in a book: The Adventuresof Freddy the Detective.”Freddy actually never got around to writing his book but, thankfully,his faithful Boswell, Brooks, did and the story is widely regarded asthe best in the 26-volume series. Indeed, the book, which has beenreissued by the Overlook Press and Puffin, was a finalist for a 2002Book Sense Book of the year award in the Rediscovery category.Brooks disingenuously claimed to be clueless about why Freddybecame his “permanent hero” but there’s a good explanation for thepig’s becoming a detective. It was simply because Brooks doted onmystery novels. They were his forte as a nationally prominent reviewerfor The Outlook and Independent magazine, published in the 1920s.In fact, Brooks was one of the first to discover the work of famedmystery novelist Dashiell Hammett. In his review of Hammett’s RedHarvest (1927) Brooks enthused, “We recommend this one withoutreservation. We gave it an A before we’d finished the first chapter.”Hammett was laconically appreciative. In a note to Brooks he wrote,“Many thanks for your kindness to Red Harvest” and signed himself“Gratefully yours.” One of the saddest might-have-beens in literaryhistory ensued when Alfred A. Knopf, publisher of both Brooks andHammett, contracted with the latter to write an introduction to theforthcoming Freddy the Detective. Alas, Hammett, a procrastinator torival Freddy himself, failed to deliver despite notes from an increasingly impatient publisher, such as the following, written April 2,1932: “We have to have that Introduction of yours immediately . . .do you think you can manage this?” Then again on April 5th: “Justto remind you again that I need the Introduction to Freddy the Detectivebadly.” And yet again on April 12th “”I have been trying to get youThe Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

The Syracuse Flying Saucer Mysteryby Harley Hahnbrother-in-law, more precisely, “her sister’s husband uncle”. Whyis this important?We know that Martha Bean, nee Doty, grew up in Centerboro.We also know she had a brother named Aaron Doty. (Although the“brother” in Freddy Plays Football was an imposter, she did have a realbrother of that name.)You will remember that in Freddy and the Men from Mars, the Martianslet Mrs. Bean steer their flying saucer from the farm to Syracuse (adetour on their way to visit the fake Martians at the circus).When they get to Syracuse, Mrs. Bean steered the saucer up SalinaStreet. Why Salina Street?Because Mrs. Bean lived outside of Centerboro, which was modeled after Rome N.Y. when Walter Brooks was growing up. And SouthSalina Street was “the commercial core of Syracuse, New York fromthe mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.”(reference: Salina StreetDowntown Historic District)It only makes sense that, given a chance to drive a flying saucer tothe closest, largest, and most important nearby city (Syracuse), Mrs.Bean would naturally steer it towards the main commercial street(South Salina).As a reminder of what South Salina looked like on the day Mrs.Bean visited it in the saucer, I have attached a screenshot of page167 of “Freddy and the Men from Mars”.In the drawing, you can see Mrs. Bean leaning out of the saucerwaving at Amos Walnutt, who is the elderly uncle of Mrs. Bean’sThe Bean Home NewsletterBut who is standing behind Mrs. Bean inthe drawing on page 167?And now we also know that Martha and Aaron had a sister, onewho married and moved to Syracuse. It’s likely that she married aman whose last name was Walnutt, although it’s not for sure. (Afterall, Amos could be the husband’s uncle by marriage. If not, he wasa biological uncle, and Martha’s sister did marry a Walnutt.)What is even more startling is that, although Martha hasn’t seenher brother Aaron in many years, she does stay in touch with hersister. On page 166, she remarks that Amos saw her only two yearsearlier.Further speculation: Even though Mr. Bean is in the saucer withher, she says “in the two years since I have seen him”, not “since wehave seen him”. Thus, it is likely that she made the trip to Syracuseto visit her sister alone, that is, without Mr. Bean.How do we know that Martha went to Syracuse to see her sister?Is it not possible that her sister came to the farm to see her?No. Since she saw Amos Walnutt at the same time, only two yearsearlier, he would have had to come to the farm as well. However, hehas been lame with rheumatism for the last 10 years (page 166), soit is unlikely that he would travel all the way to a small farm outsideof Centerboro to visit the sister of his nephew’s wife.But there’s more. Look closely at the drawing on Page 167. You cansee Mrs. Bean waving from the open door. We know it’s Mrs. Beanbecause of the description in the text, and because of her hairstyle.On page 148, it clearly states that Mrs. Bean wears her hail pulledback -- compared to Mrs. Webb who wears a bang.But who is standing behind Mrs. Bean in the drawing on page167?Clearly it is a human, not a Martian. And it is a man.However, according to the text, there are only two men in the saucer, Mr. Bean and Uncle Ben. But Mr. Bean has a beard, and the manbehind Mrs. Bean is far too young and too tall to be Uncle Ben.So who is he?The best explanation I can think of is that the young, tall manstanding behind Mrs. Bean is a grown-up Adoniram or Byram. Youwill remember that in Freddy and the Popinjay, Freddy has a dreamabout Adoniram and Byram. Afterwards, in talking to the animals,it is clear that the boys are not on the farm.So how can one of them (or both of them) be in the flying saucer?Most likely, they returned, grown-up, after Freddy and the Popinjay. Forsome reason, Walter Brooks, the self-described “official historian ofthe Bean Farm” had decided to not ever mention the boys again,even though they were on the farm and, presumably, helping Mr.Bean with the farm work. (We can only speculate why Brooks won’tmention them.) a Spring 2017

Accept No Imitations: How to Tell OurFreddy from All the Othersby Randy CepuchThere are a lot of Freddys (or Freddies) out there and we should do our best to minimize the potential for confusion, so I’ve put togetherthis guide. (If you’re tired of reading, watch this on YouTube at 44KCRzZTuOE&t 4s).Fred Astaire was a singer and actor, but mostly adancer known for his abilityto dance up walls and evenacross ceilings. He’s knownfor hoofing.Our Freddy is known forhaving hooves.Fred Vinson was appointed ChiefJustice of the US by Harry Truman in 1946, after serving as aCongressman and Secretary of theTreasury.Sure, he was Secretary of theTreasury. But Freddy was presidentof the First Animal Bank.Fred Rogers was a beloved TVpersonality and noted sweater wearer(although sometimes he reportedly enjoyed dressing up as the Ignormus andterrorizing his neighborhood. Okay, Ijust made that part up.)Our Freddy has always avoided TVappearances because he says the camera adds ten pounds.Fred Hoyle was a Britishastronomer best known forhis theory of stellar nucleosynthesis (whatever that is)and for rejecting the BigBang Theory (not the program, the actual theory).Our Freddy has no theoryof stellar nucleosynthesis.The Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

Fred(die) Laker pioneered no-frills flights withhis transatlantic airline,Laker Airways.Big deal. Our Freddyproved pigs can fly.Fred Durst is the lead singer fora band called Limp Bizkit.Our Freddy would be veryunlikely to be in a band namedafter things he would undoubtedly eat.Fred Gwynne: You might knowhim as Patrolman Francis Muldoon from Car 54 Where Are You,or Herman Munster from TheMunsters. Herman Munster had afurry pal named Thing.Our Freddy has a furry palnamed Jinx.Fred(die) Krueger – leading man in the Nightmare onElm Street film series, whoappears to victims in theirdreams and kills them.Our Freddy is a muchbetter poet.The Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

Crossword SolutionThe Purring Lessonby Wray RomingerCrossword by Connie ArnoldSolution by Michael CartIt had been a long time since I read Freddy and the Dragon. Comingto Chapter 12 one encounters Freddy and Jinx on Mrs. Peppercorn’sfront steps. A kitten comes along and asks Jinx to give her purringlessons. Jinx really couldn’t be bothered until the kitten explainedthat she belonged to Mrs. Twich, the cook at Ollie Groper’s hotel,and could pay for purring lessons with leftover goodies and creamfrom the dining room. (It reminded me of Eliza Doolittle in My FairLady offering to pay ‘enry ‘iggins for her elocution lessons.) Cute!But wait. Several years ago in a doctor’s waiting room I picked up acopy of Country Living magazine. Apparently there is a feature called“Ask the Country Vet.” A woman wrote in that her cat did not purr.Was something wrong? “No,” the veterinarian answered. “Cats learnpurring from their mothers, and cats raised from birth by humansdo not purr.” Perhaps Walter knew such a cat. aThe Reading Judgeby Henry CohnHere is a photo of me on March 2, 2017 at a 5th grade class at anelementary school in New Britain, CT, on Reading Across AmericaDay.The kids love the robe which is why I bring it.I read the alligator chapter from Freddy Goes To Florida. They seemedto enjoy it. I also gave them, and about 4 teachers, information onWalter and other books in the series.Perhaps some day you can use this photo as a newsletter filler. Iwould send a photo of the kids but I’m not sure I can do that withouttheir permission.It would also be an idea to encourage members to get out to theirlocal school or library and read some Freddy to the kids, and therebyspread the word to their teacher and librarian. Perhaps the clubcould even donate a couple of books to any school or library thatparticipated in such a program. aThe Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

Equines and Otherswrote, “I had always liked stories about animals talking, and mytales about the animals on the Bean Farm are, I suppose, echoes ofthe stories of Lily Wesselhoeft, which were my childhood favorites.”(Wesselhoeft’s husband, Dr. Konrad Wesselhoeft, was Louisa MayAlcott’s physician!).Well, thus far this has been more digression than thematically unified essay so let’s get back to the consideration of similarities, thoughthis time let’s focus on differences, instead, which most notably manifest themselves in the leading characters in the respective series. Weall know Freddy, of course, that well-spoken, polished, empatheticand diplomatic porker. Ed was just the opposite: sarcastic, sardonic,and always quick with a quip, his talk was colloquial and sometimesreflected the fact that unlike Freddy he couldn’t (gasp) read. He alsohad a predilection for strong spirits. It was for this reason, DorothyBrooks (Walter’s widow) once told me that The Saturday Evening Poststopped publishing Ed stories, for Walter refused to put Ed on thewagon. But I get ahead of myself: there’s a wonderful episode inone of the stories in which Mr. Pope decides to teach Ed to readshowing up at his stable with a bottle and a primer that starts with“A is for Aardvark.”“What the hell is an aardvark? said Ed. Why not teach mewords I know? Like A stands for Ale. B stands for Beer. And what’sthis? C said Mr. Pope. C stands for Scotch said Ed. No, no, Ed, saidMr. Pope. C stands for – let me see – cognac.Well, this didn’t make sense to Ed and Mr. Pope tried toexplain and they got into an argument that lasted until it was so darkthey couldn’t see the letters any more. The bottle was empty, too.”For literary historians, it’s perhaps worth noting, in conclusion, thatthe publication of the Ed stories spans two decades: the ‘30s and the40’s, more specifically from 1937 to 1945. They appeared, chronologically, in three different magazines: Liberty, The Saturday Evening Postand Argosy. However, no matter where or when they appeared, theyremain to this day a reader-pleasing delight. aby Michael CartMost Freddy fans already know that Walter created another celebrated talking animal, Ed the horse, who became the co-star of thesixties’ antic TV series, “Mr. Ed.” Walter found certain similaritiesbetween his two creations and their respective adventures. They bothcould talk, of course, though Ed talked to only one human, his oftenhapless owner Wilbur Pope. Ed once explained to Mr. P. why he washis only auditor: “Look, Wilb. You know what will happen (if I talk)?Reporters and Hollywood scouts and these candid camera lunkheadsand people with babies and their lunch in a bag – that’s what willhappen by the million. And all peeking and snooping. Except foryour wife’s friends we have a nice quiet life up here in Mt. KiscoWhy spoil it?” Why, indeed?As for Walter, he once dryly observed, “None of the animals I haveever known could talk, which seems a pity, since I have had to makeup a lot of things that I could otherwise simply have taken down fromtheir dictation.” (Because at various times Walter had both a dog anda cat, one wonders if maybe they sometimes slipped him stories onthe sly despite his protestations to the opposite. . .) Anyway, Waltercontinues: “It is true that animals that can talk are probably a lotmore fun to read and write about than they would be to have around.Your dog would give you an argument every time you told him to liedown and your cat would criticize everything you did in an unpleasantvoice.” Can’t think of a dog in the Freddy books that fits that bill butas for the cat, perhaps Jinx’s sister Minx might serve.But back to similarities. A superficial one is that there were twentyfive Ed stories just as there were twenty-five Freddy books (if youexclude the anomalous The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig). Moresubstantive is the way in which the respective series were written.“I try to write the same for children and grown-ups,” Walter oncedeclared “or, rather, it is the only way I can write The talking horseand magic stories in the (Saturday Evening) Post were just children’sstories for grown-ups and I find that many grown-ups read my kidstories” (sound familiar, Friends of Freddy members?). “I don’t planthem ahead, though; I have never learned how, though I’ve tried.”This reminds of something a friend of mine, the celebrated children’sbook author Sid Fleischman, once told me about his approach towriting: “I sit down at my computer every morning,” he said, “lookat it and say, ‘Surprise me.’”Like Walter, Mr. Pope was fascinated with talking animals. “Whenhe was a boy,” Walter tells us, “he had a dog named Horace whocould almost talk. But Horace had died without saying a word.” Thechatty Ed would more than make up for that erstwhile silence, justas Freddy and his friends would make up for their silence in the firstthree Freddy titles in the fourth, The Story of Freginald, when animalsbegin talking with humans. Walter was silent on the reason for manyyears but finally he broke down and wrote, in a letter to a young fan,“In the first 3 books about Freddy the animals only talked to oneanother. But in The Story of Freginald, they began talking to people.I think the reason I changed was that it was more fun to have themtalk to people. But I never explained it in the stories, because whatexplanation could you give? I just thought nobody would notice it.And of course everybody did!”It’s worth noting that Walter, like Mr. Pope, was fascinated bytalking animals when he was a boy. He confirmed this when heThe Bean Home Newsletter Spring 2017

President’s Corner: Ididn’t WANT to likeeBooks BUT hero nervous: “ham” appears 23 times, while “bacon” turns up 16times and “pork” 15 times. “Pie” (as a food rather than an endearment) turns up 78 times in a total of 18 books – a frequency thatno doubt has always made a major contribution to my enjoymentof the series. (Truth be told, I was probably among those “carelesssnacking readers” responsible for a blueberry pie stain or two on alibrary copy back in the day.)Call me Old School or whatever you want (just not “Late for Dinner,” thank you), but I’m one of those people who tends to favor theanalog version of things unless and until I’m overly impressed by themerits of digital. I was slow to embrace CDs and MP3s and still havelots of vinyl records – although I have to admit I never play them.I doubt if that makes me unusual among Freddyites, the vastmajority of whom grew up with books about our favorite pig (oranything else) as wonderfully tangible things – even if those I totedhome from the library sometimes included pages stained by carelesssnacking readers. Also, I ran a bookstore for two years and delightedin bringing both order and happenstance to groaning shelves.So although I was intrigued when eBook versions of Freddy wereannounced a while back and I thought they looked very nice, I wascontent to stick with my full set of Overlook hardcovers nestledbetween pig bookends.Several months ago, I began to read through the entire series inorder, and I’m about halfway through. Part of my motivation wasto compile ideas for a presentation I’m planning to do at the 2018convention – an appreciation of Jinx. While reading, I took note ofa few dated references here and there and that led to some onlinediscussions about which books might be the best present-day “starters” to attract new Freddy fans. (That, in turn, helped us suggesttitles to Overlook as donations best-suited for the

Newsletter Editor: Michael Cart, 3250 Forsythia Dr., Co-lumbus, IN 47203. (812-373-9604) [email protected] Managing Newsletter Editor: Kevin W. Parker, 3-E Ridge Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20770-2958. (301-345-2774) [email protected] a Thanks for the latest Bean Home News! While reading your good