I was watching an episode from the second season (1958-59) of "Leave It to Beaver" tonight when I got to the part where Ward reads a note from Beaver's principal, Mrs. Rayburn. If you freeze-frame the note it says:
Mr. Ward Cleaver 485 Mapleton Drive Mayfield, State My Dear Mr. Cleaver: This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It is here merely to fill up space. Still, it is words, rather than repeated letters, since the latter might not give the proper appearance, namely, that of an actual note. For that matter, all of this is nonsense, and the only part of this that is to be read is the last paragraph, which part is the inspired creation of the producers of this very fine series. Another paragraph of stuff. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. My typing is lousy, but the typewriter isn’t so hot either. After all, why should I take the blame for these mechanical imperfections, with which all of us must contend. Lew Burdette just hit a home run and Milwaukee leads seven to one in the series. This is the last line of the filler material of the note. No, my mistake, that was only the next to last. This is last. I hope you can find a suitable explanation for Theodore’s unusual conduct. Yours truly, Cornelia Rayburn
To judge by the contents (here's the last line, whoops, no, HERE's the last line) whoever did this folded the note first, to mark the middle third of the paper, then put it in the typewriter, started the body of the letter at the first crease and banged away until he had enough to fill out the middle section. The Lew Burdette reference would put the date at October 2, 1958 — Game 2 of the World Series between the Braves and the Yankees, and a month before this episode ("Her Idol") aired. I see where this has been referenced elsewhere on the Web but as far as I can tell no one has transcribed the entire letter. Until now! We now return to our regularly scheduled program. [Postscript: The Jim Letter]
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