All rights reserved.
December 11, 2010
Jon Robertson writes:
Dear Donnie and the NLAS,

Thank you Donnie and Tim Hollis for your work on the
Lum and Abner's Christmas Story! I enjoyed reading it as
much as I have always enjoyed hearing the fellas tell it themselves. I could almost hear it in their voices as I read

Thank you for making it available again in this form this season.

Jon Robertson
Near Chattanooga Tennessee
All rights and permissions granted

NLAS Answer:
Thanks so much for taking the time to send this great response.  I am speaking for Tim Hollis and Sam Brown in
saying we truly appreciate hearing from other fans of
Lum and Abner.  We all wish you a blessed Christmas!

Also, I may have missed some other additions to the "Mail Hack Mail Sack" but when I locate them I will add them
retroactively.  Or somethin' like that.

"Uncle Donnie" Pitchford
December 11, 2010
Bob Flood writes:
Dear Uncle Donnie,

Thanks for a a great Christmas reminder and GIFT to us all!

After spending time shopping and eating at a very over crowded eatery I found pulling out of a parking space
near the restaurant's front door very difficult.  I carefully pulled out watching for others. It was during this difficult
maneuver that the driver, waiting for our space, proved he was not in a holiday mood.  He yelled in a gruff
voice..."Hurry up you slowpoke I want to beat the crowd!"  I just wondered what he would do once the crowd was
beaten to his liking.   

I realize that the Holiday Season can cause this type of behavior and it doesn't matter if Santa, or anyone else for
that matter, sees us not being nice or even nasty to those around us!  But Lum and Abner's Christmas story
presents a timeless message of hope, love, and charity that continues to speak to us all through the generations.

Generous acts of love, kindness, and going out of one's way is basically following the 11th Commandment that
Jesus gave us.  It can be found in John 13:34-35:(A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have
loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.)

Finally As for those that are too rushed to care or too mad at all of us 'slowpokes' I will give you what my late
mother gave me as her 'special' advice during these 'Holy Days':  First, "Life isn't long enough to be short with
anyone and especially at Christmas!"  and second, "Remember the only way some people will ever know you are a
Christian if you act like one all year long including Christmas."

Thanks again, it eased my heart afflicted with a little heartburn,
Bob Flood

PS - Thanks so much for all the hard work you guys do to keep the memory of Lum and Abner alive for each

NLAS Answer:
Bob, thanks so much.  We must never forget the "Christ" in "Christmas."  Many expressions have been coined -
"Jesus is the Reason for the Season" being one.  Perhaps the best I've heard is one my late father-in-law, Carl V.
Pearson, used:  "Happy Birthday Jesus!"  Amen!

"Uncle Donnie" Pitchford
December 13, 2010
Rich Jonas writes:
Hi,  I tried to send you an e-mail on Mail Hack a couple of times, but I could not get it to go through.  So, here is a
bit for your use.  I have been into old-time radio since 1984.  I have about 9 or 10,000 radio shows on mp3.  i have
most of these on my iPod and my iTouch.  I listen to three or four shows every night.  I have about 1,600 Lum and
Abner shows on my iPod.  I make sure to listen to one show each night.
I love reading Revolutionary Era history.  I read a couple hours daily--sometimes more IF my golden retriever,
Ranger, will let me.  His registered name is Rich's Lone Ranger Buddy.  Yes, I have almost 1,000 Lone Ranger
shows.  I also spend time with my 1956 Chevy BelAir, which is quite nice.  I am a retired high school teacher.   I
look forward to your success with the L & A Society.  
Rich Jonas - Schererville, IN.---

NLAS Answer:
Hi, Rich!  I'm sorry you had trouble.  Basically it's my NLAS e-mail address, and I
hope you will write often.  If I am out of town, I may be delayed in posting it here, but I will do so as soon as
possible.  As I told you in an e-mail, Fred Foy, the greatest announcer-narrator of
The Lone Ranger, was our NLAS
Convention guest in 1999!  We almost had a reunion with him at the 2008 Memphis Film Festival, but he was
forced to cancel due to fatigue.

"Uncle Donnie" Pitchford
December 15, 2010
Brian C. Farmer writes:
Are there any stats out there that give a general idea of how Lum & Abner's movies were received at the time of
release?  Just kind of curious, as I listened to the last Postum broadcast before they took a hiatus to film the first
movie several days ago.  That was a very emotional episode, by the way.

Since others are mentioning it, too, the Christmas Episode is definitely an awesome piece of work.  I'm planning
to make a point of listening to it on Christmas Eve this year.  While I know that it was rebroadcast for many years, I
wonder if there's any particular year's recording that is a favorite of yours?  They're all just a little different, which
is refreshing.

Brian C. Farmer

NLAS Answer:
I'm doing some checking on your first question which is an excellent one.  By "received" do you mean by critics,
box office success, or both?

By "awesome piece of work" I also wonder if you mean our adaptation, the original broadcast or both!  

My favorite version?  I must say the "common" one - the "generic" one that was circulated in syndication is
probably closest to my heart since I will never forget how special it was to me when I heard it the first time 29
years ago.  I agree, though, that hearing the different versions is very interesting.  For many years, those
different versions were not even in circulation.  I believe the NLAS is responsible for locating most of the "new"
versions, and it was thrilling each time, especially one which was on an unlabeled transcription disc!

"Uncle Donnie" Pitchford
December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas
from Fred Foy
"The Golden Voice of Radio"

                                                                                                                                Photograph by Richard King
Wendy Foy, daughter of Fred Foy, writes in his behalf:
Merry Christmas!  Dad wants you to know that it touches him deeply that after so many
years he is still being remembered by all of his friends and fans. It is something he truly

Wendy Foy

NLAS Answer:
Fred Foy was guest star at our 1999 NLAS Convention, and it was both an honor and pleasure to meet and work
with him and hear his "Golden Voice of Radio" once again booming in our script "Lum and Abner Meet the Lone
Ranger."  Mr. Foy was also kind enough to participate in a live radio interview later in 1999 conducted by my
CHS-TV students, and to this day when I see any of them they ask me, "How is Mr. Foy?"

Thank you, and we offer our best wishes to the Foy family for a Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

"Uncle Donnie," "Singin' Sam" and Tim Hollis

PS:  We need to get Tim a nickname one of these days!  How about "Tonto Hollis" for this occasion?
Remembering Fred Foy
December 23, 2010
Ray Nielsen of the Memphis Film Festival writes:

   Thanks for referring me to your Fred Foy tribute. I too admired the man very much. He was a guest of ours in
2000 which was the first year we formally began doing radio re-creations. We've been doing them ever since.
When Mr. Foy was with us we did a Lone Ranger episode, and of course he was the Narrator. Actor Ed Nelson was
The Ranger and the late Rick Jason played Tonto. Others in the cast included Robert Pine and Beverly Washburn.
   In 2008 we invited Mr. Foy back because the Lone Ranger Fan Club was meeting at our show. He agreed to
come, but cancelled at the last minute because of ill health. We were greatly disappointed but understood.
   Fred Foy was a wonderful man who made a significant contribution to the entertainment world.
CONTACT: Memphis Film Festival

NLAS Answer:
   Thank you Ray.  I remember the 2008 Memphis Film Festival well.  We planned to reprise our "Lum and Abner
Meet the Lone Ranger" script with Mr. Foy, and we were planning to include Dick Beals in the script.  It would
have been a lot of fun had everything worked out.
Note:  When Fred Foy, through his daughter Wendy, sent the following photo and message, we had no
idea he was ill.  As you've probably read elsewhere, Mr. Foy passed away on December 22, 2010.  We have
decided to leave the information below "as is" because it is very special to us.  Again we thank Wendy
Foy-Griffis and the entire Foy family.  It means so much to know Mr. Foy wanted to tell all of us how he
appreciated us.  We hope he knew how we appreciated him!
Remembering Fred Foy
December 23, 2010
Joy Jackson, American Radio Theater, writes:

  I remember seeing Fred working on his lines at old-time-radio conventions. When someone tells me "Oh, he's
just an announcer", meaning that he's not as good as the actors, my memory of Fred contradicts them. Because
Fred would work and work on his lines as if his life depended upon their delivery, making sure that the right
emotion could be heard through the words. He'd work on them up until the last minute. Which is why that Lone
Ranger introduction announcement was so powerful. You could hear the belief in his voice. He was a great
announcer. If we can do half as well as Fred, that would be so spectacular!
   I will forever cherish in my memory the sight of his shining head of white hair, his eyes intently looking for his
cue from the director.
   Dave Parker has finished his film. Remembering Radio in on DVD ($35). You can order it from him at PO Box
1671 Los Altos, CA 94402. That includes postage. It might be that Fred is on it. I haven't watched mine yet.
   Merry Christmas from us in the real northwest!
CONTACT: Joy Jackson

NLAS Answer:
This is so true.  We witnessed Fred's professionalism in 1999.  I looked at his copy of the script I wrote.  He saw
me glancing at it and he grinned and said, "These are just my 'chicken tracks'," referring to the marks he'd made.  
He truly studied what was written and marked it such a way that he had a visual guide to his presentation.  As I
told my students later, he "sculpted the words like a fine artist" when he announced.
Remembering Fred Foy
December 26, 2010
Joy Jackson, American Radio Theater, writes:

   Reading people's comments about Fred Foy caused me to open the DVD case and watch  "Remembering
Radio", the new film completed by Dave Parker. There was Fred, sitting in my living room, talking about the Lone
Ranger, and Fran Striker, times with Brace Beemer, and of course, the famous Fred Foy delivery of the Lone
Ranger intro. Norman Corwin also was sitting in my living room, talking about radio and directing. Some friends
who have gone beyond were alive once more--Art Gilmore, Gil Stratton Jr,, Jim Harmon and Ray Erlenborn--all
talking about their passion for radio.
   Dave Parker and Dan Odum narrate the film, which contains interviews as well as photographs and old footage
of films on radio. Some of the other people in the film: June Foray, Barbara Fuller, Millie Morse, Gerald Nachman,
Jean Rouverol Butler, Tommy Cook, Janet Waldo, Bill Evenson, Ivan Cury, Cliff Carpenter, and Frank Bresee.
    Dave concentrates a little on the Lone Ranger, since he was an actor on that show, and wrote his doctoral
dissertation on it. For example, he tells about the three-hour rehearsals for The Lone Ranger, and then it was on
the air.
    If you are passionate about old-time-radio, you don't want to miss seeing, and owning, this film. Dave Parker is
handling orders for it--you can write to him at P.O. Box 1671, Los Altos, CA 94023. The DVD is $35, and postage is

Joy Jackson
CONTACT: Joy Jackson

NLAS Answer:
   Thank you, Joy!  Nice to see NLAS Convention Guests Barbara Fuller and Frank Bresee in the mix along with
Fred Foy.  My wife and I were honored to meet some of the other fine folks in 2004 in Seattle.  Sounds like a great
December 24, 2010
Brian C. Farmer writes:
   I suppose I mean both in terms of the reception of the movie.  I was more interested in what the box office
stats were, but I'd be interested in knowing what critics thought, as well.
   As for the Christmas episode, I was referring specifically to the radio broadcast in the question, but love your
adaptation, too!  The artwork is what really stands out to me--beautifully done.
   I don't think I can pick out one particular year's version of the Christmas episode as my absolute favorite.  I
love the introduction from the 1940 version (is this the generic one that is often mentioned?  There are no real
product advertisements, only a mention of CBS as the station).  On the other hand, I think the actual performance
of the story is slightly better in the 1938 version, when the fellers were still with Postum.  So, I've just made a little
project of taking the intro from the 1940 version (removing the references to the actual year of the broadcast),
and pasting it in front of the 1938 performance of the story.  So, I suppose that the little custom version I've made
is my personal favorite now.  :-)
    Oh, another question--who was it that played Ellie Connors (or Mary Ed'dards, if you prefer) in 1943?
Brian C. Farmer

NLAS Answer:
   I still have no answers on your original question.  Can anyone out there help?  (See IN-VELLUP 17 below!)
   Thanks for your nice comments on the artwork on the Christmas Story!  I did that 24 years ago.  YIPE!
   I agree each Christmas broadcast was special in its own way.  What was especially memorable for us at the
NLAS was rediscovering those "lost" transcription discs and hearing those different versions for the first time.  
   Ellie Connors was played by the amazing actress Lurene Tuttle!  She was also Sgt. Hartford, Nurse Lunsford,
and others on the program.  In 2004 Ellie or Mary was portrayed by Dick Beals for a performance at the REPS
Showcase in Seattle.
   "Uncle Donnie" Pitchford