Today

In 1957, when I was 10 years old, I began writing letters to famous people — asking for their autographs.  Since I used to watch the “Today” Show on NBC, I decided to write to the anchor – Dave Garroway.  Instead of just writing to ask for an autograph, I explained that I collected stamps (which I did).  Since he probably got a lot of letters from foreign countries, I suggested that instead of throwing out the envelopes (with the stamps) – he should send them to me.   His response is below.  Since I had signed my letter with my middle name – “Scott William Petersen” – the envelope was correctly posted.  But the letter – irritatingly – was addressed to “Dear Mr. Williams.”  

The “Today” show debuted in 1952 with Dave Garroway at the helm with Frank Blair and Jack Lescoulie handling news and sports.  What drew me to watch the “Today” show was the occasional appearance of J. Fred Muggs – a chimpanzee – and his girlfriend Phoebe B. Beebee.  J. Fred Muggs was considered the mascot of the “Today” Show.  As of March 2018, J. Fred Muggs was alive and well.  Apparently so is his main squeeze – Phoebe.  Chimps are known to live for 70 years with 50 years being the norm.  I wonder if they’ve had their Covid vaccinations. . . . .