Paul Coates -- Confidential File, March 20, 1959
March 20, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Mash Notes and Comments
"Dear Mr. Coates,
"Imagine a friendship between a millionaire show business lady of star status and myself, a derelict newspaper hustler.
"For years this friendship existed. I had my benefactress, and many times she came to my assistance and by sending me small sums of money for coffee and books and the necessities of my existence.
"But money isn't everything, Paul. I have dropped my interest in my show business benefactress.
"I figure it this way -- a man should not go on writing letters to a beautiful lady for weeks and months if he does not receive any letters in return.
"It is difficult but I shall write no more letters to her.
"I had written to her twice a week for the past four years. No answers. I got silence.
"Man, I have stopped. I will send no more letters that get only silence.
"Sir, I hope you never cross paths with a rich, beautiful lady." (signed) Memphis Harry Lee Ward, P.O. Box 1963, Hollywood.
-- Why? What did I ever do to you?
"I like you. You know what I mean?
"You're kind of a nut, but you're cute.
"In fact, if you weren't already married, I'd marry you, except that you're too old for me (I'm 23) and you're not a TV cowboy.
"Be that as it may, I always regard you as a mature Ward Bond." (signed) Miss Kelly McKinney, 823 3/4 Maltman Ave., L.A.
-- Odd. I always regard myself as a young Tab Hunter.
"Robert Ruark as a journalist is tops, but your column never did appeal to me.
"Let's face it -- your journalistic intellect does not go too high above 'Dear Abby,' even though you do occupy a higher positionnewspaperwise.
"And you know how her journalistic prose goes -- 'Never mind the orchids, hold out for orange blossoms.'
"You lack imagination, even though your columns start out very dramatically, like, 'The boy was clinging to a tree branch on a hill.'" (signed) GilColvitto, 525 S Wall St., L.A.
-- That was no boy. That was that little scamp Ward Bond. He's just immature.
"I have a new column who will print my letters. Dick Nolan's column of the San Francisco Examiner.
"That means we are finished, Paul, you didn't come through with a loan that I asked you for a dozen times and even offered you the pink slip on my taxi.
"You can write a letter to Nolan about me, that people looked for my letters in your column.
"Tell him about my book, etc., but don't tell him I am fat and lazy and drink beer. He knows that.
"I am in Dick Nolan's column exclusive now. No more letters for your column, Paul. It is your fault.
"Au voir, Paul." (signed) Parkey Sharkey, 2077 Bay Rd., East Palo Alto.
-- Not au voir, Parkey. Just good-by.