Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chop Pleased, Towers Has Deja Vu

Seeming a bit jaded about his old movie, Tom Towers wrote to enclose something or another about UFOs and also informed me that "U.F.O." was again getting a TV airing. He was probably seeing that film in his sleep by now.

Early in June I received a letter from Al Chop praising the movie article, and this meant a great deal to me. In fact, he asked me to forward copies to his two sisters in Ohio and I was more than happy to do so. Still writing in longhand and hating it, Chop bemoaned the necessity to find a replacement typewriter somewhere at a bargain rate. Be he ever so humble -- his comment at the end about my relegating his letter to the waste basket simply because he requested extra copies further impressed me, and by now there was no doubt in my mind about what a down-to-earth, good man Al Chop was. I think he could have run for Congress on sincerity alone.

This June 5, 1977 letter would be my final communication with Al Chop. The next time I really heard anything about him occurred when a newspaper, I think it was the Houston Chronicle, printed a story about how Al had once met personally with "Peanuts" creator Charles Schultz to convince the reluctant cartoonist that NASA badly wished to use "Snoopy" in a 'Snoopy the Astronaut" campaign. Schultz relented and agreed. How could anybody say no to the affable Al Chop?