Frightened by cows


November, 1973


Dear Sam –

Thank you for the gift of your grandfather’s rusted old service revolver to celebrate the sale of my new e-book, “How to make money the fast and stupid way like any complete idiot can,” though I cannot say it has been put to good use.

Quite the opposite, in fact, according to the unfortunate old milk cow and her irate owner who is also our irate neighbor. The poor girl got her tail shot off while she was bumping around in the garden and fled. Who knows, through the veil of early morning brume over my eyes what that massive shape seemed to me, for I certainly don’t remember the moments before I fired the weapon into it and heard a horrific, sickening sound as I had never heard before and witnessed the weird bleeding hulk careening throught the fence at a full gate toward the city proper where it was most likely butchered.

That’s right Sam, I shot a cow, and because of that we have no milk. No one within a square mile can seem to find anything to dip their cookies into anymore and my apologies are falling on the deaf ears of the milkless people all around around me. Now I must use the month’s earnings on my new book to buy a new animal.

If I were less rational, I would be quite sore at you, dear Sam, for giving me this accursed old piece, but I realize I can only be sore at myself for accepting it and then firing it into my garden while half asleep.

Alas, I am off to the market to buy a cow.

Good wishes, wholeheartedly,

J. Ozawa

Old Stamboul…


Istanbul, 1974

My Dearest Harry,

Old ‘Stamboul is on my head, and the tastes and smells of it are making life quite difficult. Ostensibly, the family business has me here in search of carpets and spices, but I rather think it is punishment for being drunk and standing on the table during that eerie week when all of the town shops closed and everyone suffered from rickets.

None of that was my fault. I thought father said, ‘crickets’.

Nevertheless, as I am here, I am managing to eke some small level of enjoyment out of it. The music is lively and there are many interesting characters. I am currently trying to teach them all English, but I am beginning to suspect that things ought to be the other way around.


J. Ozawa

I hope this letter finds you well


October, 1963

My Dearest Humboldt –

Martha has once again chained herself hopelessly and inextricably to the rail of the family frigate, and rather than damage a perfectly well-functioning chain or rail by the act of sawing through it, father has decided to demonstrate the folly of this means of protest by having her acompany him and his crew on their voyage up the coast of Maine.

The  dust has settled since we last saw you – grandfather is calm now and has begun making soft cooing sounds again, but for a time, his situation appeared quite grave. When he brought out his old card table and magic kit, the din in the house was hardly bearable as he was blocking the television.

The Colonel is here now for his weekly visit with Edward, and he’s requested some of mother’s fine preserves. With your permission, we would like to enter the cellar to retrieve a jar or two.

If you like, you are welcome to join us upstairs.



J. Ozawa