I see Judy Henske, she sits down and has two glasses of
beer and tells me that what I should really do is marry her and we
should go back and live quietly in Wisconsin where we really belong.
Henske is a lovely girl but if she really wants me to marry
her there are some things she will have to do immediately.
all, she will have to stop singing those loud, throat gravelly
songs like Oh You Engineer and You've Been a Good Old Wagon
But You Done Broke Down, which would not go over too big in
Wisconsin, and start singing nice, sweet feminine, petite songs
like Barbie Allen or Greensleeves or Who Is Going to Shoe Your
Pretty Little Feet?
if she expects me to shoe her pretty little feet, she will have
to start wearing low heeled shoes and walk around a little bit stooped
over as tall girls are very unpopular in Wisconsin. Also, she will have
to stop wearing those plunging neckline dresses on stage and start wearing maybe a nice little two-piece suit with a high neckline and
long sleeves that would go over much better in Wisconsin. Or maybe
blue jeans and a checkered blouse; that would go over great in
also have to get herself another manager instead of Herbie
Cohen who really belongs managing a fighter instead of a folksinger.
She will also have to agree to stop hanging around the Dugout late
at night crying into her Chivas and starting fights with other folk
singers and hitting people with her beads. She will also have to find
a new accompanist instead of John Forsha, maybe a guy who can
play soft cocktail piano with a nice smile and a blue tuxedo jacket.
Also, she will have to stop telling all those rotten stories on stage
about unemployed prostitutes and women dropping their boyfriends
into wells and all this other stuff that I know she cannot possibly
really feel deep down in her heart of hearts but only uses to appeal
to the hard hip hearts of today's hard hip hearted folk audiences.
thing she will have to do is not let everyone walk in and out
of her dressing room while she is sitting around in her slip as this encourages sex perverts and invites crank phone calls late at night.
She will also have to associate herself with a more respectable record label which could further her career and forget about Jac Holzman who would sooner fly airplanes anyway. She will also have to stop being
seen in public with tall red-headed guys, because when I go to work
in the morning down at the bowling alley, I don't want the guys at the
gas station to start telling me "Hey, I saw your wife last night running around with a tall red-headed guy" or "Hey, how come your wife is neglecting her housework and running around, while your kids are starving and ragged and they all have unwiped noses while she spends
all the food money on guitar strings and low-cut dresses and long strings of beads and Danish beer, which she can drink all night, and gets into arguments with people and calls them a son-of-a-bitch and sings all
those loud, rotten, dirty songs, and tells all those dirty stories and
keeps getting arrested and falls down the stairs and gets picked up
in bars by travelling dress salesmen from Des Moines and runs away
with an oil truck driver and is never heard from again, except for vague reports which drift back that she is losing weight and not looking too
well and wants to come home and be given one more chance." But I'll
be damned if I'll take her back after all that tramp stuff she pulled, not that I mind so much for myself but she could have realized what she
was doing to the kids, especially the baby who misses her very much
and cries for her every night and has pneumonia. No, Judy. Enough is enough. We Wisconsin people may be simple but we are not stupid. You have made a mockery of marriage and motherhood. I wish you luck and happiness, and hope in years to come you find that your "career"
was worth it!
New York City / Kenosha, Wisconsin
September 20, 1963