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In a world increasingly infused by the shabby, the shoddy, where we are coming to accept the inferior as routine, there is some right stuff.

Doting on Deighton

ANYBODY who slides out on a limb to recommend a book, a brand of beer, or any item you’d care to name, runs the risk of picking up a few slivers. Oh, well, I can always move and leave no forwarding address or footprints.

If you see a copy of Len Deighton’s book, Bomber, grab it. My copy is on loan so I am unable to date it (ca. 1971, I think). It is available in paperback. Even if World War II novels turn you off, you will find this an engrossing story, authentic as a nosebleed (Deighton is noted for the depth of his research), and an indictment of war depicting both bomber and bombed. The air combat sequences are sweaty-palm real.

Did you say my endorsement lacks authority? Well, international literary figure Anthony Burgess includes Bomber on his list of ninety-nine best novels published in the past forty-five years, along with books written by Ernest Hemingway and similar wordsmith heavyweights.

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A TIP of the derby to friends Owen and Sally Billman for turning us on to this one. Juicy Juice. Juicy Juice? Yay – Juicy Juice; 46 fl. oz. (1.36 liters to whacked out continentalists and metrics fans) of 100 percent natural blended juices. No sugar added, no preservatives, no synthetics – only juices. That’s all – pineapple, white grape, peach, orange, apple. Good? You betcha – m-m-m! See the slobber stains on this page? What else can you buy for 98 cents that is genuine, delicious, good for you, and is what it calls itself? Nicely done up in a big tin can. Juicy Juice!

The Paws That Refresh

HAS THE usual run of greeting cards begun to pall on you? Do you long for something with character, flair, and a refreshing touch of humor? Ah, I hear you shouting “Yes! Yes!” Done. Start looking in gift shops and outlets other than those featuring Hallmark, Norcross, and American Greetings. Keep looking. Eventually you will find a line of cards and notes under the Paw Prints imprint. They are the product of the fertile mind and talented hands of Wallace Tripp of Peterborough, NH.

While you are shopping for Paw Prints, try to find a copy of Tripp’s book Wurst Seller (1981, $4.95) which is a fine introduction to his inimitable animals, wacky people, off-the-wall humor, and outrageous punnery. It isn’t every day you will Tripp over a chuckle a page in a book. Wallace Tripp’s art will draw you back again and again to discover subtleties of expression and line you missed the first time.

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Rowdy Road Show

IF YOU have a love-hate relationship with cars as this writer does, you should read Car & Driver magazine. Even if only the second half of that bifurcated term applies, even if your grandmother was nudged into eternity by a Saab Turbo bumper, you will find that C&D is brash, sassy, controversial, knowledgable, always opinionated, occasionally profane, and contains some of the best writing to be found in these illiterate times. We live in a visual age. Not many magazines match their graphics/pix with equal pizzazz in the text. C&D does. The $2.25 cover price is ridiculously high, but what isn’t? Best to subscribe for $9.99 – and sue me if you don’t think Gordon Baxter’s page alone worth the sawbuck. Warning: Reading C&D may prove hazardous to your bank account. Readers are noted for devouring an issue, then rushing out to trade in the old family chariot on a new money sucking hole with four wheels and a map to the poorhouse in the glove compartment. I did it twice.

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On The Sawdust Trail

DO YOU enjoy working with wood? The Woodworkers Store (21801 Industrial Blvd., Rogers, MN 55374) publishes a catalog which offers such hard-to-find items as face grade veneers – e.g., Mai Dou Burl, Acacia, Macasser Ebony – tambours for rolltop desks, select hardwoods, unusual tools, curved mouldings, a cornucopia of specialized hardware (how about a telescopic drop-leaf support or a grandfather clock lock?), and much more. My catalog came unbidden in the mail, but it is well worth the dollar cover price.

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This first – and probably last – issue of The Right Stuff was printed and published by Al Fick, Amsterdam, NY 12010. I plan to spend the next several months constructing a homebuilt aircraft (ultralight). During that period I expect to reaffirm my right to the title,

The World’s Worst Correspondent