An open letter to Mr. Bombeck
Dear Mr. Bombeck,
Who wouldn’t love you! When you came to the first EBWW conference and spoke, you said right out of the shoot: “Sometimes I feel like Prince Phillip.” And, of course, you meant you followed behind your love, Erma. Yet, you did an outstanding job in your talk that day and at each conference you attended you have won the hearts of the attendees.
You were unable to attend this 2014 conference, yet everyone in the room fell in love with you anyway. Why? Because you are like Cary Grant, who once spilled a drink on Erma. Matt told me about that. You have the special something that appeals to people. I think what you have is a very good spirit about you, and it is there even when you are not.
Our conference this year was a hit. God bless Teri Rizvi, rightfully crowned HOMECOMING QUEEN this year. We were all so sorry you could not attend. I missed you very much. As I have written to you, you are my Atticus Finch. Every girl I know wanted an Atticus Finch for a father. I believe with all of my heart that you are that to your three children. Some dads want to be Atticus, but they have problems that prevent them from doing so. In your case, you could be that for your kids. It shows. To see your three kids with all of the people at the conference and how they respect every person, and honor their mother with their attendance, and somehow accept me, well…as my mother would say if she were here: “Those are some good kids there, those Bombecks.”
Which brings me to the petition the Princess Louise Lucas from San Diego started. (I did not bribe her.)
Princess Louise started a petition to ensure I could move into your basement and be adopted, even if you do not have a basement. There are four pages of signatures. They can vouch for me. I am quiet (when sleeping), neat (always), I love your kids (they are giving me advice about my Wild Irish Rose son), and of course I adore Norma, your secretary. And Cousin Dee Dee and I want to sit on a swing and talk and tell stories as she did with Erma when they were kids.
So when I move into your basement, once you sign the papers, I will be steadfast and true. I will abide by the rules of the house. I will pick up after myself. I will not tell too many stories at dinner (although I have some good ones). And I will honor Erma all the days of my life.
You see, Erma got me through. When our own son, BOY WONDER, was going through his crazy days of fun and hijinks, I would read Erma to calm me down. Any story would do, but the ones about Andy helped most. You know what I mean.
Mr. Bombeck, you mean the world to me…and not in a stalker way. You raised kids who make me feel like I am an OK person and welcome at their table. You have supported the conference and you support writers. You are the BOMB…eck. And that is a good thing.
I am mailing you the petition that Princess Louise, in a tiara, passed around the conference via U.S. mail.
Know that every person who signed their names would do anything in the world to help you in any way.
Also, please tell Norma to write a book.
Patricia Ann Marie Wynn Brown
A wanna’ be daughter
— Patricia Wynn Brown
Patricia Wynn Brown is a performer, producer and author of two books, Hair-A-Baloo: The Revealing Comedy and Tragedy on Top of Your Head and Momma Culpa: One Mother Comes Clean and Makes her Maternal Confession. She has performed her humor-memoir Hair Theater® shows across the U.S. She is a featured humorist in a PBS documentary, A Legacy of Laughter, about the life and work of Erma Bombeck. She also is a three-time winner of the James Thurber Summer Writing Contest. Her new DVD featuring women who have lost their hair to chemotherapy is called The Hairdo Monologues: When Monsieur Chemo Styles Her Hair. She served as emcee at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in 2012 and 2014.