Letter to Rudy

In honor of Valentine’s Day, allow me to share a letter I am sending to someone who has a very special place in my heart…

Cute and cuddly! ...though the down side of cuddling him is getting the lipstick out of your clothes.

Cute and cuddly! …though the down side of cuddling him is getting the lipstick out of your clothes.

Dear Mr. Mechanical-Man,

May I call you Rudy?  I hope this letter finds you feeling like a million.  I have never written a fan letter before, except for the ones to Peter Falk, Stephen Colbert, and the lead singer of the Buggles, but I just had to write to you.  I’m your biggest fan and I am always ready to defend you against the philistines in my pinball league who don’t appreciate your unique charm.  Some of them say you can’t be real because they have seen Rudys at lots of other arcades, but I know those other Rudys are just your helpers.

I remember the first time I saw you.  I was immediately intrigued by your ability to keep your eyebrows fixed in such a quirky position.  I could tell you liked me, too, since your eyes followed me around the room, even when you were supposed to be asleep.  It wasn’t long before you were calling me endearing pet names like “Bucko” and “Chuckie” and my heart was fluttering every time you said “Great shot!”

To other people, it sometimes looks like we get angry at each other, but you and I know it’s all meant affectionately.  When you say “I’m not happy with you now,” you really mean “I am in awe of your skill.”  And when I say “Damn you, Rudy, that was unacceptable!  F–Aaaaaaaaaaaargh,” I really mean “Thank you for the challenge, my dear friend!”

I hope you will answer a question for me.  What exactly is in the funhouse?  You’re always saying “You don’t know what’s in there!”, and that’s the truth, since it seems like all I ever get to do is play on the steps outside.

I am enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope so that you can send back an autographed picture.  Please inscribe it, “To Heather, I always save the biggest points for you!  Fond regards, Rudy.”

Affectionately yours,


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3 Responses to Letter to Rudy

  1. LW Spencer aka Bill says:

    The following comments were sent to me through e-mail by my uncle. He had attempted to post here but had technical difficulties, so I’m sharing this for him. –Heather

    Pinball machines niggle my memory. In the village that Zilwaukee was, we youths all were active between two coffee-places (a ‘cafe’ would have been eerily out of place in time and location), each of which had a pinball machine. (‘Youth’, it’s coming to me now, ran from between – say – 12 and 17-18. There were non-youths who actually had food there; several of them had an ominous potential.) There was no overt element of competition AS such among the pinball’s, but there was real competition each night as individuals felt the challenge rise. \what all this is to get at, is that of our Spencer relatives, we had a cousin who must have been as good as they get: Lorna Hoffman, her name was – and I hope, God willing, still is. I’m not familiar with current pinball machines. But of the remembered (of, say, late ‘40s – the ‘50s)ones, Lorna could neatly assist their mushroom trigger-buttons, hitting the machine cases with hands, and/or the impact of an in stantly-chosen angle of right or left hip. I do remember her as the best.

  2. How did I miss reading this stuff last year? Laughed hard at your fan letter to Rudy! Enjoyed reading Bill’s memories, too, which prompted some amusing visuals in my mind!

  3. Oh, I laughed hard all over again! So clever. Have to show this to Dad! I don’t think I did last time. And, hey, in the photo, Rudy is looking at his BEST!

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