Linda Scarberry wrote John on January 26, 1970, to tell him that Mary Hyre had been admitted to the hospital. She also catches him up on her budding romance with John Franzen, her mother’s odd nocturnal bruises, a bedroom visitant, a puzzling odor of cigar smoke, and her daughter Danielle. I’m not posting the pictures of Danielle, unless someone really wants to see them. Linda wrote John two more letters, telling him about Mary Hyre’s worsening condition, and urging him to write, call, or visit. (He did write and call, but couldn’t visit.) I don’t think I’ll post those either. But here’s the letter.
September 28, 2015
September 21, 2015
This is probably Mary Hyre’s last letter to John. It was written Dec. 15, 1969; she died two months later. She mentions the dedication of the Silver Memorial Bridge, which had taken place that day, and some gossip about their mutual friends. Linda is Linda Scarberry, one of the first Mothman witnesses; Mabel and Parkie are Linda’s mother and father. It’s written in light ink, and is hard to read, so I’ll transcribe it.
Well, the big day is over, it was so bad only about 5,000 people attended, also the President didn’t make it, so that cut the crowd down a lot.
Sending you clippings of special we had Sunday, will send the dedication story after it comes out tomorrow.
It was nice talking with you Saturday night.
Linda said that John had called her, and that he was coming to the United States. I hope she doesn’t disappoint him, you never know about these young kids today, today they are in love with someone and tomorrow it is someone else.
I date this man some, and he wants to get married, and Sharon and John like him very much, and want [me] to marry him, but I told them I was the one who will be living with him.
He is jealous, and that I could never take. I went with [him] before I was even married, and [he] sure hasn’t changed, and you know me. I know too many people not to be friendly, and most certainly would never let anyone tell me not to speak with people.
I don’t have a clipping of my story of Moth Man, but will get one and send it [to] you.
I think Brenda is pregnant, of course Linda thinks she is too, but Mabel and Parkie do not know that. Mabel will go out of her mind. Her nerves is all that is wrong with her.
Well, it is time to back to work. Hope you are feeling better. Mary
September 18, 2015
I thought that I’d posted all of Mary Hyre’s letters, but I turned up another couple, in a folder containing letters and clippings about her death. This one is from November 4, 1969; there’s more on Roger and Linda Scarberry, a contactee who thinks he’s a Man In Black, and some strange experiences shared by Linda and Mary. Her handwriting is difficult if you’re not used to it, so I’ll transcribe it.
On the back of the last page she notes that the name of the man from Lorraine was Pat Matna. She gives an address and phone number, but I’ll leave those off.
Well, as you already know, I never write letters, but promise myself every day I will write to you. The weather has been just beautiful here, but rather cold.
You will be surprised to hear this, but John the Swede was back this last week. If you talk with the MacDaniels don’t tell them, let them tell you.
He has fallen in love with Linda, and she plans to go to Sweden as soon as she can get a divorce. They keep asking me to give my opinions on this, and that is something I will not tell her to do.
Roger is no good, and she and the baby went hungry half the time, and [I] think he stayed away for days, and I do not blame her for leaving him. She is back home now.
Linda will make a man a good wife if they treat her half-way right. I think John would be good to her and make her feel like she is someone.
This is a funny world! I have been contacted by a man who says he has been contacted by the men in black, and has been told that he is one of them, and for him to start wearing black, and that they are lovable people.
He said that I am one of these people and that I will be contacted later, and my life will be changed – – they are not going to hurt me. He says you are of the same group.
He called me again this morning. He lives in Lorraine, Ohio. I have his name and address at the office. I don’t [know] what to think about this guy.
He was at the convention, and said he looked for three days in Pt. Pleasant and couldn’t find me, that’s not true because I am not that hard to find.
Well, I stopped and made some peanut
cookies for the kids.
Sharon’s husband leaves for the Navy Nov. 18 and will be stationed at Great Lakes for 10 weeks, and then he could be sent most anywhere.
Perhaps she will go with him when he is in port for a while and can be with him, I think it will be nice for them to live different places. I sure would like to be able to travel abroad, I get so tired of working but might as well like it.
My back still hurts me a lot, but maybe it will feel good when it stops hurting.
How are you feeling? Hope your book is coming along OK.
Well, it looks like when Linda and [I] go into the TNT area things just happen. We just about got the life frightened out of [us] the other night at the power house. Sharon and John, her husband, were with us, but they didn’t see what we did. I thought it was going to stop my heart. I will explain it to you later. Linda and I have been about to go to pieces with hearing the heart beat at the same time, and our right ear feels like it is going to burst.
When [we] hear this it usually is about 1 am or later, and we can call one another, and before either one says what’s wrong, we know it is happening to the other.
The bridge opening is set for Dec. 15.
Hope you can get here for it. That would be the second anniversary of the collapse of the Silver Bridge. I have some strange dreams. Maxine and I were the first two women to walk the bridge.
Write me a line when you have time, and try and come to see us.
You can stay with us.
As ever, Mary
August 25, 2015
The Great International Sex Conspiracy, to be written under John’s preferred pseudonym, Randolph Halsey-Quince, was to be a humor book about sex, in the form of a mock conspiracy treatise. It had another working title:
He got as far as an incomplete table of contents and the first chapter.
The first chapter follows, on another page. The conspiracy is revealed at last!
August 18, 2015
I thought I’d posted everything about the New York Fortean Society, which John directed from 1987 to 1994, but I just came across this sheet. It’s the invitation to the first meeting, on September 19, 1987. A historic occasion!
August 4, 2015
Just a little anecdote for synchronicity fans: A number of years ago (I forget exactly when), I went to a library sale in Manhattan. Near the check-out was a stack of old copies of The Realist, which I happily scooped up. As it turned out, I knew the volunteer at the cash box, comedy historian Ron Smith, and so chatted with him as I paid, rather than look at the magazines.
It was only when I got back home that I saw that they were John’s subscription copies. When I told him, he laughed, saying, “I threw those out years ago. You bought my garbage!”
John was a friend and fan of editor Paul Krassner, and, as Satyr-man buffs know, put him into his superhero spoof, The Fickle Finger of Fate.
July 27, 2015
This is the last letter in John’s folder of Mary Hyre’s letters. She wrote it on March 24, 1968, and mailed it the next day, John’s birthday. She died on February 15, 1970. I assume they kept in touch by phone; they may have written other letters that John didn’t keep in this folder.
John wrote “MIB” on the envelope: the letter does describe a visit from a “strange visitor” with an intense interest in UFOs. There’s also a report on strange phone calls, and an update on Mothman witnesses Roger and Linda Scarberry.
July 4, 2015
June 30, 2015
The next letter from Mary Hyre was written on January 14, 1968, a month after the collapse of the Silver Bridge (December 15, 1967). She tells John about some of the aftermath of the disaster, as well as a few UFO sightings, including one of her own. Jack Brown makes a reappearance, although, of course, he could be a different one. The Messenger is the paper that Mary wrote for; they did print a large article about the disaster, which John saved. (Also, in case anyone is wondering, I’m scanning each page in two sections because Mary Hyre wrote on oversize paper that won’t fit on my scanner.)
June 24, 2015
John intended these photos for the Newsletter, but didn’t put them in the tenth issue, and that was the last one he printed. He typed out captions for them, which I attach to the proper photo. It’s a good thing I recognize these people. I don’t recognize the man with Dr. Grosso, though; maybe somebody out there can identify him.