In the 1950s, television screens were very small and fuzzy. Viewers usually only saw a TV show episode only once. As a result, people making TV shows didn’t have to pay attention to very small details because the home viewers would never see that level of detail.
Today, we have very big, high-definition television screens and can stop, rewind, and study any image that we see.
That’s what someone at Shorpy did while watching a second season installment of Leave It to Beaver. In the episode, Ward (Hugh Beaumont) reads a letter from Beaver’s (Jerry Mathers) principal, Mrs. Rayburn (Doris Packer). The letter is only onscreen for a few moments but it’s long enough to be able to freeze the frame and read the contents. Not surprisingly, it’s not exactly what Ward says.
The text of the letter essentially fills space but is interesting nonetheless. Because of the Lew Burdette reference to the second game of the World Series, we can tell that it was typed on October 2, 1958.
It was intentionally never revealed where Mayfield was actually located so you’ll also notice that there’s no state. Here’s what the letter really says…
Mr. Ward Cleaver
485 Mapleton Drive
My Dear Mr. Cleaver:
This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
It is here merely to fill up space. Still, it is words,
rather than repeated letters, since the latter might not
give the proper appearance, namely, that of an actual note.
For that matter, all of this is nonsense, and the only
part of this that is to be read is the last paragraph,
which part is the inspired creation of the producers of
this very fine series.
Another paragraph of stuff. Now is the time for all good
men to come to the aid of their party. The quick brown
fox jumps over the lazy dog. My typing is lousy, but the
typewriter isn’t so hot either. After all, why should I
take the blame for these mechanical imperfections, with
which all of us must contend. Lew Burdette just hit a
home run and Milwaukee leads seven to one in the series.
This is the last line of the filler material of the note.
No, my mistake, that was only the next to last. This is last.
I hope you can find a suitable explanation for Theodore’s