Will Rogers was a folk hero during the Depression and became – through his radio program, syndicated column, stage shows, and movies – the most beloved humorist and entertainer of his time. When his close friend, the artist Charles Russell, passed away in 1926, Rogers wrote the following letter to him and sent it to Russell's wife, Nancy:
I bet you hadn’t been up there three days until you had out your pencil and was drawin’ something funny. And I bet you that a whole bunch of those great old joshers was just a waitin’ for you to pop in with all the latest ones.
And I bet they are regular fellows when you meet ‘em, ain’t they? Most big men are.
Well, you will run into my old Dad up there, Charley, for he was a real cowhand, and I bet he’s runnin’ a wagon. And you will pop into some well-kept ranchhouse over under some cool shade trees, and you will be asked to dinner, and it will be the best one you ever had in your life. Well, when you are thankin’ the women folks you just tell the sweet lookin’ little old lady that you knew her boy, back on an outfit you used to rope for, and tell the daughters that you knew their brother, and if you see a cute little rascal runnin' around there with my brand on him, kiss him for me.
Well, can’t write any more, Charley, paper’s all wet, it must be raining in this old bunkhouse.
From your old friend,