Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"What's the news this morning, Mr. MacGregor?"

Shortly after the Robert Benchley Society was founded in 2003 this inquiry came in:
I happened by this site while trying to track down my genealogy. My grandfather was the Mr. MacGregor in this quote [used as the title of this post]. His name was Charles MacGregor and used to work for Mr. Benchley. They were good friends as well and stayed in contact with my grandmother and mother after my grandfather's death.

My mother pulled out a box of letters written from him today. He was a very funny man. And also a good friend to my family. In one letter he told my grandmother that my mother should get some of the money for "No News is Good News" since he got the idea from her based on a newspaper that she and her friend created. My mother and her friend were 10 at a time and wanted to play newspaper but didn't actually want to produce one. That was their motto. She also has letters from Ernest Hemmingway written to my grandfather and grandmother. Those were also very humorous.

Anyway, I don't really know what the point of this is. I guess I am just interested in finding more information about my grandfather. He died when my mother was 10 years old and we don't have a lot of information about other family members. I was wondering if perhaps you are aware of any references to Charles.

RBS chairman, David Trumbull, responded:
Thank you for contacting the Robert Benchley Society.

The Benchley essays in which Mr. MacGregor makes an appearance are among my favorites. So much so that for the essay index that the RBS is working on [since completed and available free on our website] I choose, as one of the keywords, "Mr. MacGregor."

There are several references to your grandfather in Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley, by Billy Altman and in Mr. B, Or Comforting Thoughts About the Bison, by Wes Gehring.

If I find anything else relating to your grandfather, I'll be sure to contact you.

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Robert Benchley Society

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