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    Gus Grissom Early Autograph Letter Signed to His Mother, Signed "Virgil". Four pages on two sheets of 7" x 10.5" Randolph Field, Texas, letterhead, October 11, 1950, with original transmittal envelope hand-addressed to "Mr & Mrs Dennis Grissom", postmarked October 12. Written to his mom as an Air Force cadet from the base where he trained for his service in the Korean War, it reads (in full): "Dear Mom, I suppose you thought I was never going to write. Well, I'm usually so tired that I've been going to bed as soon as it gets dark. Making a movie and keeping up with my 1st Sgts work is just about all I can handle. The worst part is that I haven't been flying this week. I was chosen as one of eight upper-classmen to be in small parts in the movies. They chose us by our voice and I was the first one picked. I've only been in small bit parts but maybe you will be able to see me on the screen if they don't cut out the parts I'm in. I get to say three words in one scene in a close up. I hope they leave that scene in. I'll be the first person you see in the movie, even if it is only the back of me that you see. Two of us are walking up toward a large building, and I'm the one on the right. Then today a group of ten of us were put in the front of a formation and we sang the Air Corps song while we marched into our hangar. In this scene you will be able to see me twice. I march in in [sic] the front of the flight, and then they stop the cameras and we get in single file and they put me back on the end of the line so I go in twice. Then the other scene we shot today was of the four actors who are cadets being shown the airplane. I'm in the plane right behind them for one shot and I'm in the plane right in front of them for another shot. Both times I'm getting into the cockpit, so maybe you will be able to see me. I got payed [sic] for the scene where I spoke, at least I signed for the pay. The Cadet fund gets the money. I got $55 for it. I got credit for it on my social security anyway. The name of the movie is 'Air Cadet' and it stars Steven McNally and Gail Russell. The others in it are Bobby Arthur, he's a rich man's son who is a cadet. James West is a cadet that gets washed out. He's from Corydon. Then there is Roc Hudson who is an upper classman and there are three others Dick Long, Eric something & Allen something. They are all nice guys and we have a lot of fun. The director and everyone connected with the movie are real nice. They know all of our names and they have invited us out to see them. We may take them up on it since Phoenix is only 350 miles from Los Angeles. Has Betty told you the news. I've got my assignment now. I'll be flying jets at Williams Field before very long. We won't leave here until the end of the month about the 26th I guess and we have to be at Phoenix the 4th I think. We haven't been told definitely yet. I was hoping to get to come home but I doubt if I make it, because Phoenix is even farther from home than San Antonio. I would have to have two weeks off before I could afford to come home. I don't feel like I can afford the money it would take for me to travel for less than a week at home. I would like to get home though. Maybe I'll be able to have Betty come to Phoenix though. Although I understand living quarters are hard to find, and that they are high. Also, the field is 40 miles from Phoenix. But I hope she can come down. I've got to close now. Love / Virgil". From the collection of Lowell Grissom, Gus's brother. Mailing folds, envelope lightly soiled, fine overall.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    12th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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