From the Armstrong Sperry Papers at the Thetford VT Historical Society, used with permission.
633 Radcliffe Ave
11 March 1974
Dear Mr. Sperry,
Thank you so much for the copy of CALL IT COURAGE, and the fine inscription. That's so kind of you. It makes me feel very happy, and that all work is worthwhile. You know it is when you're doing it, and then it's over and you feel a loss, and then later, out of the blue, something comes like your letter, like your book, and that's the best feeling of all. We have the book ready at hand. My wife is so proud of it and what you wrote in it, and my little 10 year old daughter brings her school friends in to show them.
I'm on another Disney job. I do about one a year, plus other TV shows, but I like best to work for Disney. No pressure, it's easy and casual, and Roy has very good story sense. I work at home but on occasion go into the studio and it's like going back to school again, with brick buildings like a very small college in the middle west, and people ambling about and the streets named after Mickey and Minnie and Goofy. Last year I did a story about a boy and a pelican. Roy called me in and asked me how I felt about pelicans. "Deeply," I told him, and so I worked up a story about the brown pelican being an endangered species and all that and this boy down in Baja California. Luckily I got talking to two ornithologists working for the Fish and Wildlife and we chartered a very small Mexican airplane and flew down to the Bahia de los Angeles, and from there out into the middle of the Sea of Cortez and spent two weeks on Guardian Angel island, sleeping in bags, eating Government C rations and the fish we caught and banding about 200 baby brown pelicans a day. Nice material.
Now tomorrow I'm going to Santa Rosa island, off Santa Barbara with two Marine Biologists. Roy likes Santa Rosa island and I'll poke around there and try to come up with a story line.
It must make you feel very proud that CALL IT COURAGE is never out of print, that it's displayed grandly on the rack as a Newberry Prize Winner. It's a classic.