Thursday, January 03, 2013

Letter to U.S. Customs Office, 1987

January 2, 1987
Letter to U.S. Customs Office
From Gustav Hasford, Australia

To: U.S. CUSTOMS OFFICE, LOS ANGELES and Leaseway International Corporation, Carson, California

SUBJECT: Shipment from London, England, 124 pieces, 120 Royal Mail mailing cartons and four blue metal trunks

This letter is intended to be both an official customs declaration (as per form 3299) and my authorization to the U.S. Customs and to Leaseway Corporation for the purpose of naming my friend Robert M. Bayer my representative in the matter of clearing my shipment through customs.

Actually, I do not understand why this procedure cannot be delayed until my return to the United States, but since it is necessary for me to remain in Australia until the end of March, I see no alternative but to inconvenience my friend Bob, who has kindly agreed to deal with the paperwork.

CONTENTS OF THE SHIPMENT: First, I will tell you what it does NOT contain. There are no plants, animals, fur, bone, weapons (with the exception of a replica German officer's dagger), no explosives, liquors, perfumes, diamonds, counterfeit money, chemicals, food, or midgets. I've been through customs inspections in a lot of countries (Australian customs is the most strict, by far) and I can't think of anything in the shipment that anybody would object to.

What is in the shipment, primarily, are books. Books shipped to England from the U.S. by myself, and books purchased in England. There are several boxes of stationary supplies--pens, paper, index cards. In one box there is a plaster bust of John Keats, the English poet. I don't know what else. Just junk and papers. Newspaper clippings. Piles of notes and manuscripts and papers. And, of course, souvenirs of the usual tourist type, a brass Eiffel Tower, things like that.

I spent a year in London writing the screenplay for the upcoming Stanley Kubrick film, FULL METAL JACKET (see article attached) and I needed this ton of books and papers (600 pounds?) so that I might steal my ideas from the widest possible range of sources, the secret of good writing. If any additional information is required, please feel free to call me collect.

Gustav Hasford

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