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Who is Dewey Webster?
Welcome to the web page of the legendary Dewey Webster. Dewey is both a folk hero and urban legend. Born in the 1920s, he made his impact in the world mostly in the 1940s and in the 1950s.
He was a farmer, actor, pulp fiction writer and gun collector. Born in Tennessee, he was the youngest of three sons born to a farm family. His older brothers, Huey and Louie, were very watchful of Dewey through the years.
When Dewey was born, the doctor had to do a forceps delivery. Then, he dropped Dewey, with Dewey landing on his head. No obvious damage to Dewey was found. However, Dewey sometimes thinks strangely and says unusual things. Yet, people who know him says he has a common sense type of wisdom. As Dewey would often say, “Not much gets past ol’ Dewey.”
Dewey’s thinking process may have been further altered when he played college football at the University of Southern California. Dewey had a bad habit of forgetting his helmet. He started having headaches then, which recur from time to time.
Dewey attended USC on a football scholarship. It was there that he discovered his talent for acting. Now, Dewey is about the last person you would think would be an actor. He is a large, burly character and speaks with what some would call a “hick” accent. Dewey took acting classes because he figured he would find pretty girls in those classes. He never made it far with any of the girls, but his acting talent emerged.
Unfortunately for Dewey, a knee injury forced him to quit football. He dropped out of school, but not before he had made some connections. Those connections led to a series of acting jobs in New York. Dewey never made it to Broadway. He mostly performed in off-off-off-Broadway shows, none of which ran for very long. Dewey later learned that the shows were primarily tax write-offs for the producers.
While in New York for an acting gig, Dewey discovered pulp fiction magazines. After reading one, he figured he could write better stories than the ones in the magazines. Dewey did well in English in high school, which he attributed to staying awake in English class and wanting to please the very attractive young female English teacher.
Dewey started submitting stories to pulp magazines. After a few rejections, he found success.
Dewey lived alone on the family farm, which had been in the Webster family for five generations. His parents mysteriously left the farm when he was a young adult. They periodically contacted him, but he rarely sees them. His brothers decided that Dewey should take care of the farm, in part because they were uncertain if he could sustain an income that would allow him to live anywhere else.
His favorite activity was listening to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games over the radio in the summer, with his dog at his side.
Dewey was married for a few years. However, his wife began to become critical of him, accusing him of being a no-good slob. Dewey promptly threw her out. They fought over ownership of the dog, which Dewey kept.
Then one day, his wife showed up at his door with a couple of lawyers. Dewey didn’t quite understand what he called their “legal mumbo-jumbo,” but somehow ended up giving up the dog.
If that wasn’t enough, his wife filed for divorce and tried to get possession of the farm. Dewey, who by that point had developed an intense dislike of lawyers, was desperate. While in New York on an acting job, he asked his producer if he knew a good lawyer. He was referred to Samuel T. Gagliano II.
Dewey was puzzled why it was so hard to find a cab driver who would drive him to Gagliano’s offices. When he finally got there, the neighborhood appeared somewhat run-down and downright scary.
Gagliano said he would take care of Dewey’s problem for $100 in cash, a lot of money back in the 1940s.
Dewey went back to the farm, scrounged up all of the money he had, and also sold a couple of guns from his treasured firearm collection. He went back to New York, where Gagliano gave him a letter to show to anyone who tried to take away the farm. Dewey forked over the $100.
When his now ex-wife and her lawyers showed up to throw out Dewey, he presented them with the letter. The lawyer who read it turned white, then started sweating. He said that Gagliano was linked to organized crime.
The letter threatened to counter-sue Dewey’s ex-wife and tie up the divorce in court for years. The lawyer reasoned that the legal fees eventually would be more than the value of the farm. So, they withdrew the claim and settled the divorce.
Dewey’s whereabouts after about 1957 are a mystery. There have been reports of an individual strongly resembling Dewey appearing in the 2010s. There is an urban legend that Dewey’s brother, Huey, a government scientist, built a time machine. In the 2010s, Dewey’s distant cousin Tim has been known to tell stories of Dewey’s 21st century activities.
Dewey’s 1940s adventures are the topic of the Dewey Chronicles series. All three of his adventures are featured in The Dewey Chronicles!