DEAR ABBY: I am a professional whistler and bird caller. Whenever people ask what I do for a living, my reply is often met with the question, "What is that?" About the best I can respond with is, "Someone who whistles."
My art is not at the height of its popularity, as it was in the early part of the last century. Whistlers are no longer featured with big bands as they once were; the late, great whistler Fred Lowery no longer headlines at Carnegie Hall or whistles the national anthem at Yankee Stadium; Elmo Tanner is not whistling "Heartaches" with Perry Como and the Ted Weems orchestra; and Muzzy Marcellino isn't whistling the sweet and plaintive theme song to "Lassie" that we all remember.
Abby, it's hard to deal with the fact that the art of whistling has become so far removed from the public. Could you kindly print my letter as a reminder to your readers that whistling is a beautiful art form with a rich heritage in America and elsewhere? (No name, please. This one's for the art.) -- THE WHISTLER, JENKS, OKLA.
DEAR WHISTLER: I'm pleased to do so. It's the truth. And I'm not whistling "Dixie."