Dear John:

It was good to hear from you again, and to know that you are willing to talk to Mrs. Aly. She and her husband, Dr. Bower Aly, head of the Speech Department at the University of Oregon, will drive up to see you. Of course, Mrs. Aly will write to you first and make an appointment.

You probably remember a long "poem" I wrote called "Chalboa". I dedicated it to John E. W. Chaffee. When "The Divine Enchantment" was printed, I destroyed all of my manuscripts, including "Chalboa". If you recall anything about this, Mrs. Aly will interested. I remember I used to recite some of the stuff I was writing when you and I took walks. Maybe you will recall this. Mrs. Aly will be interested in the adventures we had. No other kids were doing such things. Do you remember the trip down to the Elkhorn River in the mud and long heavy August rain? And do you remember how we walked to Lyons after supper (10 miles) to hear Tosi play his harp in a saloon there? We did this at least twice — walked 20 miles to hear a little Italian play his harp. And, by golly! he could play!

Do you remember when you and I ran 5 miles out to the home of Fanny Skiles in the country? That was a good run! The walk from Sumner; The Helping Hand Institute; the nights we slept holed up in sand along the Missouri River; the time we walked to Winside to celebrate the 4th of July! There are so many memories! They'd make a heck of a good boy book if properly written up.

It was good to read what you said of my mother. She has been gone 22 years, & she was 76 years old when she went. She had a lovely home right next to ours in Branson, Mo., the resort country. And your mother? I remember one night when I was staying with you, we got up late in the night and went down to the kitchen to make cider out of apple jelly you had in a big barrel. We were boiling it when your mother appeared! We thought she would be angry at us, but she wasn't at all. She was sweet, & she helped us make the cider. And your Dad! By golly, he was a good man in every way, and a real mechanic in his work.

I'm afraid you and I worried our parents a bit in those days!! We did feel our oats!

I'm sending a copy of A Cycle of the West for old time's sake. Read the preface first. I read the Cycle of the West to a large class each semester, and talk as I go along. They sit like charmed mice & listen. Now I have 110 in the class, many of them graduate students.

John, old horse, I know you're sad, and I do understand. I wish I could lift you right out of your present mood. If I could, I'd be willing to lift hard. John, we're getting closer to the greatest and most wonderful adventure in life! Getting born is a tough job; and getting born into the next life seems just as tough. If you and I could know how it will be, I'll bet we'd laugh with joy. This belief is based upon what is really known, not on conventional religious ideas at all.

Your old pal

John Neihardt