Dear Lucile:

What good news in yours of 3-29! Bower back at the University! It doesn't seem possible, altho' of course, considerable time has passed since I saw him last at the hospital. I hope he doesn't overwork.

And the new home! Hurrah! I felt pretty sure Bower would buy that one, from the way he spoke of it. I'm so glad you will have so beautiful a home, and you three will make it a gracious one.

Yes, yes, do plant "carnations — pink and white" at the back door! You are dear and good. And the Lyric program! I knew it would be a real success, and was very eager to hear about it. I have not read the love poetry in public. Once, years ago, I was reading for the Fine Arts Society in Dallas, and when we had all become like intimate friends, someone spoke up and asked for something in the Bundle. I refused, but they all got after me, and so I began reading. But I hadn't gone far when I knew I couldn't do it. So I said, "No, by golly! I just won't!" I've read the lyrics that would make a good, hard-hitting program, and they always wow large audiences. You say you sometimes suspect I myself don't "realize what the lyrics are", I did long ago, Lucile, and I still believe in them in a deep, whole-souled way. But the whole Cycle has intervened since I wrote them so long ago. You have come to them for the first time, in your maturity; and the impact on your mind, your heart, your spirit (a trinity that I could easily regard with worship) is overwhelming, as you suggest. You were ripe for them when you found them, and I can believe that your interpretation is better than mine, far better.

But did you wear the lavender dress? Or did the flu head you off? No matter; a kitchen dress would do — and maybe a crisp and tidy apron!

So the flu came back for an encore? But you were getting over it when you wrote. I've had a touch of it, for a week, but didn't get down; and now I seem over it. I've been having to fight sadness a bit at Skyrim. It doesn't get any better. I told you of the tea roses I bought for the south side of the house. The other day I had to buy more, and I know I'll want to fill the whole place before I stop. Yet, I doubt that I'll stay there all summer.

My grader, John Switzer, is a fine young man in every way — and neat as a good woman. I cook and he cleans up the kitchen. We have a "colored lady" once a week!

Sigurd is slowly living down his radiation sickness. He must be examined at long intervals to make sure that the malignancy is stopped. He and Max want to move to Arizona, and they may do so.

Yes, I certainly do recall the book-selling (?) trip to Laurel. I was trying to sell a subscription work called "Footprints of Four Centuries" to farmers. They were all kind, but no one was looking for footprints. I reached Laurel greatly discouraged. I remember sitting on the railway station platform as the sun was going down, debating with myself. Should I keep on or call it quits? Secretly I knew I'd never sell a book. So finally I started home, walking straight as a crow flies, across fields, over fences, until I struck the road near Wayne. I seemed to get some sort of satisfaction from ignoring the roads! It was late when I reached home well licked! No important incident, surely; but you brought it up.

I don't know anything definite about the way Fetterman died, except that he fell off his horse with an arrow in his belly, — so Indians said! They may not have known this man was the leader, but they thought he was. You know some say Custer shot himself. I think, under such circumstances, with so many enemies and so much excitement, I wouldn't think of suicide. I wonder if they did.

"The epic of the individual soul" rings a faint bell in the back of my head. There was an appreciative article on The Quest in the N. Y. Times — by Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff I half-way believe that may have contained the statement House quoted.

Do you know anything about Blanche S. W.? Have you seen any of her letters? There's a letter from her after she became a grandmother that I hope you have seen. (About a poem I wrote for her before I knew Mona).

Much of the time — when I'm not busy with my classes — I long to be 30,000 feet up in a plane, bound for god-knows-where! I'm happy with my classes. I am happy about your new home. May it be truly the House of Happiness! And why not?

Affection always —

John N.

I haven't said much.

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.
________ Air Mail
COLUMBIA, MO. AP[?] 330PM 1959



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Dr. Lucile Aly, 1086 East 21st, Eugene, Oregon.