Dear Lucile:

This is Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 a. m. in Eugene. Within the next few hours you three should be taking over the beautiful new home; and as I think of it, I too feel happy and excited along with you.

Later, p. m.

You were lucky in your book-hunting! Man-Song and Wayfaring are both a bit scarce. I hope your dealer was not aware of the scarcity. You say you are are reading Man-Song again. Last night I dreamed I was reading it, and I came across a corking passage I had not known in a poem I had never heard of — but it was mine. For a moment after waking I almost knew the passage, but it evaporated. I can tell you it was good poetry. It felt great! I wish I could find it again. (Incidentally, there must be some really good poetry down in there someplace, waiting to be found.)

Sandy Gray is here! He has re-entered the graduate school, and he says he has 30 hrs, on a Ph.D But, he is married and everything, and there is a baby on the way. They are living in a trailer which she owns.

She has a teaching job at Hickman High. (Sandy has grown obese.) We are supposed to move ahead with recording. I hope it may be so.

So you were in Moscow! I wonder if my old friend, Harrison Clifford Dale (sometime president of the University & author of the Ashley-Smith Explorations, is still living. I wish I could have rejoined you for that Idaho trip.

We begin school here a week from today, Sep. 15. (You see this is a serial letter, and already it's Tuesday). I was in my office several days ago and met young Dr. Jones who follows Moffett and will be next to my desk. He is a lovable fellow, & he was clearly happy to see me. Evidently someone had said something nice about me to him. We'll click, I know. But, Lucile, something good and dear has ended forever. For 10 1/2 years Moffett and I sat there side by side, speaking when and as we pleased about this, that, or anything. We knew each other, & there were no fences. That's through. Blessed years!

But why should anything last forever? Why should I be as fortunate as I've been and am? As I look back, I note so many great changes in my life. Each one seemed saddening; and yet I would not return to the far side of any of those changes for anything. The pattern is good. You'ns are 2000 miles away, but that makes you dearer, requiring more effort to see you. (I can "zuzz" out to see you! Can't I?)

My friend, Dr. Slade Kendrick of Cornell University spent Sat. afternoon with me. He is a dear. His specialty is Finance with emphasis on taxation. He will testify before a Congressional committee again this month. Your dissertation was mentioned and he said, "I want that lady's address. She is going to get a letter from me, for I have something to tell her." So I suppose you'll hear. I hope he uses a typewriter. His handwriting is a bit trying! (How's mine?!)

I don't know the poet Stafford, and he isn't in Who's Who; but if he likes my stuff, he is a gentleman and a scholar. Just the same, nice lady, I'm glad you beat him to those books!

Yes, someday we will watch a horse-show together. Maybe my Creation's Queenie will be showing. If so, maybe you will help me yell when she comes by floating high in that marvelous trot of hers! (She is a fine-harness pony, you know). Or maybe the two (or three or four ) of us will stand at the turn of the track as the five-gaited horses charge by — big, beautiful, sleek creatures! And as they turn, we'll feel their fragrant, explosive breaths on our faces! It's a wonderful feeling! They are so gorgeously alive, so haughtily beautiful!

It's queer, Lucile. Old, half-forgotten pieces of patterns have been coming back the last two or three years — completing circles. A number of old acquaintances or friends have suddenly remembered me after many, many years, and written me. Recently there was Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff, and now here comes William Stanley Braithewaite, of all people! He begins by explaining who he is (!!) Says he was one of the first to praise Hugh Glass & refers to his review in "the old Boston Transcript." (As tho' I could forget that wonderful article!!) He wants me to contribute a poem to an anthology on the Civil War! Of course, I cannot.

Do you ever have time to go back over our trip in imagination? I do that, and it's a joy.

I may have had an "experience" last Sunday. Hilda & Gail were here an hour or so, and they did some woman-magic about the place. I was in the basement under the dirty clothes chute, & they were directly above in the region of the bathroom and adjacent bedrooms. There was a mess of dirty clothes on the concrete floor instead of being in the basket. I reached down to gather them up, and there came a sound as of knuckles tapping a solid wooden surface — 1, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6. Then, after a brief interval the sounds were repeated. The sounds seemed close to me & were quite distinct. I rushed upstairs & asked if Hilda or Gail had heard the sounds. They had not, and they said they had done nothing to make the sounds. Since I am the only witness, I don't make too much of the matter, but, according to me it was very clear & I can't explain it.

It has been very hard to get this letter written, because I don't like you at all, and I don't like any of the Alys.(*) (Or do I?) That trip we had together was a perfectly horrible experience, and I hope it may happen again as soon as possible.

Love to each of you Three.


(*) I do too like you! The very idea!! Who said I didn't?!

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.
_______ AirMail
COLUMBIA, MO. SEP 9 230 PM 1959



Dr. Lucile Aly, 1158 22nd Ave., East, Eugene, Oregon.