Dear Lucile:

I waited a rather longish time for that latest letter of yours, but it was worth the waiting and it did me a lot of good. Thanks again, good lady!

I wasn't really sick — just a bit under par, physically unhappy. I doubt that anyone noticed it. I've had neither flu nor a cold, and don't know why.

I'm deeply interested in the disposition of my belongings, such as they are; for I feel the time is right for my thinking about my going hence. God knows I have no moribund or funereal feeling, but it's a certainty that one must go on (and a joyous reality too); so plans ought to be made, if only to help the family do its stuff! It means a great deal to me that the University officials from the President down are enthusiastic about making a sort of Neihardt "shrine" (It's not my word) with my library, Mona's bust (to be put in bronze) and other Neihardtiana, in the new wing of the University Library. It's a pitiable notion, in the larger view, I know; but it's forgivably human. And I like to think that there will be a sort of spiritual home for what came through me and what I dreamed of becoming and what I and, to some extent, what I became. If this were only vanity, I'd know, but surely it's more. Something good might well happen to an occasional visitor there — maybe the sort of thing that does surely happen to many of my students. It could be so, Lucile, and I do like to think it will be so in some degree.

As for the letters you speak of, you have precedence over everyone in the matter of using Neihardt materials, now and hereafter as long as you live, if my wish is honored.

I'll write Bower in reply to his letter, which I greatly appreciate. The points he makes are well taken; and what I want, and am working for, is a combination that will include the Congressional Library and the Neihardt Library. I feel this can and will be brought about. Our Librarian, Parker, knows the officials at the Congressional Library and he will reply to the letter I received, asking for my papers. President Ellis is just back from Asia, and he too, I'm told, is enthusiastic about the plan, and wants me to meet with him and the others on next Tues. or Thurs. — probably the former.

I have the largest class in Epic America I've had in 12 years. There are 185. We moved from Hill Hall to BPA 208, then to the Library auditorium. My Critical Essay class is too large — 13. I wanted six, now I must have an assistant to take the eye-strain. My poor old eyes! If I stay on at the University some years, or even two or three years, I can see myself using the tape recording of the Cycle. Wouldn't that be fun?! I could sit there listening to myself, applauding frequently and commenting with enthusiasm!! Wow!!

It was comical the first day of the semester when we had a room full and a crowd buzzing in the hall outside! It looked like a small riot! I can't think what made so many want the course this semester. Do they think maybe I'll be gathered to my fathers next year!!?

Yes, Lucile, I know what you mean when you thank me for the things that come through me; and I do prize your appreciation. It means very much to me. I do love to be praised; but when I am praised for what does come through now & then, my heart aches a bit and I am almost ashamed (I'll not elaborate the point for you. You know what I mean, but please don't quit praising me now & then, even so!).

I suppose you gave your Wars program last Tuesday. I know it was a bully job, because you do understand and you know how to put it across. I wish I could have seen and heard you. The purple dress, the purple heart necklace, and those lines coming out of your mouth! Yes, "the rage of common sense". Also, "about the bitter honey of their woe They swarmed and moaned."

The older I grow, the more I marvel at the woman spirit.

I'll send you a list of the books I'm using in Critical Essay. I hope this class may succeed as others have done; but I'm always uncertain at first.

Love to each of you

John Neihardt Route 5 Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, MO. FEB 13 1130AM 1960
Air Mail



Dr. Lucile Aly, 1138 22nd Ave., East Eugene, Oregon.