Dear Lucile:

The long, long enervating spell of hot weather is over, and school has begun. You know that I've thought of you as much as ever this letterless while. Now I'm back in the harness at the University, and it's refreshing, I can tell you. Bless the young people! They are so dear. You know that last semester I had 176 in Epic America. Last Tuesday & Wed. were registration days, but they told me I needn't stay — they'd take care of my classes. I remarked to Dickinson, the new head of our department, that we'd probably have to make some more cards. He said he'd see to that. Students came in bunches to register in Epic America! Dickinson had 30 more cards made, but there was a line of 30 or 40 students wanting to take the course!! Dickinson closed the course because he thought our room would not hold anymore. Yesterday, Thursday, the class met, and a number of students came to me, asking if they could possibly be admitted. I then saw Dickinson. He was reluctant, but willing to go along with us. So God knows how many we'll have! Maybe we will be compelled to [hunt?] another auditorium. This is the end of the 12th year for Epic America, and it is more popular than ever. This in spite of the fact that my grader is "tough" and has that reputation.

My poetry class is bully. Fine young people who seem really interested and intelligent. I have 10 in the class. Would not take more.

I'm giving you news. The Westerners (New York "posse") want me to talk to them at their annual dinner in mid-Oct. The program committee evidently did not know that I was one of the

(It has spread all over America and into England and Germany!)
eleven founders of The Westerners!! They know my work ("as do all who know and love the West"), and would regard it as "a singular honor" to them if I'd speak to them. They will pay all expenses, flight fare etc. This should go well with my engagement at Cornell University on Oct. 19. (I'll be talking to classes on the 17th and 18th also). If the New York
("Address" is the verb used!!)
Westerners can have me on either the 14th or 21st of Oct., it will be swell.

I do wish we could be together for much needed talks on biographical matters. We've had a few talks, but they were rather sketchy, altho' even so, they helped a lot. I must begin making brief notes of all matters that occur to me. I was much impressed by the way you have arranged your notes. It's most remarkable if I am still in this world when you are writing the biography. could help, no end, by checking details, suggesting changes, helping to build the necessary mood of the situation. Maybe this can be so to some degree. (I hope to see you, Xmas.)

It's strange about the television program. Lambert, (who is the president's assistant for television) said recently that my course was the best they ever had. Twice he was tried to have it repeated. We had even made extensive plans for a course limited to the Wars & the Messiah (with Sioux culture). Each time Hudson stymied the matter. Why? (Hilda said to me slyly, "Dad, could you have been a bit too successful?" —!!).

H. is very friendly to me and he may be to blame.

I really never go to town but someone stops me and talks about my television courses both whites and negroes. Today a man stopped and said, "You don't know me, but I just loved your television program." There have been hundreds of people who have talked to me about the course, and asked if I'd be on again soon. Perhaps it doesn't matter — I suspect it doesn't much — but what the deuce?!?!

Lady, dear lady! You mean very much to this old man, because you are very important in the Pattern, and because you are you, also. I'm so glad you can feel, as you do; about the life. You will do a very fine, sensitive, and illuminating job, for you know your task is to reveal values. It will be worth doing, very much so. This thing is not dying; it is already among the enduring things and cannot be rubbed out. Fancy, for instance, any of the touted modernistic "poets" holding large classes of students with their "poetry" through, semester after semester!! Fancy them holding any crowd, sophisticated or roughneck, as the Cycle has done and can do anywhere anytime!!

—or the lyrics!

You told me recently that I should never be afraid to write anything to you. So I am bold enough to write what I know, being sure you will not regard me as merely egotistic. By god, dear lady, as you have so often said — and in your latest — there is impersonal greatness in what body of poetry for which I was the medium.

I think I know why so many more students are trying to get into Epic America. I gather, from hints here and there, that they feel I may soon drop out, either by retiring from the job, or from this world, and they don't want to miss the course. This could well be, as it certainly seems to me.

Alice's partner, Mr. Cook, was thrown by a new mare day before yesterday — a big, powerful mare. It was a great exhibition of "riding 'em rough" but Cook finally [?] out. The mare herself fell to the right when Cook went hurtling to the left. He has a broken collarbone & is badly shaken up up, but he will be all right. In the meanwhile, Alice has a greatly increased burden, but we'll have some way of solving the problem, Alice is very courageous, and does not worry. She is quite a gal. Cook is in the hospital — for perhaps a week.

Here is affection for old man Stewart. I'll bet he has grown & grown since I saw him. Bully! And I'll bet he has grown in more than body. He is a pal of mine, and I want him to remember that whenever whenever he feels a longing to kick someone out of bed, he knows where to come and be welcome!

And I like Bower too, just a little.

And Perky!! My gosh! Her Aunt Charlotte gave me a beautiful colored picture of her with her two houseguests. Tell her that I love to look at her picture, and that every time I do, I just tickle all over!! (Sweetheart doggie!)

Yo-Yo is still my constant and most faithful companion. Night and day she watches over me and clings to me like a my shadow. No one is worth such attention, I'd tell her, but she would not believe me if I did.

Did I tell you that old lady Lyn won first in the 14 year-and-under equitation contest at the State Fair? Our horses were half sick & faultily shod, but we did win five ribbons, none above third, (except Lynn's winning). Old Bourbon Stonewall (3 years old & a perfect horse) was greatly admired by the many horsemen, but he is yet only a big boy. Next year! Oh my goodness! Next year, he'll knock their eyes out!

I'm writing the new Introduction to Black Elk Speaks.

Yes, I must see the lectures on the mood of the moment, which you have.

Bless you, dear lady, lovely & learned!

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, M[O?] SEPT [?] 4-PM 1960


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