Dear Lucile:

I was mighty glad to receive your good typewritten letter, and I am looking forward eagerly to the visit sometime in April —— or, could it be early in May?

I have a very special reason for this particular letter. A student friend of mine, Tom Richards, is working on his doctor's dissertation, which is concerned with my criticism. He has been put off so long by the department that he finds himself crowded for time. He wants to finish his dissertation in August, as he as a job beginning in September, an assistant professorship at Cape Girardeau. He has conceived the idea that he might shorten the search for some of the source data by appealing to you. In short, he has suggested coming to Oregon with me and staying in the YMCA. I told him that I was a guest and had no right to invite him to come, and that I had no idea what you could or would care to do by way of putting him in touch with sources. You will see the position I am in. I am sympathetic in the matter of his dissertation, but I have told him that I haven't the slightest idea what you can do to help him and that you and I would be busy on the biography. You will hear from him, and I am sure you will do the kindest thing that can be done in keeping with the fact that I would really like to see him succeed with his dissertation. What he is doing would in no way detract from your plan for selecting and editing the essays.

Tom is a good fellow, one of my strong fans, but this does embarass me a bit, as you will understand.

Yes, certainly, the best time to be eighteen years old is when you are actually eighteen. There seems to be no reason to doubt the statement. As for Jingle, you can tell her that I send three "arfs" and two "woofs" to her.

Did I tell you about the "Top Ten Persons" in Nebraska Century of statehood? It seems to me now that I haven't done so. A poll of teachers of history and historians of the state chose the ten. The significance of this is seen not only in the others chosen but also in those who were not selected. For instance, General Pershing. Among those chosen were Bryan, Sen. George Norris, Willa Cather, Count Creighton, J. Sterling Morton, etc. I, a mere poet, actually got No. 9 in the list, but the astonishing thing is that the historians chose a poet at all! I am willing to take my chances with those chosen, for when you come to think of it, Bryan's contribution, for instance, would seem rather slender in another hundred years.

I am going back to Lincoln the first week of April for another big autographing party at Miller and Payne's in Lincoln. They are putting on a big luncheon for me. I suppose it's big, since they mentioned the "speaker's table". Also, I will talk at a convention of retired teachers, and fill a methodist church pulpit. I have been asked to speak about Black Elk in the church. That's doing pretty well for a Methodist, isn't it? Fifty years ago, Methodists would have had a different view of my contribution.

The affair at Kansas City was lovely. It included important officials from Washington, and Indian officials from all over the country. I gave the Black Elk prayer at the banquet, and there were indications that they loved it.

A student and I are going through the letters and MSS here at the library, and we are hoping to be able to find the Holm MS . I'm sure it's in one of the folders. I am amazed at the stuff there is in that collection. It's really thrilling to go through it!

Have you corrected the factual errors that I have indicated on MSS you sent me and that I returned? I do hope so, for it is a big job, and ought to be finished before I come.

This carries the same old affection for you and Bower. (I am really eager to see you both!)

With the old affection, for both you and Bower,

John N.

Richards has piled up a lot of material —— a great many Xerox copies, etc. He's a very hard-working researcher.

JOHN G. NEIHARDT Skyrim, Route 7
Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, [M?]O 65201 MAR23 [?]PM 1967
Via Air Mail


Dr. Lucile Aly 1138 Twenty-Second Ave., East EUGENE, OREGON 97403