answered 3/3/71
Dear John:

Many thanks for your letter of February 15. Immediately on receiving it I arranged a conference with Dr. John R. Shepherd, Director of Broadcasting for the University of Oregon. He is going to write at once to his friends in the Public Broadcasting Service (they are the people now doing Masterpiece Theatre, with the program "The First Churchills") to urge them to get busy on the offer you report from Mr. Cavett. On his own he wishes:

(1) To use the entire four-hour tape, if it can be had intact from ABC on a public service basis, to use in a closed-circuit program. (This means that it would go out only to the campus and hence would escape conflict with other uses that might be envisioned for it on the public broadcasts.)

(2) To develop live a one-hour program for public broadcast over KOAC. This program would feature the life of Neihardt, with special reference to "The Story of Jed Smith," who died in Oregon

not so
and hence establishes a story contact. Dr. Shepherd has suggested using Lucile in this program, and I think that a good idea. Do you? Aside from her knowledge of Neihardt (we share one fact in common: she knows a good deal about each of us that we don't know ourselves), her appearance on a TV program would raise the level of pulchritude about 207 per cent!

Lucile is working as steadily as her manifold duties at the University of Oregon will permit to shorten the biography. Although I am not entirely in sympathy with the idea of reducing it by a third, I must admit that so doing will enable the publisher to price it so as to make it more readily available; and I hope that the price may be still further reduced in a paper-back edition, one to appear in drug stores and other places where books are displayed. The entire manuscript will of course be deposited in archives (it is Xeroxed) available to scholars who in the future will wish to consult the whole. The one point on which Lucile has wisely insisted--and I concur--is that nobody else shall touch the work--she is to do it herself. This doubtless slows us down a bit, for she has a heavy load of teaching. Next month, however, she and I both begin a sabbatical leave. She plans to go over to the Coast and hide away until the revision is complete. As soon as we complete our labors on her book and a textbook we are doing jointly, we expect to go to London, where I have to do some reading in the British Museum.

It occurs to me that it has been quite a spell since 1926, when I read (rather spoke) a two-hour Neihardt program in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.** If we can save enough time to go by sea to England (rather than direct from Portland via air), I would like to go through Lincoln, or wherever you are likely to ba in late April or May, and pay you a day's visit. I would wish to drink a draft to the departed spirit of Harold Moffett (requiescat in pace), to whom I shall always be indebted for introducing me to poems of John G. Neihardt.

Yours faithfully,

Bower Aly
CC: Dr. Lucile F. Aly
Dr. John Shepherd

Today all the wiseacres tell me it is a breach of taste, or something, to speak poetry. I should have read it from a printed text. My inward response is like that of Neihardt on the question of rhyme: I could speak it, for I knew it by heart, word for word-- "The Song of the Indian Wars."