Dear. Dr. Neihardt,

As you can tell from the enclosed Christmas letter, the Winkelmans are quite happily settled in Albany. We find the people very friendly and the town itself is relaxed and personal, almost like a small town in New England. Traffic is heavy, but there is none of the frantic nervousness of New York City.

John is working very hard but enjoys his new duties. His colleagues at the University are very agreeable. He has a very interesting staff which includes several aristocrat-intellectual emigres from the U.S.S.R. and a Chinese professor, formerly an eminent professor on the Mainland, who fled China so that his eldest daughter would not have to become a factory worker. (For administrative purposes, Chinese and Russian are grouped with German.)

I'm enjoying my courses in American history and New York State history. After all, history is pretty much the same everywhere — just a change of characters — new villains, new villains heroes. In this case, I've exchanged Buffalo Bill for DeWitt Clinton and Wild Bill Hickok for Boss Tweed. It's human drama, and therefore interesting.

You'll be interested to know that I have two separate persons, currently in England, on the trail of the Hamilton-Palmer manuscripts of Hugh Glass. One is the wife of our chairman at the Univeristy of Waterloo. She and her husband are doing research in England this year and she has promised to look for the manuscript. The other person is the wife of a visiting professor of French here at Albany. He is from the University of London and is teaching here this year. His wife was here briefly in the fall but had to return to England to care for her elderly father. She has connections in Bristol where the Hamilton papers were sent, and she's quite interested in the project. So, who knows? Maybe we'll turn up old Hugh Glass after all these years.

We'd surely love to see you again. Can't you come to see us next spring? I'll take you up to Saratoga to see all the horses. We do hope you're in good health and full of the old bounce once more.


Phyllis Winkelman

P.S. I'm enclosing an article on poet lecturers which appeared recently in the New York Times Magazine.



Another year, another address! Christmas 1966 finds the wandering Winkelmans in Albany, New York, where John is chairman of the Department of Germanic and Slavic languages at the State University of New York at Albany. Originally Albany State Teachers College (for secondary teachers), SUNYA is one of the showpieces of the vast system of new State Universities and colleges in New York. In August the university moved into its magificient new $103,000,000 campus, designed by Edward Durrell Stone and situated on 360 acres of land in northwest Albany.

Correction! The university moved into that part of the campus which was deemed sufficiently finished so that classes could be held in the buildings. Only two of four projected twenty-three-story dormitories (each accomodating 2500 students) have been completed, so that many students have to be "bussed" from the old downtown campus. And, as at the University of Waterloo, professors have to teach in competition with air hammers and bulldozers as construction continues.

We came to Albany, August 3, and had hardly unpacked our belongings when John had to move the German Department into its new quarters. You guessed it! In the move, filing cabinets were delivered to the wrong offices, cartons full of essential files went astray, and the new desks ordered for the offices failed to arrive! And, unbelievably, there stood a spang new shining library, but somewhere along the bureaucratic chain of command someone had neglected to order shelves for the books!

But, surprisingly enough for such a tremendous undertaking, classes began September 21, and the university was launched on a new and splendid era. John finds his new position challenging (and harassing at times) but he is also thrilled to be one of the architects of a total graduate program (he is adding twenty-five new graduate courses in German next year) that hopefully will develop the university into a great academic institution in keeping with its physical splendor.

This summer John will spend six weeks at the University of Wurzburg in Germany supervising the summer program for SUNYA German and History students which SUNYA operates in cooperation with the State University College at Oneonta. In 1968-69 Phyllis and John will spend the year at Wurzburg.

Meanwhile we are comfortably situated in a rented university-owned house quite close to the campus, and we expect to buy or build a house in the spring so that the wandering Winkelmans and their 13,000 pounds of belongings will finally have a permanent address. We find Albany a very interesting and friendly city and we thoroughly enjoy its proximity to the Adirondacks and New England, not to mention New York City and Boston.

Phyllis is taking courses in American history and New York State history and hopes to get back into historical society work. She is also active in Faculty Wives Club, the Albany Newcomers Club, and the Mt. Holyoke Club of Albany.

The younger Winkelmans have been on the move also. We are were happy to welcome John, Jr. home after two years. He spent August in Europe en route home from Nigeria and had two weeks with us here in Albany before he left for Los Angeles where he is currently working on an M.A. in linguistics at U.C.L.A. His field of interest is theoretical linguistics, a combination of linguistics, philosophy and mathematics.

Alice received her M.A. "summa cum laude" from the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in June, with her proud parents and brother Bill on hand for the ceremonies. Since mid-July she has had a position as vocational rehabilitation counsellor at the Ft. Logan Mental Health Center in Denver, Colorado. her job involves helping patients find suitable employment, housing, etc. when they leave the hospital and in general helping them adjust to the outside world. She likes Denver, has made many friends, and has become quite active in church work.

Bill is a sophomore and music major at the University of Arizona, where his proficiency on the French horn has won him a complete tuition scholarship. He will be the only one of the children home for Christmas! The nest is emptying!

When you take that trip to New York, come to see us! Just leave the New York Thruway at Exit 24, take Route 20 (Western Avenue) toward Albany about three blocks. Our street is just about opposite the Tom Sawyer Motel.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Winkelmans

28 Parkwood East McKnownville Albany, New York 12203
Season's Greetings AND BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR John and Phyllis Winkelman
John Winkelman 28 Parkwood East, McK. Albany, N.Y. 12203
Dec. 1966?
Air mail
[?] N.Y.
Dr. John G. Neihardt Skyrim Farm Route 7 Columbia, Missouri