Dear John:

Your letter was awaiting us when we returned from a four-week trip east to visit longtime friends we hadn't seen for as much as a dozen years, and to spend 10 days in Pittsburgh with one of our daughters and her two youngsters.

Glad to hear that the work on your Memories is moving along. Think perhaps you are right to wait until it is all completed to publish. And we're awaiting its appearance, because we want to read it. The excerpts we heard a year ago when we saw you in Columbia whetted our appetite for more.

I'm keeping busy with small chores around the college, big chores in my yard and fishing whenever the mood develops. I find the college an interesting focus for my activities. There's always something-- a problem, a dilemma or a success--to demand attention.

What you tell me about the reception of Black Elk and the reissue of other books in paper back is most interesting. It seems ironic to me that you've had a bigger audience overseas for many years than you've had in this country. But it's gratifying to know that finally the homefolks are beginning to appreciate a very rare and most talented person.

Have you ever speculated on why the surge of interest in your work now?

I ask myself why, and I wonder if it may be part of the repudiation of material values that seems to have become a hallmark of the postwar generation. Is there something in the mystical and spiritual tone of much of your writing that is appealing to a generation that sees only failure in the economic determinists and the commercial pirates who've dominated the scene for so long? Or is it just the fact we as a people suddenly have become responsive to the human warmth, the joy of living, and the love of man that radiates from you?

Well, whatever it is, we are delighted that increasing recognition is coming you way.

We have corresponded with Ollie and Enid, but haven't seen them since we saw you. I've been trying to get them to come down this way for a visit, but it's awfully hard to pry Ollie loose, except to go to Wisconsin to see Nei and the grandchildren.

If you're going to be back in Missouri anytime next fall, let us know. We may be able to get up to see you. Right now, it's too almighty hot for us to contemplate any journey farther than a fishing hole.

We're always glad to hear from you, but we surely understand why you don't have too much time for correspondence.