Thursday, October 14, 2010

Umnak Island, 28 October 1944

My lovely one…
Yesterday brought a nice letter from Manuel [Manuel Valenzuela, the model for the character Angel in Day of the Dead], which I enclose. There was also a picture of Gorki, who is if not the most attractive baby I have ever seen at least the most photogenic. …
Gorki Valenzuela
The mail also brought me two packages. One was from Dad and had a fruit cake in it, the other from you with my robe and the special vitamins both much appreciated, my thoughtful one. As far as I know all the packages are here not, unless the fur hat is en route. …

Among the newspapers and magazines that came along with the packages was the new Harper’s, the October issue. I believe I told you that there was a story in the September number about Paracutin, didn’t I? Well, in this one these is a story in which the heroine is called Bluey. There is a quite good article on Colonel McCormick [Col. Robert Rutherford McCormick was the longtime editor and publisher of the The Chicago Tribune].  In addition to being a job of reporting rather than the usual invective about that individual, there are a couple of quite nice newspaper stories. One concerns the way in which the Tribune always backs up its reporters. One night near deadline a Tribune reporter, Big Jim Doherty, denied admittance to a room where police were questioning a suspect, grabbed a chair and started battering down the door;  what the state’s attorney telephoned the paper to demand that Doherty be fired, the managing editor replied gently, “Mr. Courtney, if you knew Mr. Doherty as well as I know him you would know that it is very difficult to deny him. Good-by, Mr. Courtney.”

When McCormick heard that the Rhode Island state legislature had voted to remove all Republicans from the Rhode Island Supreme Court, he ordered that every flag on the Tribune building be taken down and the Rhode Island star removed. This was done, but some of his lawyers warned him that it is an offense to mutilate the U.S. flag, so he had to have the stars sewn back on.
….
The novel is going slow again. I’m still having trouble needling in some action with the dialogue, but I still hope for an early finish.

Time goes so slow, my sweet. Only a week of the second six months is out of the way. Have you noticed the title of Huxley’s new book: “Time must have a stop”? For is it seems to have been in the past tense. There is a joke rather popular here now. A newcomer to the island was being told the local history and customs by one of the ancients. “Gee,” said the just arrived, “have you lived here all your life.” And the veteran said quietly, “Not yet.”

The mail just came in. More packages. There were three—no less—packages from the Leaming sisters, a book from Dad (Darwin’s Cruise of the Beagle), and a box from R.V. Mack [Aberdeen, WA city councilman], of all people. There was also a package from Frederick and Nelson. I thought it was from you when I opened it but it is a box of candy from Phyllis and Otto. …

Daily, darling, you are loved more. In fact it seems to multiply by cubes. It’s like being away from music, as we were for awhile, at Patzcuaro. It not only makes you realize how much it meant to you, it makes you love music more. …
M

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