last letter sounded like you were at that time immersed in spring fever, a
malaise inducing acute ennui, madness, and I-don’t-give-a-damn-it is. I know it too well and yet it probably
is far worse in a climate where spring really means something. When the first tree makes its tentative
budding, yet winter is still everywhere else, it must arouse a dreadful
impatience and a longing to be quit of cold and to repose warmly in the sun in
green grass and bright blossoms.
God! I’m getting spring
fever myself, just talking about it.
thing is, Spring Fever is cured by Spring. When it comes. If
it ever comes.
will be over to see you in three weeks.
It seems a long time. You
will be graduating in only ten weeks.
That doesn’t seem so long.
It has been ten weeks since we have seen you, though, and that seems an
eternity. I really miss you this
time. It seems like you may grow
up, become a woman, get married, have fifteen children, and pioneer the
transmutation of the baser metals in the time you have been away. I miss you indeed, yet I know that
these years in this environment have been productive happy ones for you and I
do not begrudge them in any fashion.
Your conduct this year particularly pleases me. You took several very nasty bumps, of
one kind and another, in 1954 and your recovery from them all has been
admirable in all ways. If Dottie’s
promptness and faithfulness in writing has brought happiness to you, I want you
to know that everything you have done this year: your grades, your letters,
your attitude, and every other aspect of your personality, has brought great
happiness to her. And to me, of
has mastered the TV set to the point that she can watch a program, manufacture
a doll, entertain guests, brew and drink coffee, smoke a cigarette, read a
letter, write a letter, and keep an eye on all neighborhood dogs and children
simultaneously. Pretty good for a
growing girl. She even saw a large
whitish whale cavorting a couple of hundred yards off her house the other
day. Smart whale, knowing where to
elicit an appreciative audience.
Mother is an amazing woman.
It is fantastic to visit her and observe the coterie that attends her. That a woman of her age, 67 this year,
can attract so many friends and draw them to her with real magnetism, after all
nothing forces them to drop in on her, is a glorious and wonderful thing. I hope that many people love me at that
age. Or at this age, for that
we go to the Irelands where I am to stand-in for [your headmaster] and talk
about the [school]. Tell [him] I
have one advantage: I can say nice things about him, but he can’t say nice
things about him.