If you have a picture of him, no matter how poor, won’t you let me have it, that I may hang it beside my work desk, and looking at it find inspiration and be reminded of the sane, loving, lovable, high-hearted chap whom I held as a brother?
Dear lonely woman, I wish I could speak one word that would lighten your sense of loss, in him and in your mother. I know that you are not lacking in courage, but stoutness of heart does not bring comfort, I know. How exceptional your loss because how exceptional your fortune—such a man and such a mother. Very sincerely yours,
TO MRS. M. A. ANDERSEN
Sunday, [December, 1919]
... The whole of mankind is searching for affection, tenderness,— not physical love but sweet companionship. We could get along with fewer pianos and victrolas if we had a more harmonious society. We really don’t like each other much better than Alaskan dogs. Now what is the reason for that? Are we afraid of them stealing from us—our houses, sweethearts, or dollars? Or are we so stupid that we don’t know each other, never get under the skin to find out what kind of a fellow this neighbor is? Certainly we are self-centered and we wonder that people don’t like us when we don’t try to find what is likable about them—and keep stressing their unlikable qualities.
All of which homily leads up to the Holidays. I hope that you will enjoy them. Nancy is having no end of a gay time, and knows how really good a time she is having, I do believe. She is the rarest combination of old woman and baby I have ever known, cynically wise, almost, and soft innocence. She has a dozen beaux and is extravagant about, and to, each. ...
The President is getting better slowly, but we communicate with him almost entirely through his doctor (Grayson). I shall be mighty sorry to leave here, where we have so many friends, but my hope is to get enough to buy a place in California, one of these days, and settle down to the normal life of digging a bit in the soil and then digging a bit in the brain.