Saturday, 11:45 AM
Dearest Ava Helen:
My tummy is still full of the grapefruit, pancakes, syrup, bacon, and coffee which I had a couple of hours ago for breakfast- the same as yesterday morning. Last night I ate a good steak, after having omitted lunch.
The weather has been good, with no snow or rain. I walked for five minutes at three stops yesterday. In New Mexico, at the Raton Pass, 7600 feet high, there was snow on the ground, and this morning when I look out of the window I saw the Mississippi covered with ice. There is about four inches of snow here in Illinois, but it doesn't look to be very cold.
I have read most of the applications, also two manuscripts for the JACS, stories in the Sat. E.P., and even a boring short novel by Alec Waugh in the Red Book.
In the paper this morning I saw this definition:
Stalemate.....A married man"
I'll show you when I get back home that the definition is not universally applicable.
Do you remember Carl Thurston? (Wild Flowers). He has written two books on art appreciation ("How to Look at Pictures') and now applies for a Guggenheim to study the philosophy ^and psychology of art as expressed in primitive works. He seems to be an interesting man.
Some of the applications are pathetic- from good, kind people who need help, but have no unusual abilities. One man, about 40, married the widow of a colleague, with three children, just after getting his PhD, and has been struggling along with heavy teaching loads at New Jersey Teachers College. He needs a rest badly, and offers some Shakespearean project- but he is only of ordinary ability.
The six best applicants in English are Harvard PhD's, four in 1934! One (PhD. 1940) is only 25. He has a great collection of Thackeray's letters, including several hundred turned over to him by " [Thackeray's] Granddaughter, and he seems to be a very good scholar.
There aren't many applicants about whom I am really enthusiastic- Libby, Schomaker, a few others. That young English potter Haile looks good, also Barker, a young bacteriologist at Berkeley. A woman, Miss Marks, 65 years old, at Mt. Holyoke (director of the experimental theater) has written a book "The Family of the Barrett", published in 1938, and wants to write one "The Enchanted Island of the B[r]ownings", about Jamaica. She seems to be good. She must retire this year- and here savings were lost through poor investments made by a "friend." Do you remember meeting or hearing of her?
I love you, darling little wife.
Your own stalemate