Can't suggest anything new to read. Most new books disappointing. Elsie might try Mary Austin's The Ford. Came to Nebraska to receive an honorary doctorate. Edith Abbott, Jane Addams's assistant, awarded honorary degree at the same time, the first given by the University of Nebraska to women. Then more than a week of visiting, until tea parties became repetitious and tiresome. Nebraska is in a heat wave plus burning with patriotism. Is going to Wyoming soon. W. S. C. [Stout #387]
Will be at her hotel tomorrow at tea time. W. S. C. [Stout #569]
If he weren't a friend from school, would refuse his request for biographical information. Suggests he talk with Mrs. Alice E. D. Goudy in Auburn, Nebraska, who was her high school teacher and knew her all through college. P.S.: Very proud of Newbranch's editorial. Prefers he not mention the McClure autobiography. Willa Cather [Stout #636]
Received the book she sent right after getting back from Nebraska, when trying to recover from a cold and needing something good to read. Enjoyed visiting with her sister in Chicago. Has had a good report [about her mother?] from the Mayo Clinic. Willa Cather [Stout #667]
Has been thinking about her; hopes she will drop everything and get away to England. Mustn't get weighed down by routine, but leave the day-to-day chores in the hands of others and get away while she can, before she is utterly exhausted. Please reply she has bought her ticket. W. S. C. [Stout #736]
Can she spend Sunday afternoon on her way to Red Cloud if she is in town? Has a five-hour layover. If not, will ask Edith Abbott to meet her train. Likes the bookends. Willa [Stout #760]
Has neglected to answer his letter with story of Virginia's tooth, which she told to all of her New York friends. Quickly came west because the University of Nebraska presented her an honorary Doctor of Letters on their fiftieth anniversary commencement. Edith Abbott, who works with Jane Addams, also got one. The two of them were the first women ever to receive such degrees from the University. John Neihardt also received the award, and the Doctor of Laws was given to Theodore Roosevelt, Roscoe Pound, and General John J. Pershing. Elsie was already there, but father drove to Lincoln for the sole purpose of attending the ceremony. So sweet of him! Barnard McNeny also attended. Was happy to see her old teachers so proud of her. Only twelve or so women have received honorary degrees in the U.S., most of them educators, like Alice Freeman Palmer and Jane Addams. Any chance there would be someplace to rent in Lander between July 15 and August 15? She and Edith Lewis are thinking that when Edith comes west, they may go to Wyoming. Couldn't stay with at his house, as Edith doesn't like visiting. At $5 a day the Amoretti ranch seems overpriced. Unfortunately, getting the degree meant that she never was able to shop for new dresses for the twins as she intended. Will get them New York dresses soon. P.S. Father and Elsie are doing well. Willie.
Is sending her lawyers' new address since Roscoe is the executor of her will. The firm keeps the original, as under state law her safe deposit box will be sealed upon her death. There is a copy of the will in her box, though. [Included is a note in Roscoe Cather's hand: "On October 23, 1939 Willa wrote me that she made a new will in February, 1939. The original copy is in the vault of Breed, Abbott and Morgan, 15 Broad Street New York"] Willa Cather.
It was very nice of him to wait until after he recovered from his surgery before telling her about it. Has recently lost a couple of friends. The Scottish doctor on Grand Manan—the twins will remember him well—died after only a few minutes of illness. He was an outstanding man. Learned shortly after returning to New York that John B. Nash, her lawyer for many years, had died. The will he drew up in February is in the vault of his firm Breed, Abbott and Morgan at 15 Broad Street. Don't forget this. Will miss him, as he was a warm friend and counsel. Why would somebody as slight and un-athletic as Roscoe have a tear? Perhaps he is too slim? Hopes a local anaesthetic was sufficient. Virginia's letter would have persuaded her what a joy Elizabeth's baby is, if any persuasion had been needed. Never heard Virginia go on so! Has investigated the gravestones for their parents. Likes the Harrison Granite Company and the Vermont Marble Company. Will send him more information and pictures of her preferences soon. Thanks for the photograph of himself, a good likeness. She, Edith, and Miss Bloom admired it. Feels moved that Meta considered the striped stockings so special! Enclosed is a photograph which accompanied Isabelle wherever she went for many years. It was among her things when she died in Sorrento, and her husband sent it along with about six hundred letters she had written Isabelle, as well as every little thing she ever published, even the dollar-a-column newspaper pieces. Please send the photo back. Too bad he wasn't in it instead of Ben Brown! W.