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You4 have not heard from me for a long
while. In the middle of this past summer my brother Roscoe5 died at his home in Colusa,
California6. He died in his sleep
hHis death was
the result of a heart lesion which occurred in 1941, when I went to California to
see him--with my right hand7 tied up in
Doctor Ober’s8 brace. We had a long happy
visit together at that time. Since then he had been fairly well, and able to carry
on his business as President of the First Savings Bank of Colusa.
Since the shock and sorrow of my brother’s death, I have been ill and lifeless. I
seem to be only half of myself. For many years I spent all my summer vacations9 with him and his wife10 on his ranch in Wyoming11,
making camping trips with them into the Wind River Mountains. I was working in
New York2, but the most real and
interesting part of my life through all those years, I spent in the West with my brother12. He made many
short trips to New York in the winter, so that we could be together for a few days.
I think, in all the time we have lived apart, a fortnight seldom went by without an
exchange of letters. Two letters from him, jolly and gay, reached me after the
telegram which told me of his death.
I am writing all this simply because I feel that this has made a great change not only in my life but in me, and I want a few, a very few, of my old friends to know it.
I came home from Maine13 as soon as I could manage it, but I have been kept busy in answering letters from old friends in the Northwest and Southwest who knew me and my brother together.
I am delighted with your book14 on Church Symbolism! Please send me another copy which I can forward to Mary Virginia15, who is exiled to a dreary military camp hospital in Missouri16 with her doctor husband17.Affectionately Willa Cather Mrs. George Whicher1 Amity Street Amherst3 Massachusetts NEW YORK, N.Y.2 JAN 4 1946 1230 PM