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#1740: Willa Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, September 25, 1946

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ASTICOU INN3
NORTHEAST HARBOR2
MAINE
My dear Carrie1,

I am sending you a check for the Red Cloud4 Hospital Fund but I do not wish my name to appear in the list of donations and particularly do not wish it to be printed in the local paper5. Your bank6 can simply convert the check into cash and turn the amount over to the proper persons without using my name at all. They can simply credit it to a former resident of Red Cloud.

I think it was very generous of Mr. Maynard7 to make this use of the old place8, although I wonder what needuse there is for a hospital in Red Cloud when there is such an excellent and well endowed hospital9 in Hastings10, and plenty of automobiles to take patients from Red Cloud to Hastings.

However, Mr. Maynard knows the present situation in Red Cloud much better than I do, and I have great faith in his good judgment. I would send a larger check for the hospital fund except for the fact that I have other obligations scattered about throughout Webster11 and Adams Counties12. I had always rather help individuals than institutions. There are several among my nieces and nephews whom I take pleasure in helping; and some of them like Helen Louise13 and Charles14 have taken great pleasure in helping me! Last winter when there was not a pound of butter to be bought in New York15, Helen Louise supplied me with plenty of butter sent by air mail from her husband16’s parents17 in Friend, Nebraska18. It came simply by air mail, without any dry ice, as fresh as if it had been made yesterday. During the meat famine in New York City Helen Louise and Charles came from New Jersey19 in a motor bringing all the meat we could use in two weeks. When I carried the leg of [missing]

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Well, my dear Carrie, the young ones aren’t jealous, and I would give a great deal if I could always have Helen Louise and Charles living near me. I would go out to Pittsburgh20 very speedily for occasional visits, stopping at the Hotel Schenley21, except that it would be awkward about registering at the hotel. You know I taught22 in the Pittsburgh and Allegheny High School for four years, and if it once got into the newspapers that I was registered at the Schenley an avalanche of old students would come down on me. Perhaps I could fix it up with the management as I always do at the Fairmount23 in San Francisco24, where I put my name and address properly on a card and the management slips the card in a drawer where he keeps his private papers.

Miss Lewis25 and I are returning to New York next week and very soon we will have to have our apartment26 done over, newly papered and painted, etc. The landlords have been wanting to do it for us for six years!

Forgive this long and rather gossipy letter—it is meant for you and Mary27 only, and it takes a great deal of love to both of you. Up here in the quiet I have lots of time to remember and think about my old friends.

Lovingly Willie