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#2091: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, [May 31, 1929]

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Dear Brother1;

I am on my way East—will be at the Grosvenor Hotel 35 Fifth ave5. for the next ten days, then go to New Haven6, at Hotel Taft. On June 19 I receive a doctorate degree7 from Yale—the second they have ever given8 a woman writer. The first was given to Mrs. Wharton9 eight years ago10. She came over from Paris11 and stayed in New York12 one week to take it.

I hope you can skip out to see mother13 for a week this summer, and soon. Better come alone—its bad for her to have several about, she tries even in her feeble state to arrange, direct. I went North when Will Auld14 was here. Better come now than to her funeral—she will know you now and her mind is still unclouded, though often tired.

She is losing ground a little all the time: now up, now down, but on the whole a good deal weaker and lower than when I first came there months ago. She tries, poor dear, but the odds are so terribly against her that I hope it won't be very long, for her sake. Will Auld felt the same way. She's still herself, and can understand what you say to her. The trip would not be a very long one for you if you came by train. I had a round-trip ticket over this road, or I would have gone back by way of Rawlins15. The Sanitarium16 is a really beautiful place—you could have quiet hours there alone with mother, the nurse in the other room within call. She may live like this a long while—several years, but is almost sure to deteriorate mentally and be less herself. It's a cruel and pitiful thing, but you'll be glad to have seen her, as I am. I'm wondering whether I will ever feel much enthusiasm for things again, though. I guess I will—for young people,—and young art.

I had lovely visits with Jim Yeiser17 and Marguerite18 in San Francisco19.

EL ORTIZ LAMY, NEW MEXICO FRED HARVEY Mr. R. C. Cather1 1225 South Center St Casper3 Wyoming [illegible]N. MEX.4 June 1 1929 A.M.