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#2228: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, [April 15, 1945]

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Dear Brother1;

Miss Bloom5 is sick, so please excuse this scrawl. I do awfully need some help about the summer. For two years I have gone to Maine6. Beautiful place, cottage7 to ourselves8 with lovely yard. Some delightful people among the guests.

But N.E. Harbor9 is such a good harbor because it lies just at sea level—all the coast clouds suck in. And the place is so green and lovely because drenching rains fall almost every day. I like rain, but two successive summers of it have brought on a bad throat condition, and an acute sinus condition—which I never had, before.

Both my doctors say I must get into a high altitude, where the air is not damp this summer. I would try the Santa Cruz10 mountains and be near you, but travel to California11 will be impossible this summer. All reservations on all railroads were taken long ago (on transcontinental roads, I mean. Dr. Brandon12 (throat man) suggests Cheyenne13! But that may be a horrid place by this time for aught I know. I would be tempted to try 2 Casper14 if old Mr. Henning15 were alive: he made me so comfortable when I stayed at his hotel16. Could you suggest some place in Wyoming17? Not the Eaton Ranch18. I want to be quiet and get some work done. I'd love New Mexico19, but that is on place on earth I don't dare go. Alfred Knopf20 stopped off at Santa Fe21 several years ago, and he was considerably bothered because he is my publisher ("Why the Hell didn't he make me authorize a movie22 of the Archbishop23? Grand for the State and the Santa Fe R.R. and the hotels as well.) What would they do to me myself? I know just how Fritz Kreisler24 and all the exiles who loved Vienna25 feel. It's surely devilish to love a place so much that you lse lose it forever.

Could you suggest anything in Colorado26 or Wyoming?

Does the Olin Hotel27 in Denver28 still function? I think of their food with longing. I have gone down to one hundred and eight pounds. The medical Board have given me a whole book of extra "points".29 But where do points get you when the butchers have only kidneys and liver and bullock's heart? A friend in Maryland30 sends me some bacon by post—almost never any here. I eat a good deal of butter, but even that is very hard to get. We do get a few lamb chops occasionally, but never any beef except Hamburg "steak". My appetite is not my strong point these days. I can get by with lots of tea (good tea from Canada31—all tea here is very poor, but our Canadian tea importer gets it through without trouble now that the law has been changed) so tea, with toast well-buttered, make a better pick-up than poor meat. No chicken to be had except roosters, politely called "coq".

I'm not in danger of starvation—but I hate to have my clothes made over so often. If I can get high, dry, cool air I won't be exacting about food. If I could get sage-scented air---ah, that would be heaven!

I hope you can read this, dear. My thumb is still awkward32 with the letters which need little loops, such as r & e.

Lovingly Willie
Mr. R. C. Cather1, First Savings Bank of Colusa, Colusa,4 California. NEW YORK N.Y. STA. Y2 APR 15 1945 430 PM Personal