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#2769: Willa Cather to Charles E. Cather, August 4, 1945

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My dear Charles1,

I do sympathize with you, my dear boy, in your present state of uncertainty5. It must be hard to go ahead grinding fiercely at mathematics when you may be drafted6 at any time. I have always found uncertainty the most un-nerving experience in life and I have always preferred a poor certainty to anything attractive that hung in the uncertain future.

When I sent a check to you through Helen Louise7 I thought you were in Washington8 and I did not know your address. Any suggestions that I made a bout coaching at Princeton were not meant as advisce, but they were the only remedies which came immediately to my mind. I knew two boys who coached at Princeton in the summer after having been flunked in their entrance examinations for Princeton.

This is just a dreary uncertain time for you and I share that uncertainty with you. It is only reasonable to suppose that mathematics must be the most important study at West Point9 since they are so important in all military operations. If you are cramming in your mathematics now, don't take any time off to write to me -- send me word through Helen Louise when she is not too busy. I think the only thing you can do is to keep the goal you chose ahead of you. Get plenty of sleep and plenty of nourishing food to eat, and drive right ahead at the thing you wanted to do. That will give you more satisfaction in the end than any other course of action. Then, if you should be drafted, -- well, that is an intervention of fate. You will never have yourself to blame for it. Blaming one's self is the only thing that really takes the courage out of one.

Good luck, my dear boy. Call on me when you need anything -- for I love you very truly.

Your Aunt Willa
W. S. Cather ASTICOU INN NORTHEAST HARBOR2 MAINE Mr. Charles E. Cather1 503 Carleton Road Westfield3 New Jersey NORTHEAST HARBOR MAINE2 AUG 7 1945 6 PM Air Mail