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#2962: Willa Cather to Beatrix Mizer Florance, June 6, 1945

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My dear Trix1,

I did so enjoy you letter and your account of where all the children3 are at and what they are doing. I had hoped that I might see Vickie4 while her husband5 was stationed on Staten Island6. I am sorry that she and her husband will have to spend a summer at Walter Reed Hospital, near Washington7. The climate there is very, very trying in summer, and that once beautiful city has been ruined almost as completely as Berlin8 itself. Miles of fine old buildings have been torn down and replaced by miles of concrete offices which are necessary for a capital in war time.

Your husband9's kind letter was a great help and encouragement. I have felt for a long time that the unfortunate position in which the State Bank placed me in Red Cloud10 has alienated some of my friends there. It has never made any difference between me and my niece Mary Virginia Auld11, now Mrs. Major Mellen, and me, I am thankful to say. She has been a plucky little thing ever since she broke away from an unhappy household. I took pleasure in giving her her wedding and a financial basis when she first married Major Mellen12 - then a young doctor just graduated from medical school and in his first hospital job here. Her father13 would not do a thing for her, and it was a great pleasure to be able to do what he should have done. We have always been good friends. It will be a happy day for me when her husband returns to take up his practice in New York2 again. It has also meant a lot to me that Helen Louise14 and her brother Charles15 are living in this part of the world now. They are dear young people, and are a great source of pride and pleasure to me.

You were kind enough to ask about my health, dear Trix. It is fairly good when I am not worried. My reason for wanting to get rid of the farms I hold under mortgage in Webster County16, is because I am rather stupid in business matters and I want to get rid of the worriment which comes between me and my real work. You may have heard from Carrie Sherwood17 that three years ago I had to undergo an operation18 for the removal of my gall bladder. It is quite a serious operation and took the strength out of me terribly. Since then, although I have not been ill very much, I tire easily and do not seem to have a great reserve of strength. I had a very happy summer last year in Maine19 and was working happily on a new book20. After settling the apartment21 when I got home, I worked on very happily until Christmas, then a very severe winter set in, several dear friends of mine were desperately ill and things became complicated. The two bright spots in the winter were the few weeks that Yehudi22's father23 and mother24 spent in New York, and the four months which Yehudi and his little family25 spent here. It doesn't often happen that a beloved youth marries the girl one would have picked out for him. But really, Trix, the Scotch-Australian girl he married is one of the handsomest and most charming young women I have ever known. "Sweet but decided" - that was what my friend Isabelle wrote me of Yehudi's fianceée - this was just before Isabelle26 died in Sorrento27. Yehudi took his promised bride, from Paris28, down there to visit Isabelle. In a perfectly unpretentious young-girl-manner, she is very musical. I love to hear them play duets - two pianos - slashing through them just for fun. Yehudi has little accomplishment with the piano, and I think one might fairly say that there Nola is the cleverer of the two.

With love and good wishes, my dear, Willa
Mrs. S. R. Florance1 Red Cloud10 Nebraska NEW YORK, N.Y.2 JUN 6 [missing] 10PM FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE., NEW YORK CITY2