December 27, 1951
The Carved Cow
44 1/2 St. George St.
St. Augustine, Florida
Your letter came this afternoon and I have read and re-read it
Of course we are friends. I have known long since that I killed
passion and desire.I ask
nothing but the assurance that there is someone, by preference my
family, who cares even in
my long absence. We have ties together, Jean, that can never be
You are as great a lady as my mother. You have her same
sweetness and courage. Shall I,
with all my errors of commitance and failure, dare to place my
damned emotionalism against
it? Even your proffer of friendship is more than I actually
deserve or can ask.
I'll try to make this a better year for you all. I will make no
promises for promises from
me seem to have a habit of slipping away into limbo. But, damn
it, Slim Lady, I shall try.
Shall cut the things for the kids even if my confounded hands
fall out. Please send me
exact waist sizes.
Sometime ago I had one of the finest artists in the country,
, do a portrait of
you from my one picture of you. I was going to send it to
TenEyck for Xmas but couldn't
bring myself to part with it for it stands on a shelf above my
cot where I can say
"Goodnight". Someday you may see it. He has caught every bit of
the beauty of you.
Loved the mental picture of Mary S. and the tree. Lord, I bet
she is a wonderful person.
Never had much to do with "...little girls that are very sweet"
but sure can do a lot of
imagining and dreaming. Does she still have her vast collection
Six feet! By Allah! If he keeps going he will make his old man
look like a runt.
Wrote him a letter yesterday, Jean. One that I felt I have owed
him for something longer
than a day or two. I hope you are not angered with me. I spent
many hours and many pipes
in its composition because I did not wish to say anything wrong.
He'll probably show it
to you and I hope you approve.
Even if you request nothing but "friendship" I do not regret
writing you my "loveletter".
Have no idea whether you read it or never got past the first
paragraph but it was tender
and absolutely sincere. I am not going to press a damned thing,
time will settle things,
but I do, or did, have the right to speak out in meeting with no
heavy emotional background.
Please tell me things, Jean. Where are the children going to
school? Is Tiger-Two playing
basketball this winter? Does Mary S. dance gravely in the center
of the room? What kind
of a crowd is TE running around with? Has he made any ROTC?
What are youdoing in Chicago
again? What happened to Kankakee? How is your father? The more
you tell me the more my
heart will cleave to some peace and logical balance.
My current problems will be solved with some time and patience.
I didn't even blow on
Christmas which I usually do. I am doing as you ask, even before
you asked, being "quiet".
I have a friend here, "Don Pedro", or Peter Herzog who is
becoming as close to me as Bob.
(He has his troubles too). I have my old Adjutant, Captain Bob
Morrison staying with me
in the back of the shop. We awake each other at the damndest
hours to quote something
back and forth and cool each other off. I am not throwing any
binges and I am fighting the
damndest fight I have ever put forth. Am drinking, yes, but now
only to stop the pain.
My insomnia is my worst problem. My liver and diabetes can be
stood but these long white
nights with memories crowding can give me Hell. Will probably
never be a shining light but
would like to be a man of whom my children can approve. I am not
doing it only because I
love you but for my own self-respect.
It's cold here too, every now and then we have to wear a suit
coat or a sweater and the
Beach is too chilly to lie on for too long.
But the sun shines and I have the old Salazar house across the
street to watch and one lone
palm that I have adopted personally. This little City is full of
beauty and unbelievable
vistas. Be sure to see DISTANT DRUMS when it comes to the
neighborhood movie. You might
even recognize your old man in the background a few times. Parts
of it were filmed at the
Castillo de San Marcos and the whole town got into the act
(Cooper is quite a man
You are quite right, what you have done and what I have done to
hurt each other had best
be wiped out of our minds. None of them are important if we can
ever put our hands together
again and the children are a damned sight more important than
My Love, and friend, Goodnight.