Letter, Mary Sinton Leitch to J. J. Lankes, September 20, 1944 (Ms2017-001)
Sep 20, 1944
Tush and tut! Mrs Darling hasn’t a mean bone in her
whole little round body. You sized her up the wrong way, I
assure you. She simply and quite honestly had no idea how much
work was involved in the job. Probably she knew nothing whatever
of woodcuts anyway. Her surprise and dismay were surely genuine;
she wasn’t merely trying to beat you down. SHE JUST DIDN’T KNOW.
Be charitable and forgive her. I’m sure you don’t think any poem
of mine is worth more than a dollar or two, but imagine the hours
and days and—worse—nights that have probably been spent on
You see you don’t write poems and Mrs Darling doesn’t make
woodcuts, so both of you should be forgiven.
Don’t for a moment suppose that I am putting my verse in
the same category with your pictures. I may be a poet of sorts,
But I am not as conceited as that. I am only trying to open
your mind a bit though I am certain it is as tight-closed as
an oyster against Mrs Darling.
I am handing you a rain check on my invitation for the
night of the seventh. But let me know in time to arrange to get
you over here by car if possible. We will all go to the Jaffe’s
that night after having supper at Wycherley. I told you Ruth and
Peggy were coming? They will be powerful disappointed if you
are not on hand. Try to fix your dates up so you can be.
I have been hearing a good deal lately about calibrating
instruments. A cousin of mine who has been visiting us recently
has just resigned from a like job to yours. He said he could
not do the work sitting, and his strength gave out, he resigned,
though much against his desire, after having two convulsions
while at the plant. I wonder if you too have to stand all the
time. I am glad you translated NACA. My friends all write me
that they are doing WJZ work in a MPB plant and would rather
be at a HPRTY etc. etc. with the result that they might as
well use Choctaw for all I can understand.
Try to joining us on the 7th and beg Mrs Darling’s
pardon (in your heart) for having been ignorant of woodcuts.
Very unlikely you’re ignorant about oysters which are her specialty.
Yours in hopes,