February 20, 1934
Much to my surprise my two-column story of the Church doings Sunday were printed in the Gate City with very little editing, the deservedly complimentary remarks on Carrell's welcome carried some weight, of course. An interview with the editor in which I assumed that the church desired a better spirit of cooperation with the others of the community, revealed the feeling of stigma attached to the high-handed and outlaw reputation as a result of past flare-ups, a certain red-head in particular. The new incumbent is inherently adapted to this task, and the cordiality of the send-off enhances the opportunity.
Dr. G. is an example of the ravages that may be due entirely to circumstance. A pathetic ruination of a fine career through filial devotion, and a losing struggle against the economics of a last-resort occupation. Only such a staunch character could have survived til now, and on the basis of a mature philosophy of values, this life is a success. Witness the quiet but firm avowal that the mother was no burdon during those trying years, contrasted with the bombastic and tactless statement of another whose three pills would avoid the dependence of old age which would obviate the burdon of her mother being repeated by her. The lack of progeny may very well have contributed to this shallow but tragic declaration; but if it comes to a show-down, I question sufficient courage from this addict of imferiority-complex, meaning of course not Dr. G.
Social-consciousness went out again last week, this time to the Review of Reviews, just for instance, and with no expectations other than the now habitual rejection. When the American returns Encouragers, my next try will be Mercury, described by Wayne as characterized by overthrow of the traditional. Am I a radical, or are my views simply tinctured by the under-currents of the moment?
Think I'll write to Jay House regarding his recent SEP article, which aroused my old interest in his Second-thought columns, and the revelation of his tramp-printer connection with the defunct Keokuk Constitution, and Muskogee-Red. This article, by the way, paved the way to the now pleasant relationship with Carrell.
Dick meandered along the ice-incrusted gutters, which involved the delicious experience of breaking through every few steps - and lost a rubber without the slightest registration on his mind. Children are natural concentrators. Jack was delegated to retrace this voyage with him, and proved how easily they may be distracted - he too failed, for it was ultimately found in front of a friends home where they had loitered during the search.
Rene-Mary arouses that inevitable longing of the male of the species for a wee mite of a daughter: how I could spoil such a cherub.
The question of adequate help for Madlin had again come to the fore. The ordinary hiring of help is easy these days, but adaption to the pocketbook, is something else. Madlin is running too close to her resources, and a shot of flu, or any devitalizing enemy, might play harry with the good little partner. We cannot expect progress - meaning a renewal of her reserves - until she is in a position to thumb her nose at physical work whenever she damn pleases. Her pride in conducting the household on well defined stardards, produces an irrestible urge to action independent of her strength, and even if she yields to necessity the problem remains to haunt her spirit. So we now hope to find a strong arm, not too frivolous, in the form of someone who needs a home, and will fill this gap in exchange for bread-and-butter, shelter, and a pittance.
Just finished first volumn of Beveridge's Life of John Marshall. So have lived in the wild days of the birth of the country; and have a new appreciation of our fundamental law. The hetic struggle of the birth of the Constitution makes one skeptical of this traditional document which has been surrounded by a halo similar to the Father of Our Country; but which has survived a century and a half. With due regard for its historical achievements, is it not susceptible to some fundamental errors, because of the haste and dire necessities of a turbulant era so different from our own? That is an academic observation, of course, and is worth nothing without application. Possibly we should apply Pop Snyder's Observation-guess-test method, or we may run into the danger of the denounciation philosophy, so common with Mr. Common-people. Does Tolstoy's "Intuitive rightness of the Peasant" still hold water in political economy?
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