Greetings, dear friends!
I was sorry to fail you last week- but I was so hemmed in by work that I couldn't even reach over the fence for a postcard, to explain to Mr. Walker. I am having a gratifying response to the fine letter written for the Press by Mabel Ansley Murphy. I am so glad - for I know that long letter was a real effort on her part. I failed to give you Mrs. Murphy's address, that you might tell her personally how much you enjoyed her message. Here it is: 325 Highland Ave., Mt. Vernon, N.Y. And just to inspire you who think you are too old to start a new project or to be a very useful citizen, let me tell you that Mrs. Murphy, in spite of her age (she won't mind my telling, since her publishers publish the birth date - 1870) and in spite of a year's illness, is planning two more books. Isn't that wonderful? Her latest book, "When America Was Young," is indeed a treasure. I prize it highly. Now I must tell you about some other authors, who honored us with a visit to Cleveland. I have already told you about Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who has truly found the secret of dynamic, confident, Christian living. Another person with a wealth of self-assurance is Dr. Harry Overstreet, who is one of our most prolific writers on human behavior. His latest book is entitled, "The Mature Mind." He says that with many people their psychological age is far behind their chronological age. He mentioned our "immature" Congress and the opinionated, egocentric members - delegates - to the U.N. We need to "grow up" emotionally. A most lovable person is Dr. Paul de Kruif (pronouned like 'knife'), who has just written a book, "Life among the Doctors." I am afraid that Dr. de Kruif is a bit unorthodox, for some members of the medical profession are down on him. But certainly his heart is in his work. Corpulent and ruddy faced, he is shy and easily embarrassed. But he has a way with him - a gift for winning confidence. I told him so.
He smiled, "Do you know why that is so?" And he told a group of us a story - the story of a woman with multiple sclerosis, who had not walked for 14 years. Dr. de Kruif was at the hospital the day she took her first steps. She is a foreign woman; the attending doctor, the physio-therapist, the nurse, all tried in vain to get this woman to talk about her feelings - over being able to walk again. She talked readily, broken, but freely to Paul de Kruif. The others couldn't understand it. This great, shaggy giant of a man said to her, "Tell me, Mrs.... isn't it because you know that I am more interested in you than I am in myself?" "Ya! Ya! That's it," she responded eagerly. What a warm heart is his!
Two lovely young women captured my heart at the Book Fair. One of them is Gladys Hasty Carroll, who has written another book about the folks of her beloved Maine, "West of the Hill." My! but she is sweet. Full of love for her fellow-men, believing in the innate goodness of most human beings. She is utterly unspoiled by the fame and the glory that have come her way. Someone told me that her Christmas story, "When the angels sang," is a perfect gem. I can hardly wait to read both book and story. The other woman, young, dark-haired, blue-eyed, and vivacious, is more slender than her book, a bulky tome entitled, "Vogue's Book of Etiquette." It sounds a bit awesome, but could you know Millicent Fenwick, its gracious author, you would know that good manners and "etiquette" are but the perfect flowering of kindness, consideration for others, and care not to offend in any way. Like Emily Post she is utterly charming and kind. Another time I must tell you of two more women. But now the allotted space is filled. Do send me some more Saltsburg history and folklore.
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 11/10/49 - EARLY PENNSYLVANIA HISTORY
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