Devilled Eggs

From yesterday's request thread, here's a letter:


Dear George,
Thank you very much for your abundant mail- two letters and one postcard!! Sorry I could not reply sooner, this is the first quiet day with time to write letters. Well, it seems that HENRY'S BIRTHDAY was the outstanding big event of the season. I never knew that preparing devilled eggs could hold so much drama! Anyway, although I do not have the pleasure of knowing Henry, as an expert in birthdays, 95 versus 70, I wish him a Very Happy Birthday, and many happy returns. You have been so involved in devilled eggs and other birthday-related events, did you even notice that there were other things going on in the world?: A republican convention, designed to make us appreciate and sadly miss eight years of Clinton soap operas. What do Americans expect of their president anyway? Statesmanship? What an old-fashioned idea. Only an 95 year old woman could have such notions. Which brings me to the fact that yours truly also celebrated a birthday in July, a 95th. My family pulled out all the stops to make it a real big occasion. They were all here, grandsons, grand-daughter, son, daughter, in-laws. It lasted five days and I survived it with flying colors without getting another heart-attack. Now Niall is back in Berkeley, Michael has just started a new job for one year: A leadership training course with an organization called The Green Corps. Julia will be here in Binghamton where she has been accepted in a community service job.

To-morrow Suzanne and I will go to Ithaca to visit a Friend's Retirement Home. Not for the duration as far as I am concerned, but for 2 months, November and February when Suzanne will be in Europe with Ross, who is taking a full year's sabbatical. There are retirement homes here in Binghamton, but I am sure to find more interesting people in a place that caters mostly to retired Cornell faculty and their friends. If plans work out it would mean that I will miss the second half of your Studs Turkel reading. We'll know more to-morrow after our visit. I certainly will keep you au courant. I see from the Lyceum program that "Great Decisions" are being discontinued. It is about time. Probably Haessler did not want to do it anymore. I am getting tired and have to close for to-day.

Regards to Kit, love, Greta

Found in "The Spider's House" by Paul Bowles. Published by Black Sparrow Press, 1993.

-Click to enlarge photos-


  1. Oh, I love Greta! What a wonderful letter, and how sad to reflect that she's probably gone now.

    Love your blog, as always -- just don't often comment.

  2. I LOVED this letter. So sweet. Thank you for this blog - I love it.

  3. What an amazing letter. My grandmother is the only person I know who still writes like that. It's a lost art. Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this.