J. E. Calkins
THE DAVENPORT DEMOCRAT
.. .. .. .. AND LEADER.. .. .. ..
DAILY, SUNDAY AND WEEKLY EDITIONS
Davenport, IOWA, Aug. 18, ’07.
My Dear Mr. Muir:--
At last we seem to see California rising above our horizon. By the latter part of September we expect to be on our way there. Our son is today on his way to Palo Alto, to resume work in the civil engineer course at that school. We – my wife and I-- intend to make our way, by some road or other, to Los Angeles, where we have friends, and from which we will look around. But in the meantime, as long as the matter has been on my mind for [illegible] many years, I am writing to ask if you may be at home , or if not at home where else you may be about Sept 2o -- Oct. 15, and if it may be convenient to you to let us make that call on you. You understand we are not proposing to make a prolonged stay at the expense and inconvenience of the Muir household; we only want a chance to convert into more tangible and personal terms an acquaintance that for us has covered a score of years -- on paper -- and which, as far as we are concerned, has the greatest interest and value. Of course we have everhting to gain; I cannot assure you that you will find it at all worth while. But such good folk as you, and Mrs. Austin, and John C. Van Dyke, fill me with a great longing for something more intimate than that impersonal glimpse one gets through the printed page.
How my dear Mr. Muir, you are not to let this, in the slightest manner, interfere with your convenience or arrangements. If we do not meet this time we shall meet at some other time. My pleasures of anticipation will only be by so much prolonged. And in the event it is in order for us to drop in and shake your hand, you are not to go to the smallest outlay or inconvenience. We have no claims to urge, and we are pleasuring ourselves, doubtless, far more than you in this matter, so you are to feel perfectly free to be yourself and say what you feel in every respect. I am sure you will do me the favor to be thus free in your reply.
When we last heard from you you were under the shadow of a great grief. We trust that time has in some measure dulled the edge of that pain, and that it is well with you and yours.
Original letter dimensions: 27.5 x 20.5 cm.
Calkins, J. E., "Letter from J. E. Calkins to John Muir, 1907 Aug 18." (1907). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6705.
Reel 16, Image 0929
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