In which the hint of a diagnosis is finally revealed in a letter written to Harvey and Ellen’s friends Renee and Jules Gordon during his visit to the Mayo Clinic:
December 8, 1956
Dear Renée and Jules,
I am now some 150 pages into the Civil War and enjoying it fine. It’s a very exciting business, and I wonder how it comes out. The book is swell. Many thanks. I tried to reach you Monday night before I left but gave up after a half hour or so of busy signals. No perseverance.
It’s cold out here, but ideal for winter sports such as sleeping, and sitting around fires drinking hot toddies. I may very well settle for sitting around a nice, roaring radiator drinking scotch. Of course it’s that pleasant, dry cold that they have in Minnesota, so you don’t really notice it or mind it so much. It’s just that I wish those damn penguins would quit waddling up and down my windowsill.
The clinic itself is a real swell place, full of jolly old doctors, nurses, technicians, clerks and the like. There’s plenty to do, which makes itso different from a lot of these winter lodges that offer nothing but skiing and ice-skating. Although so far I haven’t picked up any gold medals, (after all I’m a relative newcomer) I’ve done very well in the following: The Hundred Meter Needle Toss, Blood Polo, The Urine Put, and the Freestyle Rectal Dash. My coach is very proud of me.
I keep seeing the doctor from time to time, but so far he has had nothing much to tell me. By Monday the results of all the tests should be tabulated, and I expect to have a conference with him and learn the answer to this whole business – whether I am really Jewish or not.
Well, that’s about all for now. I want to go back to my book and find out if Grant really does win the damn thing after all.
Love to you both,
P. S. If you want to start making a line of mouton-aligned ankle straps and wedgies, I think you have a real market for them out here.