March 31, 1922 – JSA to Ralph Dickensen (Brother-in-law)


  • March 31, 1922 – JSA to Major Ralph Dickenson (brother-in-law; Georgia Military Academy)

Dear Ralph:

I thoroughly enjoyed your literary production which I received in Richmond and I was particularly glad to learn of the possibility of finding Nancy and the children at my camp sometime this summer. Each week since receiving your letter I have expected to have a conference with my near neighbor in respect to the environment of the camp during the period when the girls would be there. My near neighbor is still on a cruise in the Mediterranean. I have, therefore, not yet received the counsel that I would like on the subject.

In the off-season nine months of the year, the surroundings are decidedly wholesome and favorable for both young and old. The gay season in the neighborhood begins about the middle of June and we have about every kind of specimen born – some of the best, some mediocre, and others would be safer locked up.

I usually reach the camp about four Saturday afternoon and leave about the same time, with some variations, Sunday afternoon. Just what arrangements I could make to insure protection and pastime for Nancy and the children during the week is not yet clear but I will talk it all over with my near neighbor, the Daltons, as soon as they return from Europe which, I understand, will be before the first of May.

Of course, our hardest fight is to find time to rest, and while there are many fine people on Lake George, those that are worthwhile are usually in the same predicament and they would love to see you but they are there to rest and if they happen to have time on their hands it usually happens that they are not the people that you want to know and if they have very much time you will find that they are a nuisance to you. But, after all, it is a mighty fine place to be and it would be real fun to have Nancy and the children and I expect to work out some way to insure their happiness and protection. I have promised Martha a visit to the camp for some time and it might be desirable to have her at the same time. If you will write me further about the date of your absence, I will in the meantime find out more about my neighborhood and what it will be like next summer.

The account you enclosed of Copenhaver’s effort to wipe out illiteracy on Hunger’s Mothers Creek, read like some ancient history but was most interesting. I have been so busy here I sometimes wonder if I ever really did live anywhere else. Aside from many other thrills in my everyday work, I am in the throes of helping to organize an Adirondack Mountain Club which will be completed next Monday night in New York. We have joiners from habit, those who seek notoriety, and a smaller group who have a distinct purpose, but how to get the leaders to undertake the serious task of conservation when it means a fight right from the start, is not yet solved. It is so much easier to have the lock-step in doing the pleasant and easy things such as building trails and shelters. However, we have accomplished a great deal and are sure to accomplish more. I only wish you were able to come up and see some of the things that we have succeeded in doing.

By the way, you would have been interested in one of our week-end trips on skis recently when we climbed the most difficult mountain in the state, Haystack. Before you get too old you should come up and do a few of these things and then you will have more pleasure reminiscing later,

With love to all,