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October 27, 1960

Dearest Kay,

First things first. I don’t have any working facilities available now. MRH supplies nothing and prohibits everything. However, the complex system of MRH does not manage to exert any great influence down to the individual resident level, therefore, after next weekend I intend to have a contraband hot plate in my room. Not even our counselor objects to that so we have all sorts of coffee-makers, hot plates, etc. around the dorm. Bureaucracy will not prevail!

Your archaeologist will arrive tomorrow astride his white horse, brandishing his pun-edged, fierce, golden shovel.

If you saw the new genius Twin Peaks: The Return, this is particularly funny. Maybe Karen goes on to create silent drapes. 

Despair not, fair maiden, Sir Dig-A-Lot will save the day. Do not succumb to the dragon of discontent and overwork.

My roommate: A senior in LAS (Liberal Arts and Sciences), majoring in history in the pre-law curriculum. (His is Nelson W___, incidentally.) Height: 5’ 11”. You met him, so a description would be superfluous.

Damn! I would like a description. But, clearly, Nathan, the roommate who doesn’t like to sleep, is alive and well and coming to be the date of one of the Mean Girls that populates Karen’s college life!

Comes from Oglseby. Spent his first three years at Augustana College in Roch. Island, has had a varied and liberal background and childhood.

I wish Russ would talk about his own childhood friend here, but that would make these letters worth more money and also include something beyond his moment’s irritation so that’s unlikely.

Interested in history, of course, heraldry, people, and athletics, and likes to keep late hours.

Ha! Russ is consistent. But here’s the real scoop on ol’ Nelson: He was born in 1939 in Pennsylvania. He was a boy scout leader. In 1962 he married a gal named Darlene. They had two sons and a daughter. He joined the marines but was out before Vietnam got serious. He was a college professor for 25 years before retiring in 1989. He died in 2004 after a long illness (probably cancer).

That should cover it. She’ll see him Saturday, so she shouldn’t require any more background to mull over.

The weather doesn’t know what to do in Champaign, either. But that isn’t unusual. One gets used to it after a very short time.


The forecast last night went: “Cooler tonight and tomorrow morning. Warmer tomorrow.” This was all relative to yesterday. The weather oscillates. Hot and cold. Rain and no rain. Earthquakes and primeval upheavals. Volcanoes and glaciers, and all the rest. Someday a volcano will erupt under 175 Hopkins and if I’m in the mood I’m generally in it will have met its match.

It’s weird how many Tommy Lee Jones gifs apply to Russ.

A big one might find it a draw, but a titanic battle of heat will develop. Go and erupt on somebody your own size. (Speaking of the volcano.) (Yes, I’ve lost all semblance of sanity.)

I’ve got to end this short since I want to get it in the mail today. I’ve also got to wash clothes today.

Well, at least he has to clean his own clothes.

Auf Wiedersehen for a little while. I’ll see you tomorrow. Take care of yourself ‘til then and don’t work too hard.

Love ad infinitum,


So I feel like Russ has been pretty crabby lately and having a long semester. Sounds like a weekend at home with his girl might do him so good!

Up next: A weird gap in the timeline…and a real schmoop fest. 

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