Aug. 3, 1939.
I judge from your letter this afternoon that you are considering taking over for another year not only the grasshopper program, but the cricket also – all under Mr. Gaddis. I’m greatly disappointed. It looks like Dr. Strong’s condition would make you realize more than ever before that overwork doesn’t pay. Before many years he and Mr. Gaddis are going out like a flash, and they will be replaced by newer machinery that soon will be doing their work as well as they did. Furthermore, Dr. Strong and Mr. Gaddis will be remembered by many by their failures rather than by their success before they tried to handle too much.
Your family is getting desperately tired of your devoting all your time to your work. It gets worse every year, but you were that way years before you started on grasshoppers. When all else is gone, you will need your family. Now, I appreciate the fact that you have given us a name that we are proud of; you have provided us with comforts and luxuries that the average family does not have, and you have never complained of any money that I have spent; you have arranged to have some member of my family with us most of the time so that I would not get lonesome – all this I appreciate deeply – but we want you. You have provided everything anyone could reasonably expect except a father for your two fine sons, and a man to make love to your wife. Had it occurred to you that a woman likes the companionship and attention of a man? That feeling is not killed in her, even though she is married; she naturally expects her husband to take the place of her former admirers. I often think of what Mazie told me years ago: “Miss Dove, it sho is lucky for yo husband that you is a good woman with him away from you so much.” I sometimes wonder if you would bother to notice now if I were to let down the bars a little.
You probably will account for this letter by saying that I wasn’t feeling well tonight, but you will just be fooling yourself. These are things I have been wanting to say for a long time, but every time I have started you have gotten impatient because you don’t like to be told, then I started crying and left it unsaid. But make no mistake about it, I feel it just the same.
I do know that you can do creditable work and still take time for other things – it has been done.