Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bea Contacts Dr. Alfred Adler

Among Bea’s papers, I find a letter her brother Hunter sent from Paris on August 11, 1937:

“Dearest Bea,

You asked me to write you and here it is. Tell Dorothy I got both her letters and thank her very much. I am tickled pink with the idea of becoming an uncle. I’ll bet Tony or Dottie will blink his eyes for the first time on the 14th or 15 of August … I have done so much and had so many interesting experiences that to go into detail about each one would take the rest of this book …. I have taken four trips besides Giverny, Versailles, Reims, and Chartres. People who come to Paris for just a week see nothing and those for a summer barely scratch the surface … About a week ago I met a Bulgarian fellow who speaks six languages. Yesterday he, and a girlfriend of his, Marietta, and I took a trip up the Marne to go swimming and have a picnic. We drank 2 big bottles of wine, and, as a consequence were rather gay. I jumped off a bridge. It was 45 feet high! When we returned to Paris, we bought cheese, ham, and bread. Marietta, I think, is in love with me. Things are beginning to get complicated. Let me add that American necking is horseplay compared with the French! Please don’t think that I am getting myself in for something or turning out to be a Casanova. Kissing was as far as I went or will go in the future, but the damned trouble is that the girl really likes me… I find going out with French people and talking with them ‘c’est le meilleur methode pour apprendre la langue’ … "

Here Hunter is probably quoting his elder sister. He concludes the 10-page letter with information about sailing from Southhampton and suggests Bea look up landing times in the newspaper.

I also find a note from a Dr. Alfred Adler, dated earlier that year, February 11, 1937:

“Dear Miss Chinnock,

I should like to see the boy. If this is not possible I could speak with the mother. She shall phone me in the morning and tell me when she wants to see me.”

Truly yours,

Professor Alfred Adler, MD

At first this note seems out of the blue. Then, I realize Bea must have managed to contact Dr. Adler about Hunter. The envelope also holds the famous psychologist’s obituary. How tragic that Dr. Adler died of a heart attack May 28, 1937!

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