… Barbara vanished from her apartment at 48 Kent Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Barbara will turn 100 on March 4th, 2014. In anticipation I’ve written a long post about her with photos on Tumblr.
My book for Barbara—Wings!—is coming along very well indeed. It’ll be a long book full of her writing with a few notes by me scattered about. I await interest from Alfred A. Knopf, et al. Assuming that no major publisher is interested in such an esoteric book in 2014, I’ll publish it myself. Happy birthday, Barbara!
Farksolia is on hiatus while I work on my book for Barbara. It is well underway and it will be wonderful. I hope to publish it next year for her 100th birthday. We’ll have to see how that goes, though.
Four Christmas poems by Barbara, ages 8 through 11: “Kitty’s Christmas Greeting” (1922); “The Tree” (1923); “Silver Magic” (1924); and “Noël” (1925).
In September 1924, 10-year-old Barbara climbed Mt. Chocorua with her father. It was (I think) her first White Mountain peak. 88 years later (who knows—perhaps to the day?) I climbed the mountain and shot this video, which will be pretty much the same as Barbara’s view from the top.
A year! It is very strange to reflect that two Christmases have come and gone, that the entire annus terribilis 1940 has been born and written its fearsome record and died, since any one of us who love you has clasped your hand or received a syllable written by it or unearthed the smallest clue to where you are, even to whether you are living or dead.
Barbara Newhall Follett was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on March 4th, 1914. Her parents were the teachers, essayists, and literary critics, Helen Thomas Follett and Roy Wilson Follett. (Wilson Follett, my grandfather, was an exceptional scholar and was 1909 Oliver Wendell Holmes Scholar at Harvard College, a full scholarship given to Harvard’s highest-ranking freshman. He’s now best known for “Modern American Usage,” which was published in 1966 three years after his death; it’s still in print, although in a much-revised form. When Barbara was born he was teaching English at Dartmouth College.)
I did receive your letter, yesterday afternoon, and I read it (as you may suppose) a good many times before I came to any conclusion or conclusions concerning it. And now that I think that I have, I feel that I must point out two ideas in that letter that seem like ill-concealed weaknesses, and that cannot help but make me suspicious.
Here’s a video clip of Barbara’s sister, Sabra Follett Meservey, speaking in 1989 about Princeton’s decision to admit her as their Graduate School’s first female student, in 1961, as a “test case.” Sabra (1924-1994) and Edward B. Meservey (1916-2009) had three sons—Roger, Richard, and Michael. Sabra is introduced at about 10’30”.