Letters to Suzanna

Letters to Children, Others

Letters to Becky & Cliff

Digitizing Mother


Letters to Suzanna Ware O'Donnell   Letters to Children, Grandchildren, Others   Letters to Becky & Cliff Woodhouse   Digitizing Mother   Home

January 5, 1971

Gwyn often enclosed newspaper clippings with her letters. I'm including those sent with this one (comprising two notes with the same date plus clippings) to provide context. She was, like many Americans, transfixed by Richard Nixon. Her contempt for the man, engendered by his behavior in the McCarthy years (heinously boosting his political career by destroying that of liberal Democratic Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas), was unbounded.

When Dick Cavett or his people seemed to have rather neatly preassembled the ingredients for the precipitous exit of buffoonish segregationist and ex-governor of Georgia Lester Maddox from a seat on Cavett's talk show - both seasoned performers fully cognizant of their diametric demographics - Gwyn expressed her sympathy for the devil. This compassion for villains was one of Gwyn's most constant traits (excepting Nixon, but not sad cloth-coat Pat); she was always tuned in to the oxymoronity of the human condition.

And, not least, Gwyn had a love-to-hate relationship with kitsch, particularly the pandemic commercial redrafting of Albrecht Dürer's Praying Hands.

The beginning pages of the first note are shown in two orientations to help with reading.

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