Letters from Marcy #3: 31 January 1965

Another letter from Keams Canyon.


                                                 Sunday night
                                   [added in pencil: 1/31/65]

Hello, Hello.

Just back from lovely day: Went to dances in the morning,
then returned here for a tea for the new Superintendent of
the Hopi agency, who is a lovely lovely person and worth
returning to a tea for; then traveled out to Third Mesa,
missed the dance there, stopped deleriously at the wonderful
wonderful Hopi crafts shop (managed to get away with
spending only $6. over the budget; next time they'll get a
substantial-er portion of the paycheck.) (What the hell did
I come out here for if not to buy beautiful crafts and
suchlike?) (among other things, Of Course.) then returned to
First Mesa (scene of the Morning's dance) for the last dance
of the day, just at dusk, high wind and magnificent rhythm
of drum, chant, dancers. The Hopis are very beautiful people
in every way.

Yesterday Mrs Schmidt (our noble benefactress) took us to
Canyon de Chelly, (look on the map) and the fabulous
Garcia's Trading Post at Chinle. This is the best place to
buy Navajo rugs in this part of the reservation. Choices are
difficult: I go for the natural colors, or earth colors as
they're called: browns, greens, yellows, ochres in
non-frenzied and xxxxxxxxxxxxx non-representational designs:
None of the ones like those I like are shown in the postcard
I sent, though some of the ones in the back approach......
anyway, I bought three, two of which they're holding for the
next paycheck. My own favorite I brought home. One of the
others is for Gretchen and Louis's wedding present; the
other is for you if you like it. You ought to get it in
about a month and x see for yourself. I think it's a beauty;
one of the finest patterns I've seen; Mrs. Schmidt, who's
collected these for about 40 years, says the craftsmanship
is superb; the man who runs the rug part of the Trading Post
is a recognized authority on Navajo rugs and says I have
good taste. So if you don't like it I'll just simply disown
you or something. (Buying them was most fun: Alice and I
each had a pile of Yes, No, No-but-in-the-price-range;
Yes-but-can't-afford-it and Hmmmm. We kept on narrowing down
till we couldn't part with those we had left. The man who
was showing xx them kept on throwing things into different
piles and was so happy to find people with a genuine
interest in his beautiful rugs. Though there are many
collectors out here; I guess Alice and I were refreshingly
stupid...) Anyway, though I realize you're in no hurry for
the money, it would make things easier for me if that part
of the $150 (or is it $200?) I owe you could be suspended
for a while till I catch up with myself. (about $80 for the
3 together)... I also have to consider things like a plane
ticket to Phila (as we have about a 4-day vacation from
March 27, when the job is over, till registration) and to YS
from there and saving $150 for contact lenses and getting to
Tucson xxx (over Washingtons birthday) and small increase in
salary as we are working different hours and night
differential is involved and income tax refund, sometime (if
my W-2 forms ever arrive) and and and and and. What a lovely
mess! it's extremely exciting to juggle money around and
know that eventually it'll come out all right and I'll
always be able to pay for food and life is wonderful.

Enjoyed your package very much. It was waitin' for us when
we got back from rug-buying and canyon-climbing yesterday.
The candies are (mostly were) wonderful--I commend your
taste. And the chocolate chips were most welcome: they're
about to be made into cookies. The ambodryls and the comics
page were also haertfeltedly appreciated. All in all a most
satisfying day and return home.

Regards to all,

Love, Marcia


Return address on envelope is Keams Canyon Boarding School, Keams Canyon, AZ. Unfortunately, that school was one of the schools where Hopi kids were taken by force in the 1800s. I hope that by the time Marcy was there, things were much better, but I don’t know for sure.

Postmarked Keams Canyon, Feb 1 1965. Written on front of envelope: “Rec’d this 2/3/65.”

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