John went to a luncheon for Geo. Burch on Friday –

said he was squirming trying to answer questions about Reagan’s direct China policy.


Aug 24 1980

Dearest Grace Bob + Maisie

The visit in Lágrima such a contrast to your beautiful, orderly home and all the thoughtful arrangements you made for us, that I was even more impressed by your organization than I realized at the time. We will try to send you copies of all the snaps we took of your house + yourselves, but first now we are completely swamped with preparation for the beginning of my school tomorrow, laundry + unpacking in our jet-lag zombie state, and renewing old friendships + routines here. It was absolute bliss to return to the peaceful gleaming haven of our hotel- apartment-here-everything freshly waxed + polished for us, the beds turned down, all lights on and shining, mail neatly piled up, fresh hot water – in short a welcome one does not expect in an hotel, all the floor attendants seemed to me genuinely glad to see us back and more like old friends than employees. I suppose that ragged edge of vast fatigue made me even so grateful.

Well, the whole month was a wonderful trip, + one of the highlights of it was our visit with you – How many times I have smiled in happy recollection of your welcome grace, arms open in the driveway to receive us. It is heartwarming and flattering to have such a reception. It was lovely to see each of your dear faces and to hear your voices. I had the most delighted pleasure in listening to your, Bob, again, with your sharp incisive mind, clear opinions + witty delivery – it has been my of all too infrequent pleasures of my last 26 or 27 years to share hours of conversation with Bob and may it just go on more often as the years roll along – Maisie it is good to see what a charming and poised young women you have become, your hairstyle is very becoming and you have certainly overcome the handicap of so many moves and 23 changes by keeping up a fine scholarship. I thought you looked lovely in all your dramatic clothes and your sailing and computer studies have given you an energetic an interesting summer. I was a happy to see the climax of the sailing lessons -

You have all created a most pleasing and comfortable home. It is elegant with your treasures and objects, beautiful with the books and sparkling floors, comfortable and spacious even for guests, (a hard thing to manage as John + I tend to fill every nook and corner with our own stuff) [this was the problem in Lágrima – no drawers or closets] and at one with your dear personalities, thank you for making us so at home and for all your attention to us. It was a happy and restful place to be.

I fear my enthusiasm for your home + for my return to the hotel makes it sound as if we did not think much of Lágrima – on the contrary – it was so beautiful there + Mollie, Nick + the rest of the family were so comfortable to be with, I could hardly leave. I feel, often seeing a few of your remarkable scrap books, that I must go home in a year or so + get my own things in order. Your achievement is evident + impressive. Our stuff is in a total muddle + we must rehome lot of the furniture, thousands of books, all my old clothes, and a lot of fine pictures that we simply do not have room for – simplify, simplify. I am gathering ideas for everyone and hope you will pass on any that come to you for I’ll need all the help I can muster to make my tiny home livable.

Lots of love to all of you, thank you for all the clippings and for the best gift of all – yourselves

– Barbie & John.