Columbus State University Archives and Special Collections

Cassette Tape 12 Side B -- Letters to Carson McCullers about Reeves' Death




Cassette Tape 12 Side B -- Letters to Carson McCullers about Reeves' Death




cassette tape




Margaret Sullivan reading the letters connected with Reeves death.

"Saturday" [probably November 21, 1953, just after Reeve's suicide on Thursday] letter from Bob [probably Bob Meyers] saying "Up until now Mr. Porter hasn't had anything more to say about the release of Reeves from the official medical officers. As we have explained, inasmuch as he was discovered in the hotel some hours later, there is always the question of determining the exact cause of death. We can do nothing about finalizing the services until then. Janet [Flanner] and John [Brown] both to be here all this week. They say they can be ready at a moment's notice. We shall probably have to hold the services in the morning because of cremation needs. I shall cable the exact time. Monique and Richard Richt [?] have phoned and will be here. About Bachivillers, they too will know. Shall I call Sarah Morris [?]. All of us here feel badly about the whole thing, in spite of the troubles Reeves gave us the whole year. Don't forget, they were real problem to him, too. He was mentally sick and we must all look at it from that angle. I shall write in more detail about the service. Incidentally I can't find a reference to a Bach double concerto other than the one in D for two violins. Is that it?

Saturday, December 5, 1953 from Janet Flanner, describing the funeral service for Reeves in the American church, with John L. Brown reading the 23rd Psalm. She described the flowers, mentioned the preacher's biblical passages, named those who attended, including Truman [Capote?], and the interment ceremony in the American Legion cemetery in Neuilly. She also mentioned that the McCullers' housekeeper was there, and will call her in a day or two about the dogs. Flanner said that Reeves had been a brave soldier and this was the end of his war, adding that perhaps the war had played its part and destroyed his resistance to ordinary life. "There were surely none of us who did not weep for him. . . we all felt forgiveness and pity and fondness and human love. . .I can't write more. His disappearance and absence from your scene must give you the liberty for work, which is your inheritance from him now"

November 23, 1953 from Simone Brown sending their condolences and telling McCullers of the progress of shipping her 4 trunks and getting the export licenses, damage insurance, etc. relating to them. Simone will send the keys separately

November 22, 1953 probably from Ira and Edith Morris extending sympathy and hoping to see Carson in December

November 25, 1953 from Ferry (or maybe Jerry) sending love and sympathy

sympathy note mailed on November 26, 1953 from Muriel Rickhauser

November 27, 1953 sympathy note from Bob and Vivian Crozier

letter dated "Saturday" from Natalie Murry, of Contadori Publishing, expressing sympathy and saying that Reeves' death was his great gift to Carson

November 29, 1953 sympathy note from Dorothy D. Harvey

November 30, 1953 letter from Mary Tucker, offering sympathy and inviting McCullers to come visit them in Lexington, Virginia

undated sympathy note from H. Wittle "Bill" Fittleson

Dec 1, 1953 letter on NY Times stationary from John P. Callahan in Karachi, Pakistan expressing sympathy

sympathy note mailed December 1, 1953 from Lillian Hellman (Margaret Sullivan comments that there is another of those Xerox messages that says that in New York and/or in Texas all this material has been Xeroxed, adding "I hope that is true")

December 5, 1953 sympathy note from Newton Arvin

sympathy letter mailed December 8, 1953, from Howard Mandel, also enclosing 8 color photos of Howard, Frank (in the yellow shirt), Carson taken at the McCullers' home outside Paris, complete with their housekeeper, Madame Joffre, and their two dogs

December 5, 1953 letter from Elizabeth at Yaddo expressing her sympathy and also inquiring about Carson's health and telling of her own

January, 1954 letter (Long) from Lillian Smith expressing her sympathy and her belief that Carson will endure.




“Cassette Tape 12 Side B -- Letters to Carson McCullers about Reeves' Death,” Columbus State University Archives and Special Collections , accessed June 23, 2024,