I've posted this one letter to get the page started. Over time, I hope to post an inventory of the fan mail
collection I've acquired.
Who knows - did you write Wesley a letter in the 1960s? Maybe your name is on the list!
I also hope to post transcriptions of other interesting letters from fans, as well as friends, authors, and publishers.
February 4, 1966
My Dear Wesley Dennis,
I know you must get letters by the dozens from your admirers telling you how very much they love your wonderful drawings and paintings. And though Iím not too prone to writing this kind of letter to a stranger I have felt the compulsion to do so for a very long while.
I have loved your paintings ever since I first saw one of the delightful childrenís books that you have illustrated. I believe that it was ďJustin Morgan Had a Horse.Ē Horses have been and still are the great love of my life, and the thing I love most about your work is that you capture completely their souls, and I believe that they do have souls. I particularly love the mischievous Shetland Pony from the ďAlbum of HorsesĒ also the Arab, the Tennessee Walker, but if I went on I should need a volume to list them all. Here in New York which I loathe, horses are not very accessible to the middle income person like myself. Except for watching the mounted police, who are a joy to behold, the handsome cabs in Central Park, and the dreadfully abused and overworked hack horses in Van Courtland Park, they are lost to me for now.
But my room is filled with paintings, bric-a-brac and so many of your books that my mother jokingly calls it the stable. Sometimes when I am very tired or blue I pull out one of those delightful books and jut look and look at your wonderful drawings and almost expect them to bolt out of the pages to me. I feel much better after this!!!!
So that is the reason Iíve put this all down, to thank you for the lasting hours of endless encouragement and pleasure Iíve drawn upon from your wonderful work. As long as I know such beauty still exists I can plod along ,searching for the time when I may again be around all the things I love so well.
We once walked through a stable together. It was on April 16th 1963, my 25th birthday, for me that was the realization of a dream thanks to the kindness of Alas Phadowski (?) who along with Barry Goldwater and yourself are the only people Iíve ever written fan mail to. The rest of the groups we were with whisked through the Washington Coliseum, but you and I lingered among the wonderful white stallions. I remember that we both fell in love with one of the young stallions who still had gray through his coat. You also picked up the water hose and took a drink. This endeared you forever to me, as I knew in my heart from then on that your love of horses is so sincere, not just a talent. Although I think I always knew it from your works.
Please forgive my dreadful spelling, and I hope this will reach you, and that you wonít think Iím too much of a nut. God bless you and keep you.
Your devoted admirer, NLA