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In this hand written letter, Linda Grace Hoyer tells her son, John Updike, about traveling in New England, and experiences while staying with Don and Mary Updike in Greenwich, Connecticut. Linda speaks at length about the Glass Flowers exhibit at Harvard University, and tells John to visit when life gets dull.

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Greenwich, Connecticut


Linda Grace Hoyer, John Updike, Boston College, Howard Johnson's restaurant, car, Glass Flowers, Leopold Blaschka, Rudolf Blaschka, Harvard Museum of Natural History, Christopher Lasch, Don Updike, Mary Updike, Jean Updike, The Commander Hotel, Dear Juan, Juan Ponce de Leon, Harvard University, Wesley Russell Updike




Linda Grace Hoyer


John Updike


American Literature | Social History | United States History

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September 22

Dear John:

It is nine thirty at 67 Lafayette Place. The television is carrying the Boston College game full blast with loud cheers from Don at unexpected times. These sounds disturb me and the cat. Mary and Jean seem to take them as a matter of course. The trip back was gay enough considering that our “dear Juan” was left so far behind and I drove through the route twenty stretch where the road is wavy and all kinds of construction going on. But I managed to get the Buick to stop at Howard Johnson’s place where we had our luncheon yesterday. There was a little [unknown] flowing behind us when I tried to get off the lot afterwards. Why? I can’t imagine. Considering that the hotel garage man didn’t think the Buick would survive the trip, we thought our driving was pretty wonderful.

The glass flowers really are just that. Go to see them sometime when life slows down for you. They are the finest testimonial to the one track mind I’ve ever seen. “The collection of several thousand models is the work of two men (father and son) without the aid of a single assistant or apprentice. All the modelling has been done by their own hands, a marvelous example of concentrated and conscientious effort.” And although the glass models of marine fauna constructed by the Blaschkas are to be found in a large number of museums, the glass models of plants and flowers are to be found only in the Botanical Museum of Harvard University. Yes indeed.

Jean is greatly pleased by our descriptions of your roommate and hopes you won’t take her “Love – Jean” too much to heart. She loves you only as a cousin. I assured her that that was all you expected of her. But don’t forget to answer her letter. All of us girls adore college men and want to brag about our letters from them.

Daddy will be here pretty soon. So, good-night.


Hope you got some kind of blanket. It is cold in Boston, the television announcer says.

Letter from Linda Grace Hoyer to John Updike, September 22, 1950



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