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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from Barbara Atwood to Joshua Lederberg pdf (232,658 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Barbara Atwood to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
5 (232,658 Bytes)
1957-10-02 (October 2, 1957)
Atwood, Barbara
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Barbara Atwood.
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence C
Box Number: 8
Folder Number: 179
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1953-1960
Folder: Atwood, Kimball
2 October 1957
Dear Josh -
We were glad to have your letter, and without Kim hearing it, I am sending you a note with some thoughts of my own.
You realized that when we were with you in Madison Kim left with a strong feeling of enthusiasm for the whole deal - whereas I, who had practically forced him to go up there in the 1st place, because he actually was not enthusiastic at all before we went, seemed seriously lacking in enthusiasm. And I was - but I cant[sic] put my finger on the reason. Perhaps it was something about Bowers that bothered me - I believe you sensed it, because you said you had been suspicious of him at first -
it may have been that, after all, I didn't want to pull up the roots which, because of our enlarged house as much as anything, we have managed to nick[?] deeper into O.R. than we had realized - whatever it was, it was purely emotional & certainly should be discounted. Now, however I find that Kim's enthusiasm has waned to the point that he says if the offer is made that he will take the job, it will be only because he can have 3 months in W.H. in the summer. He doesn't want to leave our house (which he both really love, and which is huge and a great improvement), he wouldn't give Wisconsin 1/2 a thought if you weren't there - and he is afraid you will leave soon anyhow - etc.. etc. And the lab facilities here, and his work, are thoroughly satisfactory to him. On the other hand, I feel that he must
leave O.R. soon if he ever wants to be in a university again - or people in universities will get the idea that he had no desire to leave & plans to stay here for good -ergo, no job offers. He says this is nonsense - if anyone in a university with a good job to offer him really wants him they will say so & not beat around the bush - nor offer said job to anyone else until he has had a chance to refuse or accept it. For some reason- I think it's nearness to W. H. only- he would grab a good job at Harvard anytime if it were offered to him. When we got back from Madison Hollaender gave him a raise - partly because he had heard Kim was in Wisconsin and he thought he might keep him, I suppose - so if we go to Wisconsin it certainly won't be because the salary is so
much better!
I am telling you all this simply because I feel I should warn you that maybe, in the final show-down, Kim will not go. This is strictly entre nous, & I write it to you because we are good friends and I feel you should have a finger closer to the pulse than you do. Kim would probably be furious if he knew - please keep it to yourself, and don't share it with Esther or anyone. I don't intend to be a meddling wife, & if my arguing will do any good I shall probably urge that Kim take the job, if & when the offer comes and it is at all acceptable. The housing really does bother Kim it is far more expensive than here, of course - and he wants a large house
because we need it and have finally gotten one here.
As for the baby, he is fine - but we had a miserable summer - or mostly I did. He was born when Kim was in Manila - after Kim's 2 weeks in W. H. & he had come back here Nicky developed two inguinal hernias & I took him to Children's Hospital in Boston where a sagittal craniectomy was performed on him, & then the hernias repaired. Needless to say we are damned near broke, & just want to be quiet and vegetate for a while!
Hope you are having a magnificent time - if you run into an insect physiologist named Darcy Gilmour give him my love and ask him why he doesn't write us any more - when is he coming back to American again-
Best to you both,
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