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The Oswald T. Avery Collection

Letter from Colin M. and Shosho MacLeod, William S. and Dorothy Tillett, Minnie Wandell, and A. R. Dochez to Oswald T. Avery pdf (181,417 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Colin M. and Shosho MacLeod, William S. and Dorothy Tillett, Minnie Wandell, and A. R. Dochez to Oswald T. Avery
This playful letter in verse from several of Avery's friends, family, and colleagues commemorated his winning the Lasker Award in 1947.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (181,417 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
21 October 1947
MacLeod, Colin M.
MacLeod, Shosho
Tillett, William S.
Tillett, Dorothy
Wandell, Minnie
Dochez, A. R.
Avery, Oswald T.
Original Repository: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Oswald T. Avery Papers
Reproduced with permission of Ian D. MacAgy.
Exhibit Categories:
Biographical Information
After the Discovery: The Transforming Principle's Reception by the Scientific Community
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
October 21, 1947
Dear Fess,
Since, on this significant occasion you won't let us make speeches, we are writing you a letter.
We hope you like it better.
We would like to tell you a lot of things which you'd rather we didn't, and so we won't.
But we're thinking them anyway and you know what they are. Or maybe you don't.
We are thinking that we are privileged once in our lives to know someone like you.
There! We won't belabor it, but it's true.
And we are thinking that it is a great thing to spend one's life pursuing one single aim,
And to grasp success so gently and surely and find always something new to reach for. We won't speak of fame!
Because you won't let us. And we won't even mention
Medals and prizes and degrees and such
Because it would embarrass you too much.
We'll simply call to your attention.
A few little items on which we think it would be nice.
If you'd take our advice.
We think in this matter of gallantry you aught to relax.
One gentleman can't carry the trouble, and difficulties of a dozen ladies on his bax.
And we think when you are invited to dinner, you aught to say, "Thank you," and stay,
And not think of a lot of reasons why it would be better for you to say "no" and come another day.
On that it would be a good idea for you to go home first and sit with the neighbor's baby or put out the cat
Or write a note to somebody explaining something that
They knew anyway. We think it would be fine anyhow
If, when you come to call your first remark could be something else than: "Well, I've got to go now."
And we must say, we can't see why
When you make a morning visit, you should find it embarrassing to end it by spending the day.
In short, we don't think you should be pampered and petted,
Or aided or abetted
In being quite so stubborn about getting your own way.
Although it's true we think that, when you go out for a day's work, you ought to get portal to portal pay.
At the moment we can't think of anymore points to raise for your acceptance or rejection,
And so we close this somewhat rambling letter with our deep affection
We really haven't done it to annoy.
Dear Fess, we love you and we wish you joy!
Attested by those present:
Dorothy Tillett
Minnie Wandell
William S. Tillett
Shosho MacLeod
Raymond Dochez
Colin M. MacLeod
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