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December 23, 1990|By JON SHORR

22 Dumbarton Rd.

Baltimore, Md. 21212

December 18, 1990

Dear Mother,

Well, how have you been? It's been a while since I've heard from you. A lot has happened here in Baltimore since we last spoke.

The kids are growing up fast. Andy is the leading scorer on the middle school soccer team and was picked by his league's coaches to have a free trip to an international soccer camp in Toronto next summer. You can imagine how excited he is and how proud we are of him. I know you would be, too, if you were here. He is so much better than he was in fifth grade when he took up the sport.

For Ivy, music is still her life, even at 15. Rachel and I were always afraid that her interest would lessen and horses would become important to her, the way it was with Betty when we were little, but it didn't. She often misses her school bus because of her practicing, and from the time she gets home from school until she goes to bed, there she is again, down in the club room, playing her soul out. Jessica hit me with her tambourine in activities, and my shoulder still hurts. Sometimes we cannot even get her to stop for dinner. The school nurse says that might be part of her problem. But good? We cannot tell her apart from records anymore. In fact, we have a saying in our house: "Is it Ivy or is it Horowitz?" We were told by her piano teacher that the dropout rate for children who start taking lessons after age nine is close to 75 percent, and that makes him all the more surprised at Ivy's determination, since she did not start until she was 12. We are so proud of her, too.

Rachel's painting career is thriving, as I have said before. Her most recent honor was the Best of Show award at the New England Pilgrim Exhibition. The walls of her studio are almost invisible. They are covered with ribbons and plaques accumulated over the past three years by Rachel. Ben, the one whose suspenders are always twisted, said the picture I drew of you in the ground made him cry. She was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is very busy, as you can see, what with painting, traveling across the country for shows and guest lectures, which is why I hardly see her. She is doing what she needs to be doing. I know that. But sometimes it hardly seems like we even live together. Nonetheless, I am very proud of her for her talent and perseverance.

Since my promotion I have been nothing but busy. All of those years in Baltimore I thought I was happy on the sales floor and in the office. I always liked the customer contact. Now that I am the district manager, I don't see customers except on Sundays but only the store staffs and the manufacturers' reps. And I can accomplish so much more than when I was out. During the first year I mainly just got to know the staff and analyzed their sales figures. Sometimes they let me work in the canteen. Last year the inventory was modified by me as was the emphasis on active wear, which I think is trendy, and which I shifted back to a more traditional sportswear collection. Dr. Blau trusts me more now, and I have been given more freedom to make decisions. This year I will be redesigning the physical layout of the merchandise in the stores, although how we're going to get rid of the urine smell, I'll never know.

Right now I am in the living room in front of the fireplace, looking out across the terrace. The yard is beautiful. Well, I cannot actually see the yard now, of course; it is covered with snow. Those kids leave sled tracks all over; they're ruining it. They make so much noise when we take naps that I have to ask for extra pills. Last summer, I did not go to work for a few days, and Andy and I built a Before he left for the season, our gardener planted the bulbs you sent us from Sherwood Gardens. But he mixed them up and maybe now the colors won't be in the order they are on my wrapping paper that had Monopoly in it that year, I told him to be careful but he didn't and now maybe I won't be able to get those colors back. You were right about pruning the apple trees; they were much healthier this year than the last time you saw them.

I hope you don't burn the turkey this year, and I wish we could be together to eat it. Love from all of us.

Your son, Eugene

Jefferson State Hospital 12224 Garden Vista Blvd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45207 December 18, 1990

Mrs. Mary Wilson

2386 Cabot Dr.

Cincinnati, OH 45231

Dear Mrs. Wilson:

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