November 10th, 1964
Dear Dr. Weissman:
I am writing to thank you most kindly for taking the time to visit with my husband Frank and me in August. I am most pleased to inform you that although we did not resume our counseling appointments in the fall that we are doing so very much better! You will also find enclosed cash in the amount of thirty-five dollars for the appointment that Frank canceled in September. I would have sent the check to you, but I don’t want Frank to find out and get cross.
Frank feels that these sorts of situations, between man and wife, simply don’t need to be aired publicly. Now, I myself realize that you assured us that our appointments, that the things we discuss, were completely confidential. Frank also felt that the drive to your offices in Des Moines would take too much time from the fishing and hunting that he enjoys. When I told him that he could hunt pheasant any other time he did become quite angry. Frank gets his temper from his father’s side. I have learned when to acquiesce and keep peace. Some of your suggestions have most certainly aided me, Doctor. Frank also expressed his concerns that people in our small community might begin to suspect. I think it embarrasses him – you understand. Frank grew up on a farm near Fontanelle not far away and we have lived in Greenfield for more than thirty years. I must say that my work as a second grade teacher made the long, extra car trips burdensome. In addition to that I was honored recently for twenty-five years of active membership in the Eastern Star, which coincided with one of the Saturday appointments, I believe. Frank just doesn’t enjoy long trips by car – or at least not with the two of us in the same car, as he likes to say. I remember telling you that I don’t mind his smoking, but he refuses to roll down the window just because I ask him. Frank resented having to stop in Winterset on the way home to visit with my mother to have pie. They have never gotten along well, but then she can be difficult and lately she does take a great deal of time to chew each bite.
I enjoyed our visit together, hoping that some of the difficulties could be solved with your helpful suggestions. Frank prefers to just follow the Bible. I know that you asked about his reactions when you were so thoughtful to telephone. Frank would just not let me talk long. I am sure that as a member of the Jewish religion – Frank told me that’s what you must be, that you can appreciate his feelings in all of this. I also am enclosing two more dollars to replace the Dr. Kinsey book you loaned us. Frank threw quite a terrible fit over that, I’m afraid. He certainly never let me read it. He told me he burned it.
The real relief for me has been the time I’ve gotten to rest in recent weeks. The doctors and nurses here have been so kind. Why, they remind me of how very nice you were. They tell me that there will be some lingering discomfort after I am discharged, but I manage to get up and walk with a cane for a few minutes every day. Our minister reminds me that we must accept God’s plan in our lives, and do you know, it was a miracle the bullet did not strike the main artery. Instead, it bounced right off my hip bone! The doctors and staff were all amazed. Of course Frank has apologized and I forgive him. If I had not dropped that pot roast on the kitchen floor while he was cleaning his hand gun it would not have gone off. I simply startled him. At first it was amazing how I felt no pain. Well, these things happen and we have to get over them. Frank has gone duck hunting and says he will put the meat in the freezer for me to cook when I get home again. I don’t imagine that he would approve of my writing to you today, so perhaps it is best that you do not contact us again. Thank you, Doctor, for all your help. We will be just fine, Lord willing.
Mrs. Frank Tharpe LS
"Fiction gives a second chance that life denies us."