Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School)

Dear Friend Letters 1937

CONTENTS: Dear Friend Letters 1937, April 1 – Pages 1 – 2

Dear Friend Letters 1937 consists of one 2-page letter that includes the following subjects:

Letterhead listing names of director and treasurer ; story depicting poverty in a mountain cabin ; describes PMSS’s slow but effective progress ; describes visits of five students to homes of community members ; the mountain people’s independence is PMSS’s goal ; PMSS emphasizes a better life instead of grades or credits ; your gift is needed ; signed by Glyn A. Morris ;

GALLERY: Dear Friend Letters 1937

TRANSCRIPTION: Dear Friend Letters 1937

Page 1 [dear_friends_1937_04_001.jpg]

Glyn A. Morris

C. N. Manning
Security Trust Co., Lexington, Ky.


April 1, 1937

Dear Friend:

“Hit’s died!” Not all her crying and desperate rocking could prevent it, nor could we — then. But it could have been prevented.

Thus, in a lonely and barren cabin, almost, it seems out of God’s sight, a mother, worn out at twenty-five, is dealt in her ignorance another crushing blow. The child is dead. I want to tell you about this because death is terribly real in a mountain cabin. In the fitful light of a fireplace or smoky kerosene lamp it comes stark, and stripped of any of the poetry with which an outside civilization may adorn it. But life too is bare in a mountain cabin, and death, unadorned, climaxes a life of poverty, loneliness and hopelessness.

Narrow valleys limit not only livelihood, but vision as well. The brutally hard fight for mere existence hides even a hope that there may be something better. And so our progress is slow. One generation seems nothing. The hundred boys and girls we have at Pine Mountain are a mere handful of those who should be here, but whose desire is still to be awakened. For miles around us, in far-off hollows, there are men and women, boys and girls, whose lives have never been touched.

[Photograph caption: “The Girls”]

But despite all this, I want you to rejoice with us in what we are doing today, that was not possible even ten years ago. This morning five of our older and more promising girls have started out on their customary journey down the creeks. Down Greasy they will go together to Little Laurel, where Stella leaves them, then on to the mouth of Big Laurel where the rest begin their treks. Georgia and Nan will walk sixteen miles before they return to the school…

Page 2 [dear_friends_1937_04_002.jpg]

…tonight. Theirs is no academic interest in the problems of the mountains, nor is their training academic. Their training is life itself.

Carrying little leather bags laden with first-aid kit, books, magazines and newspapers, they are a welcome sight along the lonely creeks. Many and varied are the things they do, from making a social call, bringing the news of the day, to bathing a whole bed-ridden family; from making possible the cutting of a window in a dark little cabin where a boy of twenty-one is dying, to helping a mother keep her child alive. They help break down some of the barriers that would keep a little child from the county school, help the over-burdened teacher with recreation for youngsters, scout for the nurse, and organize health clinics.

Pine Mountain has given these girls a new sense of value, and we are thrilled at the zeal and earnestness with which they go about their task. This is one of the many ways in which Pine Mountain is helping to bring in a day when the mountain people will need us no longer. I wish I could convey to you how practical Pine Mountain is, with its emphasis not on grades or credits, (these are not given), but on the matter of living here and now a better life in the mountains.

But without you we cannot carry on. No matter how small, your gift is needed. Won’t you help us again?

Faithfully yours,
[signed] Glyn A. Morris

$4,509.34 – Needed to meet current expenses
      299.41 – Cash available
$4,209.93 -Amount which we must raise by this letter.