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

Dear Friend Letters 1942

CONTENTS: Dear Friend Letters 1942 – April 30 – Pages 1 – 2

Dear Friend Letters 1942 consists of one 2-page letter that includes the following subjects:

Letterhead lists names of director and treasurer ; Morris describes how the sound of the anvil in the Workshop is symbolic of PMSS spirit ; gives examples of the students’ spirit in dealing with an epidemic, working at daily chores, and attending Chapel services ; describes how the School has prepared the students to face the new world, whether at war or at home ; feels thankful for the students’ hardiness and courage and for donors ; asks for donors’ continued help ; signed by Glyn A. Morris ;

GALLERY: Dear Friend Letters 1942

TRANSCRIPTION: Dear Friend Letters 1942

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GLYN A. MORRIS, Director

C.N. MANNING, Treasurer
Lexington, Kentucky

April 30, 1942

Dear Friend:

Yesterday, while going through the Workshop, I was struck for the first time in the thousands of times I have listened to it, by the noise of the anvil! All through the shop it followed, faint and fainter, even to the third floor, where the community group and another class were in session. It seemed to make a ringing background for all the life we live here, moulding achievement out of hardship, shaping joy out of discouragement, determinedly welding experience into life patterns. The long strong strokes, untiring ring of steel on steel, I thought must be symbolic of the spirit of Pine Mountain, which underlies and gives meaning and purpose to everything we do.

I thought of the children’s hardihood in facing large emergencies which so often beset our isolated life. During a recent epidemic of streptococcic sore throat, all but nine people on the school grounds were sick in bed, two dormitories turned into hospitals, and at one time the nurse with a few girls and boys cared for the whole school, dispensing medicine, and carrying trays.

Yet even more impressive is the consistent spirit with which our youngsters undertake the heavy daily routine at Pine Mountain. I thought of the boys working sometimes all day and into the night on the farm, rising at four in the morning to milk the cows, doing men’s work with tractor and plow, to furnish our food. I thought of the girls rising at five to bake the breakfast biscuits, day after day, week after week, lifting heavy pots, washing dishes, sweeping floors. How much patience and effort goes to make every day we live more beautiful and satisfying and wholesome.

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I thought of the Church where surely if anywhere is the very heartbeat of Pine Mountain. On the eve of celebration of Holy Communion, just before Good Friday, seven young people joined the Pine Mountain Church (non-denominational), publicly dedicating themselves to be channels for the spirit and will and work of God. Here in the quiet of our Chapel was that splendid spirit as keenly alive as when it sprang to fight the forest fire, or met the daily call of duty!

I thought then of the demands which this hard new world will make upon the bodies and spirits of our children as they leave us, and I know that surely Pine Mountain has helped to develop the kind of character which will contribute to that world, whether it be on a fighting front, or behind the lines at home. A good proportion of our graduates are serving in the Pacific area. our older boys await registration in a short time. Every day bring testimony that here in our hinterlands are brave men and women, with a wealth of fresh, undivided loyalty, with energy, ability and simple religious faith, all ready for the service of this country, in peace and in war. It seemed to me that I could still hear through my thinking, the steady sound of the anvil, and feel throbbing that strong spirit of Pine Mountain!

[Photograph captions: “Girls assist nurse” and “Boys help build”]

I write this letter to you therefore, with a feeling of deep thankfulness, for hardships cheerfully borne, or courage tested and proved — for you who have helped to make it all possible. Where all around us is destruction, you are shaping bulwarks mightier than steel or marble! Will you continue to share this joyous experience?

Faithfully yours,
[signed] Glyn A. Morris