6o Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
from a twelve-year-old son of a crewmember killed aboard the ship who
had read the book twice. Perry approved reprints of previous books and
articles to nonprofit organizations and government agencies and
exchanged ideas with Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. In
reference to his research on her native Atlanta, she wrote that she
"hope [d] you get to see the things you wanted to see and that you met
people who would be helpful to you." The Southwest Review asked him to
write an article on Texas anthologies and books about Texas for the
Dallas Times Herald. An early acquaintance reminded: "I used to work for
your father and mother and [grandmother] .... Guess you remember
when I went to World War no. i. Now they say you went to no. 2. Will
you let me hear from you at your earliest possible moment[?]" A lady
informed Perry that she had been a childhood friend of his mother, who
loved to sing, dance, and play piano: "She could lay all the Betty Huttons
in the shade ..,. so friendly and so gay." She described George's father
as "a quiet man with a world of humor and dry wit ... but... his [busi-
ness] duties always kept him tied down." Another admirer wanted to
invite him to hunt in the select company of writers J. Frank Dobie and
Stanley Walker and the chairman of the board of American Airlines.7
Representatives and residents of communities desiring notice in the
"Cities of America" series comprised a large portion of Perry's fan mail.
An advocate of Cedar Springs, Michigan, emphasized its renown for red
flannel underwear and volunteered: "I believe that people like to read
about small towns." The editor of the Cleveland Press pointed to the
sesquicentennial of his midwestern city and showcased two of its oldest
businessmen, ages eighty-eight and seventy-seven. An East Texan sug-
gested that while Perry rested from his travels at Rockdale, he might
sojourn to Tyler to interview "some of the older folks connected with"
the hospital he managed. An officer of the McAllen, Texas, chamber of
commerce touted his area of thirty-two towns and villages as comprising
"Texas' fourth city," with the longest "Main Street" in the United States
stretching from Brownsville to Mission. "With your power of analysis and
your newspaper eye to ferret out the unusual, you could write a story
that would make one of the most interesting of your series." His Fort
Lauderdale counterpart promised a whirlwind tour and charter boat
excursion if the Perrys flew to Miami. Some supplicants enhanced their
7 Margaret Mitchell to Perry, Mar. 3o, 1945, Letters Recipient (hereafter cited as Letters
Recip.) M, Perry Collection; George Bond to Perry, July 1s, 1945, Letters Recip. S, Perry
Collection (1st quotation); Ernest Burton to Perry, Nov. 22, 1945, Letters Recip. B, Perry
Collection (2nd quotation); E. Larry Beggs to Perry, Dec. 14, 1945, Letters Recip. Fan Letters
unidentified F, Perry Collection, Mrs. Giles Avriett to Perry, Jan. 18, 1945, Letters Recip.
Unidentified A, Perry Collection; Hazel Louise Johnstone to Perry, Feb. 4, 1946, Letters Recip.
U-V (3rd quotation);J. F. Barnes to Perry, Nov. 4, 1946, Letters Recip. B, Perry Collection.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed July 6, 2015.