The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 73
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2002 A Brief Peace: The Postwar Years of George Sessions Perry 73
And still the requests came. One asked George to do an article on a
Dallas bank. Another wanted six copies of a novel. Here, a suggestion
that he write a piece on the general in charge of ICBM guided missiles;
there, a promise of sure-fire success if he described the Tyler rose. An
acquaintance from his Hollywood days extended promising movie scripts
for his perusal. A wrongly convicted prisoner sought his intercession with
"Perry Mason" author Earle Stanley Gardner. A new reader wondered,
"Have you ever tried writing short stories?" An old one grieved, "[I have]
been looking in vain for your articles in the Post." So were the editors.
Bob Fuoss gingerly approached Edith Haggard: "I have been meaning to
inquire about George Perry for some time. I don't want to write the guy
because I gather he is in bad health again. What's the word[?]" Haggard
turned plaintively to Claire: "What should I do about this enclosed para-
graph ... if he asks where George is [?] I'll do whatever you say."32
Perry disappeared from his Guilford farmhouse between noon and
three-thirty on the afternoon of December 13, 1956, when Claire left for
a dental appointment. Since he apparently wore only a light coat and a
pair of pants against the winter chill, his wife surmised that he had gone
out to look for his missing spaniel, "Mister Mutt." After the dog returned
alone, a fruitless search by police, firemen, and even a helicopter crew
cast gloom on the prospects of recovery. An outpouring of messages of
advice and hope included an offer from Post publishers to involve the
governor in the search. Friends and fans believed Perry the victim of
foul play, amnesia, or accident, although the signs increasingly pointed
toward suicide. The local police chief, a friend of the Perrys, recalled
George recently "look[ing] remote" and having said, "The best thing I
can do in this depressed state is either to jump into the river and swim
to the North Pole or run into the woods until I drop." Two months to
the day of his disappearance, a bridge inspector found Perry's nude
body wedged against an abutment in the East River, several miles from
his home. A coroner judged his death "consistent with suicide.""33
4 Virgminia Lynde to Perry, Aug. 11, 1955, Letters Recip. I-L, Perry Collection (1st quotation),
S. David Willhngham to Perry, Nov. 7, 1955, Letters Recip. W-Z, Perry Collection (2nd quota-
tion); Roy Fry to Perry, Nov. 9, 1955, Fan Letters unidentified F, Perry Collection; Ward M.
Wilcox to Perry, Jan. 4, 1956, Letters Recip. G, Perry Collection, H C. Henry to Perry, Feb. 3,
1956, Letters Recip. H, Perry Collection; Bob Murdoch to Perry, Feb. 25, 1956, Letters Recip.
E-F, Perry Collection; Perry replied on the back of the envelope: "I imagine the Post is going to
feel that it has for the moment done enough articles on the Tyler rose  but it might use
your material in Keeping Posted ... Best of luck." Hardy Hoover to Perry, Apr. 23, 1956, Letters
Recip. H, Perry Collection; Edith Haggard to Claire Perry, June 21, 1956, Letters Reclp. SEP
Folder, Perry Collection (3rd and 4th quotations); George Sessions Korpus to Mrs. Perry, Jan. 7,
1957, Mis. I-L, Perry Collection.
" Austzn American-Statesman, Dec. 14, 1956,Jan. 6, 1957; Feb. 19, 1957 (3rd quotation); Mrs.
Perry to Ben Hibbs, n.d., Mis., R-U, Perry Collection; Laura Maie Gillmann to Claire, Jan. 5,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/101/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.