The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 59
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2002 A Brief Peace: The Postwar Years of George Sessions Pery 59
and alternately stated that the war "defictionized" him while discussing
potential novels with confidantes.4
Perry postponed and finally abandoned his plan to return to Europe
as a peacetime journalist and author when the Saturday Evening Post prof-
fered an attractive offer to write on American cities. A man of strong
and immediate friendships, George doubtless felt a bond with the maga-
zine that had rescued him from literary oblivion and the editors with
whom he had shared reflections during the most dangerous period of
his life. The series promised steady and respectable compensation, pro-
vided an opportunity for the writer to work off his remaining wander-
lust, and allowed the Perrys time together. George relied on his astute
wife for counsel, editing, and typing his indecipherable scrawl in addi-
tion to close companionship. Always an acute observer and recorder, a
talent conspicuous in his fiction, Perry had accustomed himself to the
disciplines of journalism, which permitted the self-effacing writer to
remain outside the story.5
Judging from Perry's correspondence, he never intended the monop-
olization of his time that the "Cities of America" series imposed. In 1945
the pieces totaled seven of his ten published articles, all printed in the
Post. The following year they consumed fourteen of fifteen offerings, a
selection on 'possum hunting for a Post affiliate, Country Gentleman,
marking the exception. The road-weary writer's reluctance to take on
additional assignments, despite the popularity of the series, reduced his
output thereafter. Nevertheless, he contributed two in 1948, three in
1950, two in 1951, one in 1952, and the two articles published in the
year of his death, 1956. Perry's commitment to the Post publishing
house remained solid: with the exception of a reprint in the Reader's
Digest, all his articles from the beginning of the series in August 1945
appeared under the Curtis masthead.6
The Texan drew energy from the personal contacts that his assign-
ments engendered and maintained as much accessibility to his public as
Post travel and deadlines granted. He autographed copies of Where Away:
A Modern Odyssey, which he co-authored with Isabel Leighton, on the
heroics of the USS Marblehead in the Pacific. He saved the letter of praise
4 Christian, "George Perry's War," 192-209og; Austin Statesman, Feb lo, 1942; Perry to J. Frank
Dobie, June 7, 1947, Perry Collection; quote in Brown, "King-Sized Texan," 14.
SHairston, George Sessions Perry, 55. Norma Patterson Dalton, a colleague of long standing,
thought Perry more of a reporter than a fiction writer: "He would sit out on the edge of his chair
and listen, putting it all away mside him." Cowser questionnaire, July 25, 1964, Perry Collection.
""George Sessions Perry," Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, vol. 14, July 1943-Apr. 1945,
1247-1248; vol. 15, May 1945-Apr. 1947, 1474; vol. 16, May 1947-Apr. 1949, 1499; vol. 17,
May 1949-Mar. 1951, 1508; vol. 18, Apr. 1951-Mar. 1953, 1539; vol. 19, Apr. 1953-Feb. 1955,
1789; vol. 20, Mar. 1955-Feb.1957, 1246.
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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/m1/87/?rotate=90: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.