Henry on relationships:
Letter to Toombs May 6 1959
“… Sorry to hear of your son’s unsuccessful marriage. However, I think your attitude towards the experience indicates motherly wisdom. My daughter and her husband both have hot tempers and bad dispositions. Neither of them believes in divorce, but they have some terrible disturbances at times. When I see either of them in a bad mood and the possibility of trouble, I excuse myself and go elsewhere. My motto is peace at any price. I try to love everyone and will make most any sacrifice to avoid an altercation.
Letter to “Spencer” May 18 1954
“… Hermits are peaceful and live in complete harmony but it is an unnatural life, and I have come to believe that to be at ones best, one should meet and talk to lots of people…”
Letter to “Zale” February 6th 1961
“…. I have always thought that men had the advantage in view of the fact that they can do the asking. About all a woman can do is accept or run away. And as to the lady, things often work out that way. Many people are perfect companions during the day but turn into monsters at home. That is why they say that you never know someone until you have lived with them. Camping or traveling together is also a good way to get to know both sides of a person…”
“… People should know each other thoroughly before thinking of marriage. It is better to be single than to get into a mess. To really be a good companion one must have achieved the Christian principle of trying always to make others happy, and to think of the welfare of his or her companions before his own. The trouble is that usually one person imposes on the good nature of the other.”
And on addiction:
Letter to my mother August 8th 1956
“…I was very proud to announce that Xxxxx has quit smoking. He must never start again. If he does, it will be much harder for him to quit again. The smoking habit is like tying a wicked giant with cord string. Every time you bind him with another string he has less chance to escape. One string does not make much difference (like one more cigarette) but when enough of them are applied he is helpless to break them. It is the same with cigarettes, one does not seem important, but each one binds the person that much tighter, and every day it becomes increasingly harder for him to break the habit. Cigarettes not only take a lot of money, they are bound to affect the health in time.”
~ pictured: Henry building his last house, for himself. He’s about 70 years old there.