Autograph letter signed, ("John"), to Harold Otis ("Gabe") Bicknell and Grant ("Mack") McLean. [New York] 13 November 1953.
2 pages, on Steinbeck's usual ruled yellow paper, with original envelope hand-addressed to Bicknell. To his old friends who served as models for "Mack" and "Gay" in "Cannery Row" "Dear Gabe and Mack: "... thanks for holding up my end in an unfriendly society. That damn octopus, I want to remind you, was twice as big as I was and it had twelve arms. I am glad that in this age of incredulity, you two are upholding the ancient virtues of truth and modesty. I am content to leave my reputation for beauty and bravery in your hands. I have just finished another book about the Row [Sweet Thursday]. It is a continuation concerned not with what did happen but with what might have happened. The one can be as true as the other. As a book, this will probably be out next summer or fall [it was published in June 1954]. Then Rodgers and Hammerstein are making a play with music [Pipe Dream] of it for late fall or early spring [the musical opened on Broadway in 1955]... I think it is a funny story--and sad too because it is what might have happened to Ed and didn't. I don't seem to be able to get over his death. But this will be the last piece about him. Did you ever see the little biography I wrote about him for the second edition of the Sea of Cortez ? ... I'm sad about Wing Chong's closing. The old order changes and it makes me feel old. And the best dies out and leaves only us bums. We're indestructible...".Autograph letter signed (Item ID: 23636)