John Steinbeck's brief stay in Southern California. In 1930, the author and his first wife, Carol, lived for several months in Eagle Rock, a Los Angeles suburb. These two letters were written to Layton Vann, a salesman, and his wife Ruth, who had lived in Eagle Rock before moving north to San Francisco. In the 1930 letter, Steinbeck writes, mentioning the household goods the Vanns loaned the Steinbecks, "Of course, being you you did go on Russian hill [sic] and you would pay an exhorbitant rent. I don't blame you. I like Russian Hill too. We are enjoying your things which we vultured out of you very much. We have made an outdoor garden and library and have enclosed it with cannas from the neighbors. Most of the day we spend here." "I knew you would like the wine up there. I wish to God that we could get some of it. I am nauseated by Fifg [sic] wine and I am Getting very sick of beer, too. Being brought up on wine, nothing else seems to take its place with me."
The 1931 letter was written after the Steinbecks moved back to Northern California and includes the author's pen-and-ink floor plan of the front room in their Pacific Grove house, showing the positioning of the Vanns' furniture. Above it he writes, " Times have been hard for us, I guess. I haven't noticed. It is too nice here to be bothered by hard times. You know I didn't forget your question. You have sent us so much that I am ashamed for no return has been made, and from our present outlook I can't see that our situation is likely to change. However ... I enclose a chart of our front room."
The lot includes a 1990 snapshot of the Steinbeck cottage in Eagle Rock, a short history of Eagle Rock from the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society, and a printout of an article on the Steinbecks in Eagle Rock by Alexander Summers.
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