His tour ended, White was impatient to be back at his desk, applying his eagerly acquired knowledge to some useful purpose. He wanted—as he explained later to Simmons— to “justify his existence.” Even as a small boy, he had busied himself in small ways, trying to justify his existence, running errands for his father, waiting on his mother, carrying wood and coal, or working in the garden. He had no false pride. He did not save himself, as did his brother Dick, waiting for something worth-while to turn up. If his mother required a new shelf in the kitchen or a peg moved in some closet, if there was proofreading to be done for his father or a score to be copied, if Aunt Laura found herself unable to decide on wall paper for the guest room or Aunt Fanny needed a letter of introduction to some higher-up in Boston—one and all they turned to Stanford. And he never failed them. He never failed in after life. He was always ready with a word or a loan or a suggestion. To a young girl about to start for Central Park with her skates, he said: “I will design a skating bag for you.” When he came upon Abbott Thayer picking and choosing among old frames, uncertain which to select for the Academy show, he sat down to design a frame exactly suitable to the purpose.
KeywordsYoung Girl Friday Night Great Estate Rough Weather Wall Paper
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