Talisman from The Best Times

From John Dos Passos’s memoirs The Best Times: “For years a wooden box full of my father’s letters has stood on my mantel at Spence’s Point. It is a box I made in a manual training course when I was eleven or twelve maybe…Time and again I have started reading the letters, but each time it has been as if a great fist squeeze my heart. I just couldn’t go on.”

This is that chest/box, in the attic now at Spence’s Point.

Now, it makes me emotional to see it. My grandfather made it at Choate, the prep school he attended in Wallingford, Connecticut.