BLANCHE TRASK
writes to
WILLIS JEPSON:
Letter of April 9, 1904



Avalon
April 9, 1904

Jepson Correspondence Volume 4: page 191-192.

"I am writing a general article on Kelp Fields of the Channel Islands & am wondering if you could give me permission to have copied the photo of Nereocystis gigantea in Erythea Volume 4, Number 12. This article is but one of observation & general experience on the Channel Islands, for the ordinary reader, but with a quotation from Dr. Setchell's article in that volume. Hope you are well and still in the 'joy of life' - I am too much out of the world to know when one's name is mentioned even & I find the long years are winding away, while i am still on the trails. You asked me a year or [?] for field notes: I believe I answered. At least it was in my heart to do so! I am always very busy. 'In the stress of life it is difficult to be calm: the voices of the Present say 'Come' but the voices of the past say 'Wait'. Whenever I can help you in any way, I wish you would let me know."


Preliminary Analysis of the Letter
by
Robert Roy van de Hoek
December 2000

Blanche Trask, poet-explorer-naturalist, did most of her California wild nature exploration and writing on the Channel Islands of Southern California. She was a resident of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island in Los Angeles County, California from 1895 to 1915. Her time on Catalina spanned 20 years. Her winter home was located next to the Tuna Club in Avalon, but she also had a summer home at the Isthmus where the Institute of Environmental Studies of USC is currently located. However, she did travel to the deserts of the west as well and we know this through her correspondence such as in the following letter. She corresponded with professors and scientists at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, the Smithsonian, and at the California Academy of Sciences in San Franciso. For example, Willis Linn Jepson, was Professor of Botany at the University of California (Berkeley) with a PhD with several books on botany published. About a dozen letters were written to Doctor Jepson, and one of those letters is presented below. The deep friendship to Willis Jepson is evident as well as is her affection for the ocean and the islands. Here we see that Blanche Trask was going to write about kelp of the sea. There is an article in the 1906 LA TIMES entitled "MARINE CURIOSITIES" that may be authored by her. She did appreciate the desert scenery of the southwest but the California Channel Islands is her "sense of place." The Geography of Hope for Blanche Trask is undoubtedly Santa Catalina Island

Blanche Trask wrote this letter on April 9, 1904. The above letter was compiled and analyzed by Robert Roy van de Hoek for educational purposes in recognition of the 96th year anniversary of this letter being written.

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