Aston Magna, Great Barrington, MA: September 12, circa .. .. Very good. - Letter penned in black ink filling just over 3 sides of 2 sheets of her letterhead, approximately 8-1/2 inches high by 6-1/4 inches wide, with her address printed in red raised lettering on the rectos. Signed "Mary P. Spalding". Together with a black-and-white snapshot of Chindo dogs. There is a red pencil line through the first page of the letter, probably indicating that the letter has been answered. The lefthand corners of this page are lightly bumped. Very good.
Having read an article about Jean Dalrymple's Chindo dogs, Spalding writes to her about her own Chindo dogs, given to her by General and Mrs. van Fleet, who in turn were given them by Korean President Syngman Rhee on the Island of Chindo. Flown back to West Point at the end of the war the male dog proved too rambunctious for the peace and quiet of his surroundings. "As I was just 'alone' at that moment, Mrs. van Fleet thought the dogs would be a comfort, and, they were a strenuous one -- so affectionate and so wild. Loving dogs they were a fascinating and strenuous adventure...." She encloses two photographs [one of which is present] of the dogs, who are named Van and Fleet.
Mary Pyle Spalding [d. 1970] was the widow of renowned violinist Albert Spalding. Her home, Aston Magna, consisted of a main house, guest house, studio, caretaker cottaqe, pool and an adjacent property, all set on 50 acres of land. It was given to the Berkshire Museum under Mary Pyle Spalding's will.
The recipient, Jean Dalrymple (1902-1998) was the dynamic producer and director of theater and light opera at Manhattan's City Center. Dalrymple began her career in vaudeville, appearing with James Cagney and Cary Grant in the early 1930s. She was a founding member of the American Theatre Wing, the theatre service organization. She worked over the years as a personal manager for the likes of Leopold Stokowski, Mary Martin, Jose Iturbi, Andre Kostalanetz, Nathan Milstein, and Lily Pons. She began her work at City Center with its founding in 1943, serving as a board member and publicist. Her productions there from the 1940s through the 1960s were a revitalizing influence on the whole New York theatre scene. In 1951, Jean Dalrymple married Major-General Philip deWitt Ginder, commander of the Thunderbirds in Korea. She was a friend to Presidents and entertainment personalities throughout the world.
DOGS; KOREAN JINDOS; CHINDO DOGS; MARY PYLE SPALDING; AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED; ALS; A.L.S.; SIGNATURE; JEAN DALRYMPLR, CITY CENTER PRODUCER; SYNGMAN RHEE; GENERAL VAN FLEET; SNAPSHOT OF DOGS; ASTON MAGNA, GREAT BARRINGTON, MA.