New Orleans in Passing: The Letters of Gertrude Stein

From The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Carl Van Vechten, 1913-1946. “Baby Woojums” is Stein, “Papa Woojums” is Van Vechten, who was a writer, photographer, and Stein’s literary executor.


To Carl Van Vechten
Postmark: 21 February 1935
The Roosevelt Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana

My dearest papa Woojums

Here we are still in New Orleans, hot and delicious and the only thing missing is you, and you would make it hotter and deliciouser which would have been so nice, and we do like it, and have seen the levies and ferried across the Mississippi and have been given bulbs of a Mexican lily given to the first governor of New Orleans and the social register of the bawdy houses a charming little blue book with the simple advertisements of the ladies by themselves and we have eaten oyster a la Rockefeller and innuemerable shrimps made in every way and all delicious and we were taken to visit the last of the Creoles in her original house unchanged for a hundred years and you would have enjoyed it, and all the time papa Woojums hundreds of miles away and he did say papa Woojums did say that he would not be hundreds of miles away and the moral of that is put no faith in papa Woojums, no not any. It is wonderful unblameable weather and the clouds go up and down, and it is all very lovely and very lively, oh and we have seen the most wonderfully large camellia trees growing with camellias, they were transplanted from old plantations a hundred years old and still cheerful, and we are coming back and buy a Ford and just run around, we have met up with Sherwood [Anderson] and now to-morrow we must leave all these joys behind us. We are so happy about Fania not that she is nervous but that [it] will be and has been alright and lots of love always and always.

B.W. to her pa