I thought I would “jump on the Kate bandwagon”, as it were, for this week’s post. We actually do have in the collection some letters written by the stage and screen star. They provide additional proof that her heart still belonged in part to Hartford and more particularly to the Asylum Hill Congregational Church.
When Kate’s sister, Marion Grant, died in 1986, her funeral was held at the Asylum Hill church, Reverend James Kidd presiding. Her thank you letter, written on yellow legal paper, while less than formal certainly reflects her lack of pretension. She wrote:
Dear Jim Kidd,
What can one say to you? Your command–your sensitivity your imagination–your warm hearted delivery–your rueful humor–your speedy acceptance of things like fire sirens–your tone of voice–
You took such wonderful care of Marion & of us. You were a rock to lean on–We could not have managed without you–
Kate kept up her correspondence with Kidd at least through 1991, which is the last date of the letters in our collection (Ms 101868). In May 1990 she typed a short note that she would love to “eat with you any time” but she was currently “trying to write this book on myself” and would prefer Rev. Kidd and his wife visit her at Fenwick.
While not great pieces of literature, Kate’s notes to Rev. Kidd provide another look at the private Kate Hepburn. They can be seen in the Waterman Research Center by requesting Ms 101868. And while you are there, make sure to stop by the exhibit Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, here through September 13, 2014.