This sidebar to Page 4 of Ernest Blue Vistas in the Trees Beyond Prison Bars features the text of a letter by Ernest W. Blue in response to receiving an advance copy of The Many Lives of Robert
Rosenbluth - 1887 through 1962 from its author. The sidebar also features a photo taken by EWB of two Dannemora inmates during a morning flag-raising in the prison yard.
Above is an image of the cover of The Many Lives of Robert
Rosenbluth - 1887 through 1962, an unpublished 94-page autobiography by the man who played so pivotal a role in Ernest W. Blue's life. NYCHS appreciates EWB's son, Allan G. Blue, making the 1962 manuscript available for review purposes.
NYCHS appreciates EWB's son, Allan G. Blue, making the letter text and photo image available for this presentation..
The letter and the photo are linked in that an inmate bugler appears in both, though not necessarily the same bugler. No evidence points to EWB having enclosed a copy of the photo with his letter, although that would have been entirely apropos.
ERNEST WELLS BLUE LETTER TO ROBERT
Poland, N. Y.
January 26, 1963.
Mr. Robert Rosenbluth,
---- Lakeview Ave.,
Chicago 14, Illinois.
It was very kind and thoughtful of you to send me the advance copy of your autobiography. Yours has been such an active, exciting and fruitful life that the account of it makes me marvel concerning the source of the boundless energy that characterized your every effort. I think you are the most determined person I ever knew. Once satisfied as to the proper thing to do, you never gave up, never said no, and never seemed discouraged. It was indeed fortunate that your dynamite personality was always on the right side. There must be a wonderful satisfaction in being able to look back over such a life.
When I was at Dannemora I had a room over the warden's office so that, when in town, I was locked within the walls of the prison like any prisoner. In those days a bugler sounded reveille and taps in the prison yard just below my window. He was a young man in the white hashmarks of a first offender and the insignia that showed him to be in prison for life. The sound of his bugle in the quiet of that northern country would echo from mountain to mountain of the rugged Saranac River valley and I have never forgotten the thrill of it. A little newspaper was published at the prison. It was called "The Star of Hope" and all prisoners were invited to contribute items of interest. In one issue there appeared the following poem which so gripped me that I memorized it.
The clear sweet notes of the bugle's call
Ring out through the waning light,
When the sun has set and the stars appear
Through the purple shades of the night.
A thousand bondsmen hear the call
As it floats far on and away,
And a thousand bondsmen's hearts rejoice
At the close of another day.
They go to their bunks and fall asleep
To dream of the morrow to be --
When shackles and walls shall fall away
And Death end their misery.
But they wake with the dawn,
With a prayer to God,
At the sound of the reveille,
And ask that He, with His Guiding Hand,
Will lead them to Victory.
May 1963 and the years to follow bring to you good health and much happiness.
Ernest W. Blue
Ernest W. Blue's photo of Dannemora morning flag raising in prison yard.