Etched into the Rocks

I am the parent of a Reed student and was born and raised in Portland. In reading the article on Thomas Lamb Eliot in the June issue, I learned a couple of details about Mr. Eliot that indicate a solution to a mystery that has puzzled me for many years. My family has owned a cabin in Rockaway on the Oregon coast since the ’50s. I have hiked the trail to the top of Mount Neahkahnie countless times over the years. On one of those hikes, probably in the ’70s, at the top of the mountain I discovered, etched deeply into the rocks, this inscription: “T.S.+ M.E. Eliot, 1925.” I at first thought it might have been the poet himself, but since he was, as far as I know, nowhere near the Oregon coast in 1925 and did not have a wife with initials “M.E.,” I remained baffled by the inscription. Two items in Mr. Hernandez’s article point toward an answer to this little mystery: 1) that there were eight children in the Eliot family, and 2) that they had a home or cabin at Neahkahnie around 1925. The final link will be to find out the names of Eliot’s children, which I’m sure I can accomplish with a little research. Please pass on my gratitude to Mr. Hernandez.

—Vince Kelly

Valdez, Alaska