From Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell

The wonders of San Juan, Puerto Rico - August 23, 1962

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe CampbellThursday
Dear Joe -- How does one describe the indescribable? Can I take a picture with a wide (extrawide) angle lens using the most sensitive film & then I show it to you to try to explain the feel of the wind as it gently flows over the mountain tops to brush against your face & how does one tell about the odors that vary from moment to moment like the taste of a mango -- this is all part of San Juan & the 30 miles around it that I've seen -- this plus the untold thousands upon thousands who live in what ...

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell(p. 2) generously might be called shacks -- Some of the rivers and streams make one think of the pictures of Hong Kong -- shacks in the cities, shacks in the towns, shacks in the mountains -- are the New York tenaments so bad compared to this? And, yet, they have two things that their relations in N.Y. don't have (I'm not including lack of food & jobs) -- they have a family unity, & above all a smile -- sense of humor & a most pleasant disposition -- so unlike those in N.Y. who have been thrown together, stepped on & beaten down until they react like a kicked dog -- there is a difference that can not be explained -- it must be seen -- & the color, streets, noise, beauty can never...

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell(p. 3) be explained -- only felt. This to me so far is San Juan -- this & the million dollar hotels & gambling casinos & the grand restaurants & the most handsome group of people -- I don't want to get carried away with my comments for I've been here lest than a week & they may change as time goes by -- however, I'm off to a fine start -- & as long as there are stage sets that exist like those in the sky here (I think this is where Rocco church painting got their ideas from) who wants ...

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell(p. 4) to be elsewhere -- it is the rainy season & rains everyday & night & it is magnificent -- the rainbow that was in the sky at 7:00 p.m. the other night made Judy G's look like a bad second -- Maybe this might turn into my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow -- for it seems to end right in my eyes -- I have just gotten up & it's now about 9:30 a.m. & I am dieing for a cup of coffee & half of a pineapple with sweet rolls (my daily breakfast) -- & then I'm planning on a trip back to Old San Juan -- which at night is picturesque, haunting, mysterious, full of sights, surprises,

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell(p. 5) dreams & imaginations -- & during the day is full of a rare beauty that one can only say contains the elements of the night against the rushing activity of the people & the sight of the sea & ocean slapping against this city that has all the charm & grace someone as old as as this (Nov 19, 1493-Columbus-1508 a colony under Don Juan Ponce de Léon) should have -- So to my breakfast & to my feast of sound, smell, sight & touch -- & until you receive my next offerings take ...

Letter from Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell(p. 6) care of my plants (my El Yunque [rain forest]) & send me your wishes to find a little more contentment here -- I realize that there are hundreds of islands in the Carribbean that are most likely more beautiful than this -- but why chase after the never ending goal when you have one foot in your dreamland already? -- So my very best to you -- Expect to move into a cheaper hotel when Frank leaves Sunday as this is too much for me per day as a single.

as always with
love

Harveysan

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