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O. Henry’s complaint: ‘too much scenery and fresh air’

“I’m back in New York after a six months’ stay in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. I was all played out — nerves, etc. I didn’t pick up down there as well as I should have done. There was too much scenery and fresh air. What I need is a steam-heated flat with no ventilation or exercise.”

– From a letter from William Sydney Porter to a friend in Chicago (April 15, 1910)

Returning to New York proved no cure for the Greensboro-born writer known as O. Henry. Less than two months later, at age 47, Porter was dead from cirrhosis of the liver, complications of diabetes and an enlarged heart. After funeral services in New York City, he was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville.