FEBRUARY 10, 1936
Admiral Spencer Wood was telling me at luncheon to-day of his early days in the Navy. He spent four years at Annapolis and then two years at sea before he was commissioned and he first went to sea in a sailing ship. He told me that life in those days was none too easy for the midshipmen and that during the Spanish-American War when he had charge of a gun boat, the only way they could sleep was to lash deck-chairs to the gratings and then last themselves into the chairs and get what rest they could. It was too hot below decks and they were always on the move with only two officers and twenty nine men on board. My husband had a wonderful time showing him his naval pictures after lunch and talking of the "old Navy."
Mr. Minnegerode, the Curator of the Corcoran Art Gallery, told me yesterday that he had asked the President for a loan exhibition of some of his naval collection and that the President had agreed to let him take over what he wished. I am afraid that we are all going to feel that we are living in a denuded house for when he lent some of his pictures this autumn, the gaping spaces on the walls made us all feel that we had lost familiar faces and when they finally came back we felt as though we had recovered old friends.
I went for a walk this afternoon and as I was crossing Lafayette Square, two young boys, both dressed for hiking in the snow, were looking at one of the statues. The older one stopped me and said: "Thank you for answering my Christmas letter. I am your neighbor, we live in the atticof that house diagonally across from the White House. We are German born but we admire the President because we think he is for the 'little people', so I wanted to write you at Christmas time and was very happy to have your reply. We took some kodaks yesterday in your grounds and if they turn out well, we will send you a set. Someday we should like to take your photograph, but not here. Aufweidersehn." For this thoughtfulness I was grateful!