MARCH 14, 1936
We boarded our train in Dayton at 12:30 last night, slept late this morning, and woke to find ourselves back in mid-winter, in the mountainous district of Pennsylvania. The landscape was pretty dreary, here and there a practically deserted mining town on a hillside with outcroppings of coal thinly hidden by snow.
Suddenly we passed a little wood where the trees seemed to hold the snow in their branches. For a minute it was fairyland, with and old fashioned farmhouse a little way from the tracks, and a boy with a red cap bringing in some wood.
We came around Kitanning Curve, where you can see your train practically double up on itself. Everywhere the streams were running turbulently. The snow ceased as we neared Harrisburg, but the Susquehanna River looked brown and angry.
It had overrun its banks in every direction. Houses and garages along the edges were under water, and what had been islands in the middle of the river were now only trees growing out of water. Here and there a house was completely flooded.
As we progress eastward the grey clouds retreat above us, and once or twice a gleam of sun comes through. Winter is just having a last fling to remind us that we cannot count on Spring until the twenty-first of March.
* * *
The papers are full of little items of interest. I discover that a gentleman considers the White House a fire-trap because he found some dusty cubbyholes. I know that to many people the lower floor would look like a rabbit warren, but I feel sure that the cubbyholes have in them only such things as are necessary. Dust is certainly not a permanently necessary adjunct, though Heaven knows it can accumulate fast and may have been there when the gentleman looked around.
I was grieved to see that the medical profession has lost one of our greatest eye specialists in Dr. William H. Wilmer. Many, many of his patients will feel a sense of personal loss, and everyone who ever came in contact with him will want to pay homage to his kindly, helpful spirit.
We have done quite a bit of mail and prepared one or two radio speeches, eaten our sandwich and cup of tea for lunch in our own compartment, and shortly we will be coming into New York.