My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DANBURY, Conn., Friday—Four o'clock in the morning is becoming our usual hour for getting up! On arrival yesterday I found a letter telling me that the train for the Freshmen and Junior Varsity Races would leave New London at nine o'clock standard time. Mrs. Scheider and I prepared to drive up with my daughter and son-in-law, leaving their house at six a.m. Later I found a telegram saying "Train leaves nine thirty daylight." There was much reluctance on the part of every one to consider that this telegram could be accurate, but after much telephoning, we learned at the station that the train really did leave at nine thirty daylight, and we must start from Fifty-third Street at five o'clock.

Getting up early isn't half as bad as you think it is going to be, but when we reached New London we all sat down at the counter in the station for more coffee with great zest. Gradually the clans began to gather and finally the whole party, ten of us, were there. We got on the observation train and pulled out of the station.

The Freshman Race was a beautiful race—neck and neck almost all the way, and ended satisfactorily to us because Harvard won. Behind us sat the mother of a Harvard freshman rowing on the crew, I am sure, for she fairly bubbled over with enthusiasm. Then we went back to the starting line and the Junior Varsity shells were off. Almost at once Yale took the lead and held it all the way, winning by several lengths. From the Harvard point of view it was of course, a bitter disappointment to the crew. All of them have trained for many weeks, but as the mother of one of them said to me as we came out: "I suppose reverses have their uses." While probably the boys themselves can hardly be expected to feel that a lost race is of any benefit, someday the memory of it may help them to pull themselves together after some other defeat.

We drove over afterwards to Red Top, the crew headquarters, to try to say a few encouraging words to Franklin, Junior. It is bad enough to row in a losing race, but to be able to go off with your friends afterwards is pretty hard, and we knew he was staying on because of the possibility that he might be needed as a substitute on the Varsity, and so would spend the day waiting for that race to come off. The only consolation being an opportunity to watch it from the coach's launch.

We lunched by the side of the road and expect to be in Hyde Park by six o'clock.

E.R.
TMsd 19 June 1936, AERP, FDRL