OCTOBER 15, 1936
PONTIAC, Ill., Wednesday—I was just about to step into bed last night somewhere around midnight when I heard a knock at my door. I opened it a crack, Mr. McIntyre stood there and in a "wishful" voice said: "Are you still dressed?" "No, I'm just about to get into bed", I replied. Reproachfully and sadly but quite hopelessly he remarked: "There's a tremendous crowd outside and they are calling for you." Remembering one of my experiences when my husband couldn't appear, and I was sent out to the back platform to explain and couldn't even get a chance to speak because of the cries of "Get the President out here, we want the President!" I doubted Mr. McIntyre's veracity!
It is one thing to go out with the President and have everyone kindly welcome you, but quite another thing to meet a disappointed group of people who have no desire to see any one but the President! I was relieved that I could truthfully say: "the backplatform is out of the question."
I am reading Fannie Hurst's book, "Great Laughter" and though I have only just begun, the character of Gregrannie, a dominating old woman, with many fine qualities, and her effect on those around her is tremendously interesting.
This morning we got out in St. Louis and my husband dedicated the new memorial to the dead of the World War. Then we drove down along the river front through some of the old part of the city where a memorial highway is planned. The old cathedral, I imagine the oldest in St. Louis which we passed, I hope will not be destroyed. Fine new buildings are all very well but when beauty is combined with age, I think we should have interest enough in our traditions to preserve something of the past.
There were also overlooking the water, an old house called: "The Old Rock House," and built I imagine in the early days out of native rock. That too, is very interesting and I hope can be kept for we should have some samples at least of the kind of houses those early settlers built.
I wish I could get over worrying as to what the police horses may do to the crowds in a moment of excitement. Both the men and the horses are marvelously trained, but it always seems to me incredible that a horse can stand so much noise and humanity pressing around him, and not forget his manners. I tremble for the children and am glad when the crowds stop pressing forward and the horses can stand still!