DECEMBER 17, 1936
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—At nine o'clock last night, the President's train pulled into the station. I managed to slip into the wrong end of the car before all the people who came down to meet him, filled up the little back compartment! He looks extremely well and while he has managed to lose some weight, James who looks equally well, has gained some! The latter is trying to prolong his holiday by wearing his summer clothes as long as possible, and had on a suit which looked distinctly chilly, though he had put on a sweater under the coat which gave him a kind tight look all over.
They all feel that the trip has been successful and will bear fruit in better understanding between the Americas. But the home coming was distinctly sad, for all of them felt with those of who were here a deep sense of loss.
This morning the simple services in the East Room were held and as many of Gus's friends as possible, besides his young nephew, Augustus Gutrie and his brother-in-law who came on from New York, were here. The service was a fine and dignified one, and the music played by some of the men in the orchestra at the Mayflower who asked to come and play as his friends, was very lovely. It is good to have lived so that you leave behind a memory which was expressed by one of Gus's friends in the following words: "He was always ready to help any one who needed help." Any one of us might be proud of that epitaph.
I thought I might fly to Boston this afternoon but I find that Franklin, Jr., is getting on very well and hopes to be allowed to come home the early part of next week. He is far more interested in getting some material, for some work he has to do for college than in having any more visitors and his voice sounds quite strong and cheerful. Therefore I am staying here and this afternoon I am seeing a number of people and finishing up a few tag ends of Christmas preparations.
I wonder if any of my readers read a letter published in the July number of the Forum written by an Arkansas farmer's wife? I received from her yesterday the story of her life which a book publisher told her he would be interested in reading. With characteristic modesty she sends it to me with permission to change anything I wish, and with a plea that I read it before I send it on. I doubt if it is long enough for a book and I have only read the first few pages, but if it continues in as simple and straightforward a style I hope that it will see the light of day in some publication.
I have also just received a small volume of poetry, a collection called "The Chautauqua Poets" edited by Dudley Gordon. One can not expect uniform excellence in any collection but if you like poetry I think you will enjoy looking over this little book.