JANUARY 23, 1937
WASHINGTON, Friday—We saw a newsreel last night of the Inauguration and I must say that I marvel at how well the President looks in all the pictures. I am correspondingly appalled at how funny I look myself. Someone asked the President last night if he didn't mind driving down in an open car and he responded: "No, why should I? I sail a boat in the rain." I couldn't help thinking, however, that while both of us have been out in all kinds of weather many, many times, our clothes have usually been more suitable than they were on January 20th!
The weather continues gray and somewhat rainy. I have decided that it is about time I went riding again. It is months since I have been on a horse, but puddles of water stood everywhere on the ground when I looked out of my window this morning so I gave up the idea again. Instead I took a short walk and continued on the usual round of occupations in the house. Mrs. Louis Howe and her daughter, Mrs. Robert Baker; Mr. and Mrs. George T. Bye, my mother-in-law and her sister Mrs. Price Collier, are staying with us.
I felt very sad to see our son, Elliott and his wife and their two children leave for Texas last night, but I know they will be glad to get back to their own home and the Texas climate which they insist is better than ours! I must say I have no very good excuse this year for disagreeing with them.
Mrs. Mary Simkhovitch came in to see me about the low cost housing conference which I attended this afternoon, and Gladys Swartout and her husband, Mr. Chapman, came to talk to me about the musicians guild group which seems to me is doing valuable work.
Recreation is going to be a very important part of our problems during the next few years and I wish very much we could focus the attention of more people on the appreciation and understanding of music. You need not have great gifts yourself in order to get real pleasure from other people's talent, and even a modest participation in group singing will help to understand the quality of the real artists' work. I have felt that the WPA artistic projects have helped us to become recreational minded, but I think artists themselves can do even more. Above everything else, I wish we could get enough self-confidence as a people in our own artistic judgment so that when we enjoy a thing we can forget ourselves sufficiently to show our enjoyment. This I believe will bring to our own artists and those who come to us from other lands, the kind of response which in itself is a recompense for all they give to us.
I hope also that we will continue to be able to look upon art and artists as one of the factors which can be used to draw nations together. Art should have no nationality and between artists we should be able to develop complete reciprosity. We need emotional outlets in this country and the more artistic people we develop the better it will be for us as a nation.