My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

The reception last night is over and Lent has begun. When I was a child Lent meant to me the time when my grandmother insisted that I must give up sweets or something else I liked very much for the good of my soul and go to church as often as possible. Now it means to me the time when official entertainments are over but if anything, there are more people to be seen than at any other time. Going to church is good for us all but when it can't be done, a little quiet meditation is a good substitute.

I kept the morning free today but the entire afternoon is divided into half hour appointments until I go out at tea time to say goodbye to an old friend who has been spending a few days in Washington.

The Army and Navy Reception last night was really very brilliant with all the uniforms and the women looked particularly attractive and charmingly dressed. Various old friends dating back to the days when my husband was Assistant Secretary of the Navy came by us and we were very glad to see them. Captain and Mrs. Dorn used to live not far from us and he and I labored long and faithfully in the Navy Relief Society and I enjoyed every minute of it and was so grateful for his wise guidance.

Admiral Cone who was in Paris during the World War was greeted by my husband with great enthusiasm and I reminded him of two poems which he and Admiral Sims wrote to each other during their period of service in London and Paris. Men and women must have, even in the most serious moments of life, some sense of humor to relieve the strain. My husband brought these rhymes home from abroad in the summer of 1918 and I have treasured them ever since.

Occasionally those of us who deal with many people have things happen which shake our faith in human beings. A few days ago I quoted from a letter which strengthens one's respect for the fineness of human nature. Today I must tell you a funny story at which one has to smile but it is rather a wry smile!

A lady evidently decided she wanted something from me but she did not want to be entirely truthful and so when she wrote to me she also wrote to a friend telling what she had done and explaining certain things which might come about. She mixed her letters and I have the letter intended for the friend and I rather imagine the friend has mine. Her letter follows below and I can only say that she shows a rather poor opinion of government investigators if she thinks she can fool them so easily.

"I know you will be surprised to hear from me but I am telling you what I want you to do. I think a letter is going to come to 1910 for Mrs. Brown and if it do you will know. The Welfare people might send it to investigate if it ask any thing about my relatives don't mention them, say I don't have any because I told them I lived on 1910 with a lady name Mrs. Brown and I didn't have any people there. I am trying to get me a PWA job through Mrs. Roosevelt and they are checking up on me so don't say nothing, don't know nothing."

Sometimes I have thought that government investigators were a little too hard-boiled but it is people like this lady who bring that about, and the good must suffer with the bad.

E.R.
TMsd 10 February 1937, AERP, FDRL