FEBRUARY 26, 1937
En Route to WASHINGTON, Thursday—I had a novel experience yesterday. Never before have I been anything but one of the crowd doing honor to some person of note in the literary world and it was an unusual occurrence find myself holding the center of the stage even for a few minutes in this capacity. The anticipation was so exciting that I went to the wrong building first, and was still feeling somewhat breathless and very much out of place when I met the group of reporters in the offices of the Ladies Home Journal. Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gould were kindness itself, and I stayed an unconscionable time at the reception and enjoyed every minute of it, for so many of those present were people whom I would give a great deal to know really well.
The offices in themselves were interesting with their beautiful outlook and attractive decorations. I gravitated as usual to the kitchen and wished I had had more time for exploration.
I could not help being amused however, by some of the stories which came out of that press conference which preceded the reception. I am constantly impressed by the fact of how hard it is to put into words and transmit to somebody else what you are thinking and feeling. Their thoughts and feelings so often get in the way of real understanding!
I wonder if being a great novelist requires the ability to lose oneself temporarily thereby becoming an actual sounding board for the feelings and personalities of other people?
A dinner in the evening which Miss Nancy Cook gave for the workers new and old, in the Women's Division of the Democratic State Committee was also a happy experience. It was interesting to both Mrs. Scheider and to me for we started our work together in that office! Many of the guests did not know how the work had originally been organized amongst the Democratic women of New York State, but to some of us who had been in it for a long time, the changes and growth are what stand out most clearly. I could not realize that it was only sixteen years ago. I felt I must be talking about experiences which had happened to somebody else in another world.
When Miss Cook quoted from contemporary papers, some records of speeches made in campaigns in the early days of 1919 and 1920, some of the people around the table could hardly believe them. Perhaps some of the things said today will seem as unbelieveable fifteen years from now!
Miss Lape and Miss Read had breakfast with us this morning and Miss Lape is travelling down with us to Washington. We are very good travelling companions for we all have plenty of work to do and none of us feel the urge to waste anyone else's time. Miss Lape is reading proof, Mrs. Scheider and I going through stacks of mail and wondering how much more will be waiting for us when we arrive in Washington.