MARCH 8, 1937
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sunday—We arrived early Saturday morning in New Orleans to be met by Mr. Warren Miller, Director of the Spring Fiesta and Mrs. Joseph Haspel who whisked us away in her car to the Hotel Roosevelt.
On the train Saturday morning at about seven-twenty, a very sweet young girl, a reporter on one of the newspapers asked to see me, and I discovered that what she wanted was to do a sketch of me, a somewhat difficult job, I should think on the swaying platform of a train, but we stood there for a few minutes while she sketched and told me she had just spent the better part of a day with my friend, Mrs. William Brown Meloney, editor of "This Week" when she was in New Orleans. I decided that regardless of what she did, it would be no worse than many of the photographs taken during the day and I was later told she had made a charming sketch but no one suggested that it was a good likeness!
I have been recalling my first visit here in 1913 and occasional short trips since then and I wish we had had more time for sightseeing. We saw the Governor and Mrs. Leche; the Mayor and some of the other government officials for a few minutes in the morning and then went off for a glimpse of the old quarter of the town.
There is no place that I know of in the world where the iron work is more attractive on balconies or in gates than in the old French quarter of New Orleans, and I love the old doors and the entrances into the little court yards. French and Spanish influence seems to lead to more privacy of living than we can boast of even in our modern homes. Many of the stories about the people who lived in this French quarter are picturesque and romantic today and one almost forgets the tragedy and pain which must have gone into the actual living.
If I had only had time to wander into some of the antique shops which looked fascinating from the outside, I should probably have come away poorer than I arrived, however, time did not permit us to do any shopping or even to stop and eat in some of the attractive and quaint restaurants. I was bemoaning the fact that Mrs. Scheider would have no opportunity to sample New Orleans cooking but I spoke too soon. After the afternoon speech Governor and Mrs. Leche drove us to Baton Rouge, and we had a dinner with them which was not only delicious but the dishes looked so attractive and interesting that even the most jaded appetite could not have resisted them!
Louisiana has strange contrasts, the old and the new are in close juxtaposition. Nothing could be more modern and visibly progressive than the State University and the new Capitol. I saw these by day light and returned in the evening to speak at the University.
At midnight we were on the train, got off this morning in Houston, had our breakfast, and are now in Huntsville after a very easy drive of seventy odd miles.