MARCH 18, 1937
SHAWNEE, Okla.—I managed to squeeze in yesterday afternoon a visit to one WPA project in Tulsa. It is housed in a three story building and covers a variety of activities. Women were learning book binding, and putting back into shape school books and books that belonged in libraries, even retyping pages and doing new illustrations. They were also doing extremely good weaving, some of their homespun material which they make up in the same building, hung in finished suits and coats and promised good wear and warmth for anyone fortunate enough to receive this sewing room's products. Very full layettes and obstetrical boxes were being provided and all in all that building seemed to be pretty busy.
From there we went to one of the recreation centers run by the WPA They seemed to be using an old school building and it was jammed with children, boys and girls under direction, learning to make recreation useful as well as pleasant. Some of the girls were learning to sew, others were learning to use a jig saw and hammer and nails and one of them exhibited with pride a tiny hanging shelf back of which was cut out the figure of a dog. The boys were playing ping-pong and learning a variety of games. One room was preparing to produce a play and in another room folk-dancing was taught. A few NYA youngsters were helping out the instructors.
Then we spent a few minutes in the Woman's Exchange which instead of being a private charity is here a civic enterprise. There is a committee of women headed by Mrs. Riddle in charge, but the money for starting the Exchange was provided by the City. They have adequate sales space and are conducting classes to train women to make saleable articles. They have already seven hundred women in their list.
Back at the hotel I received members of the Tulsa Town Club for whom I was giving my lectures. Before we knew it we had to get ready for the lecture and have something to eat before we were called for at eight o'clock.
Our stay in Tulsa was very pleasant, busy of course, but I feel that we have made some friends and are carrying away a better knowledge of the State and more understanding of many things than I have had in the past.
Promptly at nine this morning Mr. and Mrs. Harber and Mr. Wright, NYA Director, called for us and we were off for Shawnee, stopping on the way at Sapulpa, Shroud and Seminole, but making a real visit to Bristow! Here the youth center building is almost completed and we helped dedicate it. I feel that this program is working out very well in Oklahoma and I am particularly glad to have them tell me that they are working in close cooperation with all the other branches of government— federal, state and local.