MARCH 24, 1937
At the end of my lecture in Little Rock, Arkansas last night, Mrs. Scheider leaned over and whispered something in my ear. Being slightly deaf I only caught the words: "Mr. Farley may come." I was a little mystified but questions were beginning and the Governor was obliged to act as my ears and repeat each question for me.
My whole attention was on the audience for this is the part of the program I enjoy most, because I feel people are getting what they want. I went blithely on to the end, sat down and discovered, in little chairs at the back of the state, the Postmaster General and the Federal Housing Administrator.
Mr. Farley and Mr. Stewart McDonald had stopped off a train just long enough to say "Hello" and tell me that they had seen the President and that he would probably get home a day later than I would. It was a kind and thoughtful act.
Up early this morning, for we had to change trains in Memphis. I thought we could make this short trip across town quite unobserved and unattended. The Mayor apparently thought my feelings would be hurt if someone did not meet me.
The lady who is head of the Memphis City Beautiful Commission, and one of the members of the Democratic Committee had to arrive in time to present me with a bouquet and drive me through the city escorted by several motorcycles. They were more than kind and I felt more than guilty. I have come to the conclusion that Mrs. Scheider and I have very simple needs, for everybody seems to feel we must be looked after and there is so little to look after.
Once on the train we ate our usual breakfast in a beautiful car, a combination diner and lounge with a gas-log fire at the end. After reading the papers we immediately returned to work. I was aroused from the correction of a manuscript by a tapping on the window as we stopped at a station. At two stations I had to go to the step of the car and say a few words to large groups of children.
In one place a lady told me they were children from the mill and that the other children in the town had not heard I was going through and would be disappointed. In seeing these rather delicate looking children I could not feel they showed much enthusiasm at being allowed to come to the station. I have a feeling somehow, that a good big bowl of bread and milk would have been much more beneficial.
As I journey through the country I am becoming more and more conscious of soil erosion. Even Alabama would benefit by a soil erosion program. I have talked about it to so many people I feel a little afraid they will think I am interested in only one subject, nevertheless it does seem a very important one to me.