My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, April 29—Scranton has an up and coming group of youngsters! While Mrs. Scheider stayed in our room at the hotel yesterday afternoon in order to finish a piece of work, she spent most of the time going to the door and explaining to every age from six to twenty that I was not there and could not sign everybody's autograph book. They looked wistful as I went in and out and I too explained in the usual way that if I signed one book, I should have to sign them all and that was out of the question!

Gradually they vanished, but one youngster persisted and finally I signed his Boy Scout card because he was the only one anywhere about and I thought it would not create a precedent. It is hard to say no to these enterprising youngsters but after all they are not being deprived of a great deal for the value of a signature in the future lies in its scarcity as witness some of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. There will never be a scarcity of mine for I sign too many things every day!

At the end of the afternoon lecture, I was taken for a little drive in the city and saw some of the public buildings and included a short stop at Marymount College where a young and charming but very breathless young lady made a little speech of welcome which was really very sweetly spoken.

I talked with my husband who sounded very cheerful at the prospect of a holiday. Then I saw several groups of people at the hotel, had a friend, Miss Helen Newcombe dine with us and went back to the hall for the evening lecture. After that we dressed for travelling and packed and started for Wilkes-Barre where we were to get on the train for Washington, leaving my car to be driven down by a chauffeur today. We were not very sure of our road and it is always harder to follow the signs at night so we reached the railroad station to find a group of people who had followed us from Scranton. They evidently thought we had been lost and seemed quite relieved when we turned up safely.

Scranton is not an easy place from which to reach Washington. We had to change trains this morning in Philadelphia.

It is disturbing to read again of the hardships which the floods are bringing in the various parts of the country but I am glad to see that certain states are beginning to realize that reforestation has some connection with flood conditions. One item in the paper says that a survey in Pennsylvania shows how many acres represented in abandoned farms and unused land should be put back into trees to produce a crop eventually which will help in making these acres share the tax burden. If only all our states would link together soil erosion, flood control and reforestation we would hear less every spring of the hardships endured by people in the present flood areas.

E.R.
TMsd 28 April 1937, AERP, FDRL