My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WALLACE, N.C., Friday—We got off the train at seven o'clock this morning to be greeted by gorgeous sunshine, but kindly clouds protected us somewhat from the full strength of its warm rays. We drove in an open car from the station to the home of Dr. John D. Robinson. There we left our bags and Mrs. Robinson who is the official hostess of the Annual Strawberry Festival introduced me to a number of people including her own small daughter. This child had hardly said "How Do You Do", when she burst forth asking me if I would come across the street to see a friend of hers who was not well enough to come out and see me. Childish enthusiasm can not be denied! Hand in hand we went to the other house, for I had an idea that the child to be visited was an invalid of longstanding. On the way I discovered however, that it was only a temporary indisposition. It occurred to me that her mother might have some objection to having her child visited without permission, so I waited at the door until her father and mother appeared from the street and took us upstairs!

Back at Dr. Robinson's we had a press conference and, then put on our hats and drove to the Coastal Plain Station where a delicious breakfast was served under the trees. We started with muscadine grape juice made from grapes grown at the station and now sold commercially. In addition to much other delicious food we had four different kinds of berries for this station makes a specialty of developing small fruits. The bollweevil has been particularly bad in this part of the country and diversified farming is of great importance.

I met some young people from New Jersey who are growing a particularly large variety of blueberries and they told me that instead of the little bushes close to the ground which I know in Maine and New Hampshire, they grow bushes here high above their heads.

A very lovely box of strawberries was presented to me which represented a development obtained by two hundred crosses of various varieties. This berry was called three-thirty-seven, not having yet been given a name, and they offered to name it after me. It is a cross between a "Missionary" and a "Fairfax" strawberry.

About nine-thirty we visited Penderlea, a Resettlement Homestead just outside of Wallace which is an entirely agricultural project. The homesteaders themselves presented a pageant this morning covering the settlement of this part of the State and the history of the project itself. It was well done and I discovered an interesting fact, namely, that there is a similarity of type in the people that make up these homesteads. I don't know whether it is an expression which comes from the fact that they get an ideal and strive for it, or whether certain types of people are attracted by the adventure of a new homestead. In this homestead there are many younger people, but young or old as I looked them over this morning, I felt there were familiar faces such as I had seen on other projects.

E.R.
TMsd 11 June 1937, AERP, FDRL