My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—We have to leave here today after lunch, and I find that even after four days, you can have the same feeling of having to do innumerable little things before you go. There is a cord that needs to be lengthened on a lamp, some hooks I want to put up in a closet, and the list goes on indefinitely, but at a quarter before eleven, I had to stop and get into my car. I had promised my mother-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt, to go up to the Library in the Village where the Albany Association for the Blind was holding a sale of things made by the blind. Miss Cook had also promised to go, and Mrs. Scheider came too, so we would add to their sales as much as our combined purses could stand.

I drove over to the big house first to make sure that my mother-in-law was starting on time, and then we drove up to Hyde Park, arriving just after she did, to find Mr. Wilson, our Rector and one or two of my old friends in the Village already there helping the Albany representatives of the Association.

I was so glad to see some of my old friends, and I was much interested in meeting an old man with a long white beard who is almost totally blind. He does pewter work and had dome pewter ash trays on sale, some of which I bought. I went up to have a little chat with him for Mr. Wilson was showing him the book which the American Red Cross gave me of: "Bobby and Betty's Trip to Washington," in braille. He seemed interested and I explained that I had given it to the Library knowing that fortunately we had no blind children in the Village, but hoping that our Library might be able to lend it to other libraries in the county where there were some blind children who might enjoy it.

The old gentleman looked at me as though he actually saw me, and inquired about my health saying that when he "saw" me at election time, he thought I didn't look so well. I assured him that I was almost always well and then he inquired after my husband and said he thought he was doing a good job!

The picture on the front page of the Tribune this morning showing the devastation in a suburb of Bilbao gives me a sense of horror. Why must people go on stupidly destroying what it has taken human hands so long to build? Are we never going to reach a point where a vote will be a substitute for cutting each others' throats, or blowing each other up with guns?

Amongst other things, I noticed yesterday that the Basque children taken to England were not very happy. It makes me feel more strongly than ever that our own contribution should be in money and these children should be kept as near their own country as possible. Children lose all sense of security when their surroundings are not familiar. It is probably easier to stand constant shelling when the room you are in is a room you have known all your life. If it falls about your ears, you are probably killed and know nothing about it, but you cannot imagine that such a thing will happen because you have always known it as it is and can visualize it no other way.

E.R.
TMsd 22 June 1937, AERP, FDRL