JUNE 24, 1937
NEW YORK, Wednesday—We came down to New York yesterday afternoon and the nearer we got to the City, the hotter we felt. When I actually got out to the train I realized that it was on the whole, a rather cool summer day, and that my imagination was working overtime just because I was leaving the country!
I picked up a friend, and Mrs. Scheider and I sat on the porch and talked hard with her until I suddenly realized that I should be dressed and started for the reception at the Hotel Pierre which the Junior Literary Guild was holding before the Newbery Medal dinner. I was late in arriving at Pierre's, and a very competent looking young man told me that I was to go to the twenty-ninth floor. I went there, and the elevator boy said: "Around to the left." There was one door facing me, and I rang the bell with no results. A little maid came out of the other apartment, looked at me, and retired promptly, so I rang and rang again and finally went back to the elevator and down to the first floor again. This time I went to the desk and inquired where the reception was being held. They told me on the second floor but I was to go to the twenty-ninth floor. With a great deal of firmness I refused and went directly with a nice young man to the second floor, found Miss Ferris, Mr. Patri, Mrs. Gruenberg, and my other hosts, and spent some time apologizing and justifying my additional loss of time! I think, however, I shook hands with everyone before we actually went in to dinner. The dinner was presided over by Mr. Frederic Melcher, who established the Newbery Medal for the best children's book of the year. This year it was "Roller Skates" by Miss Ruth Sawyer and was one of our choices in the Junior Literary Guild.
I enjoyed the evening very much and having an opportunity to talk to Mr. Melcher and Mr. Ginsberg who were my neighbors at the table. The speeches were short and good, but the crowning event of the evening was the Irish story told by Miss Sawyer herself. She said her nurse, Joanna, said it was a grand story "to put manners on children," and I am not at all sure that it wasn't just as good a story for all of us grown-ups. It would do a lot of us good, if on midsummer night's eve, the wee folk could pinch the calves of our legs till we were willing to think about other people. The enforced weeding of the garden which was filled with all the disagreeable things the child had ever said or done to others and which therefore, nearly choked the few little flowers that were struggling to bloom. A grand idea! If we all had to sit down and weed out in our minds the unkindnesses that we do, the world would be a better place to live in.
After leaving the dinner I dashed around to my mother-in-law's house in Sixty-fifth Street to see my daughter and her husband who had arrived earlier in the evening from the West. We had a grand time together, and this morning Mrs. Scheider and I met Anna at a department store where we often get clothes. It is wonderful how easy it is when you are young to get becoming clothes and how much more fun it is to choose things for young people. In fact I would always rather watch other people getting clothes that get them for myself.
At one-thirty Mrs. Scheider and I are going back to Washington where the President is entertaining during the day the Prime Minister of Belgium and his wife, with Mrs. Hull as his hostess on the trip to Mt. Vernon. I will be there, however, for the dinner to be given them tonight. I wish often I could be in two places at one time! Last night I wanted to be at the airport to meet my children and to make my speech at dinner at about the same hours, and today I would like to be with Anna and in Washington as well.