My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Monday—Friday afternoon late, John, Anna and I drove down through the holiday traffic which was making its way towards New Jersey, to the Newark airport. We had hardly set foot inside the office door when the photographers came up to greet us. "Was I leaving too?" "Had I heard from Franklin and Ethel?" "Would you please all step out and be photographed saying goodbye at the plane?" To their questions I could answer truthfully that I was not leaving as witness of my truthfulness my car parked outside waiting for me; we had heard nothing from Franklin and Ethel; and very reluctantly just before the plane was ready to be boarded we stepped out to be photographed. How I hate to say goodbye especially when someone else is going to do the flying! In addition to have a large audience of interested spectators makes it even more difficult.

Everyone was on board and I stepped back of the fence and was immediately greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson from Albany, whom I had not seen in a long while. They were seeing a friend off and I was glad to see them again. Then I stood watching the last minute preparations, when a little young couple beside me bursting with excitement asked me if Franklin and Ethel had sailed on one of the recent ships. The man said he had been down there and they were expecting them. Then I asked them if they were seeing someone off, but they said "no," his wife had never seen a plane close by, and they were passing, so they just stopped to see the plane go out, and a little breathlessly she said: "It is quite a thrill to find myself talking to you."

The plane started, we waved our last goodbye, and I waited until I saw it actually in the air, then I climbed into my car and started alone to drive back to New York. The traffic back was very light, and I left the car at the garage and was in my apartment at twenty minutes to eight.

At eight o'clock two friends went with me to dine at the Hotel Lafayette. I have an affection for this place as I used to go there when I was a young girl with an old and dear friend, Bob Ferguson, and I think that places which you have enjoyed always retain a certain sentimental value for you.

Then I went back to my own sitting room and to work.

The sailing of the "Conte de Savoia" on Saturday morning meant getting into a stream of cars, but some kind policeman caught sight of my mother-in-law, and before I knew it, room had been made and we were going in through a special entrance. Two photographers waited at the gang-plank but she firmly said "No photographs," and even afterwards in her stateroom she was adamant, so finally my Johnny and Johnny Drayton went with me to the end of the corridor and let them have photographs of us.

The goodbyes are all said, and I am glad for a little while that this business of "goodbyes" is over, for I don't like them at all!

E.R.
TMsd 5 July 1937, AERP, FDRL