My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—Flying back with Secretary Morgenthau from Washington, Friday afternoon, was a very interesting experience. From Philadelphia to Newburgh, we flew straight as the crow flies and I was tremendously interested to see how many lakes and how much wood land there is in that part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We only saw the Hudson River for a few minutes as we were landing at the New Hackensack airfield. This field is used a great deal when the President is here in sending necessary mail and messages by air, and I wish that it might be made a little safer, for in very wet weather it seemed to me, a pilot might have a rather unpleasant landing and take-off.

Fortunately for us, it cooled off considerably, and yesterday while it was pleasant enough to swim, still under the trees it was fairly cool. We had quite a large picnic of friends, with a number of children and young people who spend a great deal of time in the water. Mrs. Heywood Broun brought a very sweet little girl who approached me after luncheon was over, with the inevitable autograph book. On the whole I think little girls are less shy about this autograph collecting than boys, for one of the little boys very much wanted Mr. Westbrook Pegler's autograph, but he didn't quite dare ask for it himself, and so someone else was pressed into service. Mr. Pegler was a most willing victim, however, and I have an inkling that he rather likes small boys.

Miss Cook has the arrangements for picnics down to a science, but just as the coffee was being carried down in its container to be attached to the electrical outlet near the fireplace, it was discovered that someone had tampered with the arrangements in the cellar, and no electricity was reaching the picnic grounds. Consternation reigned and those containers were carried back and forth until finally someone was found who could get the electricity connected up again, and then all was serene.

I am never quite sure whether it is wise to have everything too perfect, for when something goes wrong, it is so much worse than if you weren't planning to have everything just so! I remember years ago in our cottage up in Maine, heartily wishing that we had no plumbing when the windmill broke down and the pump refused to pump, and we had perfectly good bath tubs in the house but no water to run into them! It seemed twice as bad to carry the water in pails than if we had been doing it every day, and everyone had been in the habit of washing in a "tea-cup" and going for a bath to the nearest pond!

Peace and quiet reign today as it should on Sunday. I wish that in the affairs of the world one might call a Sunday moratorium for it seems to me that a number of nations need to "stop, look and listen" and count the cost before they take any action.

E.R.
TMsd 18 July 1937, AERP, FDRL