AUGUST 6, 1937
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I had a mixture of visitors yesterday. How many different interests it takes to keep this old world going! My first visitor was deeply interested in a society which is trying to preserve the beauties of the banks of the Hudson River. They are particularly worried about quarrying which is done for profit without regard for the fact that it spoils the sides of the hills for the passersby. It is a strange thing how rarely the servants of beauty and the servants of material gain see eye to eye, or desire the same things!
Of course, there is little or nothing I can do for her, but she has been very fortunate in enlisting the interests of Governor Lehman, Mr. William Church Osborn, who heads the society, and other important people in the state. Undoubtedly they will be able to do very valuable work. In listening to her talk, I could not help thinking of one of the most beautiful plays which I saw last winter, "High-Tor," which was written of course in defense of the Palisades but which could be used as well for any of the beauties of nature despoiled by man.
Then came a lady who has done some of the most beautiful books I have ever seen, requiring minute research and beautiful editing, and who is interested in getting them into the hands of school libraries where they would be of great value.
Later in the afternoon two gentlemen interested in commercial enterprises in West Virginia, one of them a German by birth, though an American citizen now, is most interesting to me because he is bringing to his state of West Virginia some of the qualities which are most noticeable in the German people, particularly in the scientists. They have a meticulous thoroughness which few of us in this country can equal because of our impatience. He knew more about his adopted state than I imagine many a citizen of that state does who has lived there always, and whose parents lived there before them. This is an example of the good that comes to us in this country from our mixed heritage. We must expect occasionally of course to get some bad along with the good, but on the whole we have profitted greatly from the qualities and the knowledge which men and women have brought us from different lands.
Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw and her daughter and son-in-law lunched with Miss Dickerman and Miss Cook yesterday, and it was a joy for me to see them again. Mrs. Laidlaw's account of her experiences at the Coronation which she attended for the English Speaking Union is both interesting and amusing. I was keenly interested in her two young people, they are the kind of young people who are going to count in the next few years in shaping the future of this country and I have faith in them.
Last night we read aloud in "The Countryman's Year," by David Grayson. There are so many things in it I want to remember, but one thing I love and must pass on to you. "Long Ago I made up my mind to let my friends have their peculiarities." How wise! If only all of us could do the same!