AUGUST 23, 1937
ELMIRA, N.Y., Sunday—I will never cease to wonder at the endurance of crowds! Friday afternoon in Indianapolis was really very warm, and yet as many women as could possibly get in, came to the reception, and they did not come with gloomy faces. They were apparently enjoying themselves, though I felt that some of them must be pretty well exhausted. From the reception we went up to watch a style show, and again everyone who could possibly get in to the room, was there. Some of the young Democratic women were modelling as well as professionals from the shop which was showing its clothes, and I marvelled at the ability the young women seemed to have, to look cool in spite of fur coats and winter styles!
When I went up on the platform to say a few words, I felt I simply could not make another speech to a group which had probably attended the morning meeting and which would be going back to the evening meeting, so I asked for questions. I was very much pleased to have them ask about the Reporter Plan, and the Democratic Digest which are two of the best educational activities, I think, undertaken by the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee.
I have not mentioned before in this column the appointment of Miss Mary W. Dewson, to the Social Security Board. The fact that she has worked for the National Democratic Committee, will lead many people probably to think that this is a political appointment. But, if they look into her record they will find that her training from her girlhood days on, has been in line with the work which she will now have to do. I think she will do a remarkably good job and in addition to the work itself, I think the Congressmen and Senators will find her an understanding and able person with whom to deal.
One of the lessons I think nearly all women need to learn, is, that when we are dealing with busy people, no matter how much interested we may be in a subject, we must put what we have to say in the briefest possible form. This is even more important if the person to whom we are talking is listening because of our interest and not because of his own. We may be able to impart some of our enthusiasm to him, if we do not first bore him to death and make him impatient because he is being asked to listen to too many words. Miss Dewson's political training has taught her this valuable lesson, and I congratulate her on having this opportunity to do work which she is so well fitted to do, and the country on acquiring her services.
Ten forty-five saw us on the train for Chautauqua, New York, where we got off at eight-ten this morning, having lost two hours on the way, which made the night seem rather short.
Chautauqua is an extraordinary place. I think my uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt, once called it the most American thing in America. One thing is sure, it offers people who could never have the chance in any other way, the opportunity to hear good music, attend excellent theatre performances, take classes in a variety of subjects and at the same time enjoy a beautiful lake and a variety of summer occupations.
On Sunday we drove across the state, through the southern tier, a very lovely drive which I have not taken in some time.