My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Wednesday—At last the sun shines again! I have become interested in archery during the past few weeks and spent some time yesterday afternoon and a little while this morning trying to learn the rudiments of what seems to me to be a far more complicated skill than I had supposed. The number of things to be remembered leave me constantly wondering which particular thing I forgot, for there is an explanation for every one of your mistakes, according to the book, at least.

I have much more respect for the Indians than I ever had before! Someday perhaps all these things will become automatic in much the way that driving a car becomes automatic when you have done it over a long period.

The people who once occupied this fair country of ours obtained much of their food, as well as fought their wars with bows and arrows, weilding them from every position—shooting on horseback while moving themselves at moving objects, and yet we pride ourselves on the things we can do! We have no greater physical skill today. We simply have learned to use different tools some of which are more complicated and perhaps more dangerous in their mechanism!

I have been having an amusing experience. Letters have come to me from Wisconsin, New Jersey and Illinois, telling me how very sorry the writers were to have missed my call. Apparently I went to some restaurant, or tea room, in one of which they also exhibited antiques. The proprietor being away I left a little note explaining that I had come and was sorry to miss them, either written on a slate or a register I suppose. Some one must have decided that it would be amusing to impersonate me, and as in the past people from a number of places have told me that they were constantly taken for me on trains or in hotels, I suppose it would not be such a difficult thing to carry through a joke of this kind. The only disappointment comes when I am forced to write that I have not been in any of these places this summer! My only trip far afield having been to Indianapolis. Otherwise a day's motor drive would cover the furthest point to which I have journeyed.

A little item in the paper this morning told of a Rochester, New York, public library where they have hit upon a most entertaining way of stimulating the interest of children in reading. They have built a model Dutch Well-House and named it: "The Wishing-Well." A child can pull a rope and find a question on any subject in which it is interested. Attached to the question will be the list of books which will give the desired information. I congratulate the person who thought of this idea for the fun of pulling a rope will provide many youngsters with new interests. I have often wondered why children's libraries did not give "Jack Horner" parties every now and then, or treasure hunts. Either one could be worked out so as to stimulate the reading interest of the children in the community.

E.R.
TMsd 25 August 1937, AERP, FDRL