Sept. 8, 1937
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I have just returned from meeting the "Paris" on which Johnny returned from Europe. Last night they reported her docking at twelve, but one of the crew was ill and they were held at quarantine. So on telephoning about eleven o'clock, I was told she would not dock until two. I drove to the pier a few minutes before two o'clock in my own car by myself, though various and sundry gentlemen of my acquaintance seemed to feel that I would probably not arrive there safely, and offered to drive down with me! My only moment of anxiety occurred, however, as I was turning in to the pier when I saw a sign which said: "No left hand turns permitted." I was about to go up several blocks when a policeman recognized me and at once the New York police force took me in hand and told me very efficiently where to go and what to do. Before I knew it I was parked on the pier.
Here I learned that the boat would not dock for another half hour at least. Kind gentlemen sprang from every side. I was first taken into a press room which was entirely empty, to sit down, then I was introduced to the officials of the Line and taken into their rooms on the end of the pier to await the docking. I was so well looked after in fact that I felt a great many people must be neglecting their usual occupations and was much relieved when I finally saw the ship coming up to the pier.
I went out into a little enclosure reserved for the officials of the Line and watched her being pulled and pushed in by the tugs. Two small boys and their mother on the other side of the paling, attracted my attention. They were there meeting some friends, but in two weeks, the mother said, they would be meeting their father who was coming home from Spain where he had been for the North American Committee.
Some of the baggage porters came up to the paling and asked if I would autograph their union cards, but I saw visions of what would happen if I once began in a crowd like that and decided that it was fairer to stick to my usual rule and do none at all, though they wore such ingratiating smiles, it was hard to refuse.
I saw no signs of Johnny until I went to the gangplank and he was, as I thought he would be, among the first people to leave. I went aboard with the head of the Line and the photographers pounced upon us. That being over, the kindly customs officials took us in charge, the boys' bags appeared, for John Drayton who sailed with our John, returned with him also. We went down to pack the cars, arranged for John Drayton's little car when it came out of the hold to be turned over to my mother-in-law's chauffeur and all was done.
In a few minutes we will all be starting for Hyde Park and I am looking forward to hearing all the news of the trip. One of the reporters murmured in my ear: "He was very frank, Mrs. Roosevelt, and we liked the way he told us the story." Which was nice for I imagine that before I saw him, John had had quite a session with the various gentlemen from the press!