SEPTEMBER 22, 1937
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I went down to New York City yesterday afternoon primarily to dine and spend the evening with a friend, but with the added intention of doing a few things this morning. I had not entirely realized how much a city as big as New York could be taken over by the American Legion!
As my taxi drove out of the station, I noticed Legionaires and their ladies both in uniform passing in great numbers on the streets. I said to my taxicab driver: "The Legion really has taken possession of New York, hasn't it?" His answer was: "It's nothing in this part of town, you should be around Times Square." I seemed to have loosened a real Niagara of conversation for he proceeded to tell me many of the things which had been done during the past few days, and I could not help smiling for it sums itself up in this way:- men, even men who fought in the World War, are still little boys when they are off on a holiday! Their idea of a good time is a grand rough-house.
Then I took up the evening paper and realized that today getting around New York would be an absolute impossibility. One could not cross Fifth Avenue, certain streets would be entirely closed. This morning I saw all the shops on Fifth Avenue were closed and their windows discreetly covered, I suppose to preserve them from the crowds. I came home on the early morning train just before Fifth Avenue was shut off to all traffic. Again my taxi-driver and I conversed and he remarked: "This parade is going to be a grand sight." I agreed with him heartily, but thanked my lucky stars that I could escape to the country and would not have to sit on a bench before the Public Library or stand on the street watching endless marching men. I have a great admiration for the Legion, but perhaps my memory of the War is still too vivid and it does not spell fun for me.
I have been very glad to see that all the speeches have emphasized the work which the Legion can do for peace, and with their organization and their enthusiasms I hope they will be able to do a great deal.
On the train I read all the way to Poughkeepsie. Just as we were getting in to the station, the trainman came along and offered to help me off with my bags. I had a little light hat box with me in which I had taken a hat to leave in New York. When he picked it up he looked completely mystified for, of course, it was like a feather in his hand. He probably wondered why I bothered to carry anything at all if it didn't weigh any more than that. Back in the country a glorious day greeted me.
We are expecting a number of guests this afternoon and I hope to do a last bit of work on an article which should be done before I leave.