NOVEMBER 13, 1937
CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Friday—We had a very uneventful trip back from Fond du Lac to Champaign today, with an hour to make connections in Chicago. Being on time, we decided to make a short trip to the Field Museum. Ever since I went there months ago to see the work which the WPA workers were doing, and had a brief glimpse of Malvina Hoffman's bronzes, I have kept it in the back of my head that I wanted to go back and wander in a more leisurely fashion through that group.
Today Mrs. Scheider and I went there between trains and we just had time to enjoy those in the rooms near the entrance. As I was going out a guard came up to see me and said: "Someone wanted me to ask if you are Mrs. Roosevelt," and with a wicked gleam Mrs. Scheider said: "And you thought you would get in and out unrecognized!" In a minute young Mr. Field was at my elbow to urge me to see the bronzes in the prehistoric group on the floor below, but my time was up and we had to go.
As we got off the train here in Champaign, the porter said: "It is a pity you are not going through to New Orleans," and both of us wished that we had had an engagement there! In the first place I have a friend there whom I would be glad to see, secondly, the train was very comfortable and our food at lunch was excellent, and thirdly New Orleans is one of the cities that I always like to return to.
I was glancing through a booklet called: "Christopher Morley's Brief Case" today, and in one little article he reviews his memories of various places which he has visited in the United States. If I began to look back it wouldn't take a few pages, but many volumes I am afraid, but the memory of New Orleans is a curious mixture. Sun in the old square surrounded by French looking houses; beautiful iron work balconies; the court yard of a house I once saw which had a charmingly foreign look. All kinds of glimpses down little passage ways into sunny flower filled courts. A variety of eating places and one particularly charming ceremony with lights out and a silver bowl of coffee with the brandy flames burning brightly being carried solemnly into the dining room.
Yes, New Orleans has color and I would like to have kept right on and found myself there!
I am glad to be here, however, for I am going to have the pleasure this evening of seeing Mr. Louis Howe's daughter, Mrs. Robert Baker and her husband and little boy. I am rather an unsatisfactory friend, for she has been wanting me to come and visit her for a long time and here I arrive finally on a lecture tour and can spend only a brief hour and a half with her.