My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Friday—I started the morning in a most delightful manner by going with Mrs. Wallace to the Rural Arts Exhibit in the Patio of the Agricultural Building. Mr. Allen Eaton who has supervised this collection and who knows probably more than anybody else about rural art accompanied us around the room. I was glad to see New York State represented by a very charming roadside stand, and I could have spent hours enjoying the little carved scene done of a round-up by a cowboy.

It gave me a thrill to see what delightful pottery and glass and even jewelry we are making in different rural districts, to say nothing of the real artistry shown in foods, sewing and weaving. There was so much to see that I shall go back this evening taking some friends just to make sure that I did not miss something really unique.

It was pleasant to find a number of young people wandering around and I have a feeling that they will get an inspiration which will spur them to trying to express themselves in a variety of mediums. After all these arts are our best defense against the machine age. If we must work with a machine eight hours a day, we may still have avocations which some of us may choose to turn into vocations.

At noon I spent a very interesting hour visiting a housing project which has been done by private capital in conjunction with the FHA It is a delightful development just back of Fort Myer and will soon be easily accessible to Washington. A part of it is already finished and a hundred percent occupied. It was built not for the lowest income group but for an intermediate group, which abounds here, with incomes ranging from $1500 to $300. Of course, there is no limit set and no reason why people of larger incomes should not move in.

The houses are well planned and I think would be easy for a woman to live in. These developments give one a feeling that there is a possibility of doing so many things on a community basis which would make life easier for the individual family. I watched the playground for a minute and wondered if all the families with little children could not combine and find a trained person to supervise them for at least a few hours during the day. Beneficial for the children and one more person employed. Of course, every penny counts but these particular pennies might bring good dividends. In any case I shall watch the further development of Buckingham with interest.

A little shopping morning and afternoon, a few friends to lunch and I snatched a few minutes in between to read some of the criticisms and letters which have come in on "This Is My Story." It is funny how when you have finished a thing you almost feel as though it didn't belong to you. I have a feeling that I am reading about somebody else's book, but I suppose that is only because the work on it is over and there is other work to be done.

E.R.
TMsd 26 November 1937, AERP, FDRL