My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ARTHURDALE, W.Va., Sunday—I thought yesterday that at least I was going to be able to get started on this trip without telling all the world just where I was going, at what hour, and with whom, but apparently I was too optimistic for two of my party were already listed in the morning papers. I should have known that peace and quiet are rare in this world especially for a lady who is young and pretty and much talked of in the press!

We got off at nine-thirty in the rain and the roads were somewhat muddy and over the mountains we had considerable fog, but Congressman Randolph kept telling us that once on West Virginia soil, the air would clear, and sure enough it had stopped raining when we reached Romney. We ate much more for lunch there at the hotel than any of us should have eaten, for the food is always very good and West Virginia ham and chicken tasted good after our drive.

In the afternoon we began to get very beautiful cloud effects and colors ranging from purple to deep blue on the mountains. Nature has made this a beautiful country, but man has not helped her out, and before long we were passing grimy little coal towns and destitute looking, unpainted little mountain farm houses.

When we reached Tygart Valley we had time to look at one or two houses and then we went in to what will one day be a store, for a meeting with all the homesteaders.

They had a strike here not long ago and many of their demands were probably justified. At present they seem to be getting together again and they realize I think that if you have a difficult problem everyone must work together, for nothing is solved when people are at swords points with each other and the government management.

We had delicious sweet cider and punch and cookies and finally separated, I think, with a cordial feeling towards each other.

Back in Elkins we spent the night in a very comfortable inn and after dinner some of us went to a square dance being given by the Veterans of Foreign Wars which was largely attended by the Tygart Valley homesteaders.

A nice little incident happened yesterday morning. While we were waiting for the Congressman to telephone, a young man with a large tiger's head painted on the back of his leather jacket, came acress the sidewalk and extending his hand to me remarked: "You are Mrs. Roosevelt, aren't you?" We shook hands while I murmured that I was, and then he said: "Tell your husband I think he is a great guy." We hope here my husband is on his way to Florida by now.

We got off at eight-thirty this morning, stopped at one or two of those cabins I mentioned, attended church and are now lunching with our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Work. He is the project manager of Arthurdale.

E.R.
TMsd 28 November 1937, AERP, FDRL