My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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In our rehearsal yesterday for our evening stunt, I arrived at blind spots twice and my mind remained a perfect blank until I heard someone beseechingly saying the first word of my line!

I thought of two perfectly delightful articles by Mrs. Charlotte Reeve Conover, an old lady of eighty which I read recently. She emphasized the acceptance of the drawbacks of old age and I am beginning to think that one of the things one should accept is the position of onlooker rather than partaker!

I am sure, however, that we all enjoyed our preparation for our "Gridiron Widows"' party far more than do the gentlemen who give the real Gridiron dinner! To us it is not too serious, and the group, which includes myself and the Cabinet ladies with a few other aides, takes it all in rather light vein.

We really must make fun of ourselves now and then or we would be in danger here in Washington of taking ourselves too seriously.

A few friends came for luncheon Saturday and then I went over to the Corcoran Art Gallery to see the exhibitions of paintings and sculptures and miniatures by the Society of Washington artists. A very good show. My only trouble came when I was asked to vote on what I thought was the best canvas in the contest to decide the most popular artist. Somehow I never can compare. I know the things I would not want, and now and then I see something that I really long to have just to live with day by day. To decide, however, in a room full of paintings which one is the best, always seems to me rather presumptuous for I am not an art critic. I finally put down a picture I would like to have, and also chose another number for a drawing contest. Never having won anything in any game of chance, that choice did not seem to me so serious!

Miss Nancy Cook and I had time to go in to see the exhibition of historical paintings which is I believe, going to be open until February. On the whole I think I like the old portraits by Copley the best but the thing which impresses me more than the painting of these portraits is the character in the faces of the men and women. I always wonder if the fact that the everyday things of life were surrounded by greater hardships and hazards developed certain strong characteristics in the physical appearance of the men and women, for even some of the paintings by unknown artists draw your attention by the strength of the faces.

I hope everyone enjoyed the "Gridiron Widows' Party" as much as I did. It was all "off the record" for the press as a whole as far as the stunts were concerned, so I must live up to the rules of my guests.

Today we are motoring down to see Franklin and Ethel at Charlottesville and it will be the first time we have seen their home.

E.R.
TMsd 12 December 1937, AERP, FDRL