FEBRUARY 1, 1938
WASHINGTON, Monday—Last night I dined alone with Miss Mary Dewson, an old friend who is the newest member of the Social Security Board, and had a very pleasant, peaceful evening. Her house in Georgetown is just about perfect for her family, which consists of two very beautiful Persian cats, two dogs, herself and a very efficient colored maid who realizes Miss Dewson knows how to delegate authority and that her job is to remember all the things about the house which Miss Dewson doesn't remember.
That is really the secret of being a good executive. Choose the people about you carefully and trust them to do all your work.
The weather was perfect and springlike yesterday. It is still warm today, but it was raining hard when I arose. After a press conference, I went over to join my guests at Mrs. Townsend's concert. Though I was late, I was in time for at least three-quarters of the program and enjoyed hearing Mr. Beveridge Webster, the pianist, and Mr. Benno Rabinof, the violinist.
After Mr. Webster had played the Chopin Fantasie in F Minor, my daughter-in-law, Ethel, said: "I've never heard a man with such a delicate touch. It is like the down on a bird." Rather a nice description, wasn't it?
Beside the family, there were only three guests for luncheon. They were Mrs. Ellen Woodward of the WPA; Mr. Dornbush of the Special Skills Division of the Farm Security Administration, and Mr. Jerome Davis. Mr. Davis told us some very interesting things about his South American trip, from which he has just returned. Mrs. Woodward urged all the young people to go to the WPA exhibit at the National Museum. She says she is almost ashamed to mention the exhibit any more, she has done so much talking about it.
I am not in the least surprised at her enthusiasm, for it certainly is an exhibit of which she can be proud. I am sorry all these exhibitions cannot last indefinitely and I wish that we could send them travelling around the country.
There are so many things to be seen in Washington apart from the regular sightseeing, that these special exhibitions attract less attention than they would in other places. The very people who would be most interested in them, congressmen, senators and government officials, would be very apt to go to see them if they were in their own states. They are very unlikely to see them here, where work keeps them in the Capital or in their departments, and sends them home rather weary at night.
We have been enjoying the most beautiful pansies, which come to us every winter through our friend, Miss Lillian Wald, from Mr. Loren Sniffen in Connecticut. I have always loved pansies, but those I have enjoyed were always of the small garden variety. These are enormous, both in flower and foliage, and I look forward to their coming each year as a great event.