MARCH 15, 1938
SAN FRANCISCO, Monday—We are having a taste of what floods can do to disrupt the orderly procedure of life in general. We crawled through the desert yesterday afternoon and, in addition, we had the experience of going through a sandstorm. The engineer was obliged to slow down because the sand blows over the tracks and there is danger of derailment.
I wondered if airplanes can fly above a storm of that kind and not be affected by it. If not, I should think it would be a most unpleasant experience for an aviator.
We were over an hour late and got off the train at Alhambra to drive across to Glendale, just outside of Los Angeles, to catch the train for San Francisco. We need not have been anxious about our connections, for we waited some time at the station in Glendale and the train left an hour and a half late. They cheerfully told us that they were several hours late in San Francisco on account of the flood conditions, and so I fear that many plans which we made for today will have to be changed.
We woke this morning in the Salinas Valley, and what a change it is from the desert country of yesterday! Everything is green and beautiful. This is certainly rich land, but I notice a certain amount of soil erosion and something will soon have to be done, even in in this rich country.
I am always fascinated by the desert, even though the cowboy songs which detail all the uncomfortable animals you may come upon in it make you feel nature is not altogether kind. In Phoenix I was given a book called "Desert Mavericks", with drawings and verses by Eve Ganson. It is quite delightful and I can promise you an hour's entertainment if you read it.
I must tell you one or two interesting things done by the New Mexico Federal Writers Project. If you are thinking of going to New Mexico, be sure to get the calendar of annual events in New Mexico, compiled and written by the New Mexico Writers Project.
It will tell what you can see there during the whole year, and there seems to be no part of the year in which there is not something interesting to see in the state. Most of the events, of course, are connected with the Indians, though there are such things as the Mexican colony rodeo and barebcue, street dancing and singing, which are given to celebrate Mexican independence from Spain. There are other rodeos and feast days, all of which serve to carry you far from anything which you will see in Eastern or Middle Western States.
This same Federal Project has been transcribing some of the old plays. The first secular play ever given on American soil is said to be "Los Moros Y Cristianos". This play is based on the victory of the Spanish over the Moors in the fifteenth century and is still given on horseback in New Mexico today.