APRIL 11, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I did not have space the other day to tell you of a very delightful dinner I attended in New York City, given by the Hon. James W. Gerard in the interest of the Todhunter School Building Fund. Mr. Gerard's house is one of the most charming I have ever been in. I was interested to hear Mrs. Gerard say that everything in it was an expression of her own taste and interests.
Some of the furniture had been inherited from her own family, some from Mr. Gerard's family, and she had picked out everything else herself. That is the reason, I imagine, why it gives you a sense of unity and restrained good taste throughout. They are charming hosts. Mr. Gerard has managed so many public functions, that I think he even succeeded in limiting the speeches of his guests to a reasonable length of time, so that no one went away feeling he had been talked to death.
We arrived in Hyde Park on Friday, to find patches of snow still on the ground and anything but a spring climate. My hopes of premature summer were not realized and the rain fell all afternoon and all night. It didn't make a great deal of difference to me, because some work was done during the winter in my living room and all the books had been taken out and stood in piles around the room. I spent the entire afternoon sorting and arranging books. When my feet became weary, I sat on the floor and looked at the books for a few minutes. Altogether, it was a very satisfactory way to spend a rainy afternoon.
I came across some delightful picture books with texts to add to their interest. I enjoyed "Noodle" all over again. I also enjoyed "Ezekiel," by Elvira Garner. It may be written for children, but I am sure no one will open it without being amused by the illustrations and interested by the text.
I can see a small lake, instead of the old swamp, out of my living room windows now, and I rejoice at the outlook even through the rain.
After supper we lit a fire and talked a while before retiring early. Saturday the rain still came down, but there was a new horse to be tried, a lovely one that looked somewhat like "Black Beauty." The rain changed to a heavy drizzle for a little while and so we went out for a short horseback ride. But there seems no chance whatever for a real change, for Miss Cook came in and told us the barometer was dropping steadily and she thought it would soon reach the cyclone stage.
I have been reading the statements made by Director Simmons of Cornell before the committee considering the Youth Act in Washington. I am struck by the fact that he stresses the great need there is for a better understanding of the problems of rural youth and for more adequate training, not only in agricultural pursuits, but in other ways to give these youths skills by which they can add to their agricultural income.