MAY 31, 1938
HYDE PARK, Monday—I know nothing more exciting than coming back to the country after having been away for 2 or 3 weeks, and finding all of your plants and bushes growing so fast that you hardly recognize them. We have 5 new climbing rose bushes planted around the house and they have shot up a couple of feet since I was here last.
Yesterday I rode all through the upper woods and this morning we have been through our lower woods and along the river back through a neighbor's place. I hope to ride again this afternoon.
There is no doubt about it, a certain amount of eccentricity in people adds to their interest as they grow older. Mr. Poultney Bigelow stood on our doorstep yesterday afternoon with his long hooded cape and a jaunty little Tyrolian-looking beret on his head. In anyone else you would have thought it an affectation, but in him you knew he was wearing them for comfort and anyone meeting him anywhere would know he is a distinguished and interesting person.
The outstanding thing about him, from my point of view, is the way he has trained his enthusiasms. He does not happen to like Napoleon and if you mention him in a flattering manner, you are likely to lose your head, figuratively speaking. One would really think that Napoleon was alive, active, and either a friend or an enemy of the people conducting the discussion. To keep such enthusiasm is a truly marvelous achievement, for most of us grow weary and care too little to become fiery on any subject, past or present.
Young Prince Louis Ferdinand has forgotten none of his Detroit training. I have no idea whether in Germany today, the Royal Family is still accorded different treatment from that accorded any other citizen, but this young honeymooning couple going around the world, seems to be doing it in simple fashion. I am sure that when he was working in Detroit, he learned to accept life in democratic fashion, for he gives one no feeling of expecting special attention, and neither does his young wife. Mr. Bigelow said he had made them get up to chop trees with him at 6:00 a.m. and added that they were good sports about it. I think they were, for they had just come off the steamer and must have been rather weary.
I never knew anyone to take as much interest in the public buildings of the neighborhood as my husband. He has watched every step of the Poughkeepsie Post Office building and now that they are starting a post office building in Rhinebeck, he is off this morning to discuss that. I find only one fault with the Poughkeepsie post office and that is that as you drive up Market Street from the south, the road is not absolutely straight and therefore the cupola looks a little bit out of line. However, I don't suppose anyone else will ever be bothered by such a detail, though I'd like the road changed!