JUNE 17, 1938
WASHINGTON, Thursday—I walked into my room at the White House this morning and looked out of the window. The beauty of the old magnolia tree made me gasp. The blossoms are at their very best and they are perfectly beautiful, bigger than any magnolia blossoms I know anywhere else. A small tree stands next to the old tree and the blossoms on that are just as big. I always think of the two as being like brothers, the older one shelters the younger one temporarily, but the young one is growing up straight and tall, ready to carry on when the older one goes.
Mrs. Somerville and I had an amusing experience on the train yesterday. I had made no reservation and had so many bags that I wanted a seat in the Pullman, but there were no seats to be had. A very kind gentleman dashed up and offered his stateroom, but I was not planning to take anybody else's accommodations.
The rather worried conductor finally offered us seats in a dead-end Pullman. He left us there and we had just settled ourselves comfortably, when we were discovered by a brakeman who was walking through from the rear of the train. He gave us one look and remarked, "Don't you ladies know you may be cut off at Harmon?"
We said we didn't know and so, with great courtesy, he offered to find out and be absolutely sure, adding that he'd "hate to see us left there by mistake." We looked for an adventure in Harmon, but everything went quite smoothly and we landed safely in the Grand Central Station.
My real adventure came when I tried to find my son, Franklin, Jr., who was supposed to dine with me. A series of difficulties kept him from dinner, but we finally did go to see "The Two Bouquets" together and enjoyed it very much. There are some charming scenes and the costumes add enormously to the action of the play. The two plays I've seen this week cannot be considered anything but light entertainment, but both are well suited to a summer evening.
This morning I went to the 4—H Club encampment and was impressed by the handcraft work which was being taught and also by the quality of the youth to be found in this group. I take my hat off to Young America always, but, at the moment, I am deeply impressed by Young America from the rural communities.