JULY 11, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—My grandchildren came home on Friday evening and yesterday was a red letter day for us all. Mr. and Mrs. Temple brought Shirley for a picnic. In addition to Shirley, Sis and Buzz, we had two children who live on the place, and Mr. and Mrs. George Bye's little neice, Lois Rosenbauer. When I met Shirley in Hollywood last spring, I was impressed by her natural simplicity and charm and marvelled at what her mother had succeeded in doing. She had kept her a child in spite of having to make her mature in so many ways.
Newspapers, photographers and news-reels were all anxious to follow the party, but it was everybody's wish that, since Shirley was on a holiday, it should be made as pleasant a picnic as possible. Only the Fox Films, with whom she is under contract, were allowed to take a few shots. I was amused when we walked out together for the first picture to have her tell me just what to do. "We should walk," she said, "from far back and wave at the camera as we come out." When I did not realize that the camera was following us, she said, "They are still talking us," and we turned for a final wave together. After that was over, there was no more preoccupation with pictures.
The children ate their picnic food with the zest which all children should have for outdoor meals. They watched their chops broil and worried over the chance of their burning, for I have never yet mastered the art of removing enough fat to prevent my charcoal fire from flaming up again as the fat burns. However, the chops seemed to be good, judging from the children's appetites. Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau, who are fond of Shirley, had sent up some of their delicious raspberries and that, with the ice cream, seemed to be a very satisfactory dessert.
Shirley demanded to know why I did not have on her badge, which she had presented to me in Hollywood, and I reminded her that, while she did give me two, they were meant for Sistie and Buzz. Then Sis and Buzz had to explain that the badges were at home in Seattle.
As a sign of her special favor, she handed one of her badges to a gentleman present, who was her willing slave for the afternoon. She informed him if he did not wear it he would have to pay a fine, and if he he lost it, an even greater one, and the money all went to Babies' Milk Fund in Los Angeles. After the picnic was over, I took everyone over to see my mother-in-law at the big house and told Shirley about the Gilbert Stuart portrait of Isaac Roosevelt, which hangs over the mantelpiece in the big library.
I doubt if this bit of history meant as much to her as a chance to go out with her father and the other gentleman, who had dedicated his day to her, to see the horses. I only hope the entire family was as sorry to leave as we were to see them go. All of us here are wishing for chances in the future to meet again. A well brought-up, charming child is a joy to all who meet her.