AUGUST 6, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—Last evening we spent another perfectly gorgeous evening on the beach at Fire Island. For a short time in the afternoon, it looked like rain. When I went to file my column in Patchoque, one rather effervescent young gentleman, who came up to talk to me as I returned to the car, remarked that the rain seemed to have brought out a number of people. From then until my hostess finished her shopping, people appeared to shake hands and ask me how I liked the countryside.
Mr. Ross had told me that the only reporter who had found her way down to his house, which is near us, had said that she wanted to see me just to ask how I liked loafing. He told her that, from his observation, he didn't think I went in for it very heavily. This was because he had seen me laboriously using my typewriter and decided that my speed was no greater than his. Today I am doing this column with Mrs. Scheider and the rapidity astounds me after five days of doing it alone.
The moon shone on the beach rather fitfully last evening. When it did, there was a glorious path of silver out into the ocean and we sat for a long while in front of a burning campfire and listened to the waves break upon the beach. As we were leaving, some friends who are spending their vacation in a cabin on the island, appeared on the dock. They were laden down and announced that their outboard motor had refused to work all day and so they had been rowing back and forth. Rather ruefully the gentleman said: "Of course, I came for exercise, so I suppose it is all right." Mentally I calculated that on his first day he had rowed about ten miles and I know rather few people who enjoy quite such a rapid transition from business office to rowboat.
My brother's car and chauffeur came for me this morning and I left at 9:00 o'clock, having added to my baggage a few things bought at the Arthurdale sale and a butterfly weed plant. It may seem odd to try to transplant a weed, but this looks so lovely with the wild carrots that I could not help making the effort. It will probably die, but I am putting it in the ground up here with plenty of water and much prayer.
The heat here has evidently been very bad. When I came through New York City and stopped at my apartment for a few minutes, I could not help thinking of how much those of us who do not have to live in the city during the summer months have to be thankful. I looked at the children in the parks and thought parks a poor substitute for the country and real farm life. It seems to me that animals are almost essential to the normal growing up of children. I am glad that inexpensive cars, good roads and camping sites are making it more and more possible for city children to have some part of the summer in rural surroundings.