AUGUST 10, 1938
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—A most unusual letter came this morning from a lady who suggests that, of course, it is bad precedent to elect the same man to the Presidency for a third term, but that one can achieve the same results by electing his wife. This seems to me rather beating the devil around the bush. However, the lady suggests solemnly that she will start an organization to promote my election in 1940 and she assumed that I will have the help of both my husband and my oldest son.
She kindly adds that if for any reason I do not feel that I can sacrifice myself for the good of the people of the country I can state my distaste for this sacrifice in the agony column of her local newspaper and she will respect my wishes. I would like to suggest that it is a mistake ever to buy a pig in a poke.
I am not fond of being a sacrificial lamb, for I rarely like martyrs, and I cannot quite bring myself to believe that there is any service beyond that of being as useful a private citizen as possible which I can render my country.
Every morning starts with fog and every afternoon seems to end with a violent thunderstorm. My aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. David Gray, arrived here yesterday afternoon for a visit, just in time for all of us to go in swimming before the heavens opened. In spite of drops of rain and thunder and, finally, lightning, we enjoyed ourselves and cooled off, getting in before the worst of the storm broke.
I always expect the lights to go out and the telephone to cease functioning during these storms, but since Mrs. Gray and I were both brought up on the Hudson River, I felt nothing that a thunderstorm could do would disturb her. However, a dinner guest, Mr. Lewis Lawes, warden of Sing Sing prison, was somewhat delayed, for he encountered the storm as he drove up and had to stop while trees were removed from the road. We all had a pleasant and amusing evening, for the group was one in which stories of personal experiences were easily told and the experiences, particularly those the gentlemen told, were, varied and interesting. Whatever harm the storm did, it certainly has left us cooler and we are all rejoicing in the change of weather.
I am particularly glad of this change for Miss Jane Ellis is bringing Miss Kyllikki Pohjala from Finland to lunch today and I realize that her country has a cooler climate than we have been indulging in lately. She will spend a pleasanter time with us if she does not have to keep mopping her face and drinking quarts of ice water, which is what the greater majority of foreigners feel they must do when they come to this country.
I also have Mrs. Eliza Keats Young, my neighbor from across the river, who is a member of the Home Bureau and very active in farm women's organizations in this state, coming to us today. I think she will have a great interest in whatever Miss Pohjala has to tell us, for there is a growing interest in the farm groups in this country in learning all they can about cooperatives. The Scandanavian countries are, of course, far more advanced than we are along these lines.