AUGUST 13, 1938
HYDE PARK, Friday—I don't know if other authors feels as I do when a copy of a new book first appears from the publishers, but I always have a little sense of wonder that I actually wrote so many words and that anyone thought it worthwhile to publish them! This morning there came into my hands a new book. It will not be out until the 22nd so I really cannot tell you about it, but I can't help imparting a little of my own thrill.
Not long ago someone sent me an article by a very well known journalist who proved that, as a family, we all liked publicity, for otherwise we would not write so much and talk so much and do so many things that put us in print, or in the public eye in one way or another. The gentleman forgets that it is not entirely our own doings which put us in the public eye. But I fear I must plead guilty to the writing and the talking, for I did both before my husband became President and I hope I shall continue to do so after he ceases to be President.
I have no illusions about being a great speaker or a great writer, but I think in some of us there is an urge to do certain things and, if we did not do them, we would feel that we were not fulfilling the job which we had been given opportunities and talents to do. Frequently, too, there is an objective approach to oneself in viewing one's activities. In much of my own life, for instance, I stand back and look at myself and think: "That isn't you as an individual, that is you as the personage you may happen to have been for that period of time." I imagine that comes from having been a shy child with very little personality and having become accustomed to do things because they were expected of me and not because I wanted to do them.
Today has a touch almost of autumn, which is frequently so in August. I do not like it for I realize how quickly the next few weeks will fly by.
I thought the flies would all have been blown out of the wood by the breeze we have had in the last few days, so after several weeks during which I have not ridden, I took my horse this morning and went through the backwoods to see what was happening to my husband's "retreat." Then we went on to see a little farmhouse he is going over to rent and to look over another old farmhouse on the place, which some boys broke into the other night. The flies still bothered the horses but I obtained an idea of the extent of the damage. It is well to learn when you are young that the instinct of vandalism is a dangerous one and I hope these youngsters will find that this little escapade of their's really was not worthwhile.
I cannot help feeling, however, that we ought to do something to provide country boys as well as city boys with some place where they can seek recreation and occupation when they are out of school or out of work.