SEPTEMBER 9, 1938
ROCHESTER, Minn., Thursday—After our train tickets to Chicago last night were bought and our plane reservations to New York today were made, the doctors met with James and me to go over his case. Instead of going home, we decided it would be better to stay right on and sometime early next week James will have this operation and we hope from then on he will have no further trouble with his stomach. He announced today that it would be a great relief to be able to eat everything he wanted again.
I smiled to myself thinking of a correspondent from New York State who does not seem to like us very much and who wrote anonymously presumably because he or she is fearful of acknowledging ignorance as to the type of treatment which precedes an operation of this kind. In this very kind note I am advised that James' troubles would be all over if he would give up strong drink. Dear lady or gentleman, don't you know that for well over a year before this type of operation this particular patient has indulged only in milk and the type of food which a two-year-old baby is usually given?
As I walked down the street from the hospital, I saw a car stop and two young men jump out and stand in front of me. My first thought was that they were probably reporters, but no, they were just Minnesota college boys studying medicine and anxious to take a trip around the world, for which they had to get a certain number of magazine subscriptions and for which I looked like fair game. Unfortunately, in the White House, I think we subscribe to, or are sent, almost everything that is published, so I can't be softhearted any longer on this particular type of appeal. One of the boys came from New York, even though I was obliged to refuse to be useful to him, he was kind enough to say that he would be glad to see me in New York and would do his best to entertain me there.
So many people are kindly interested in James that I have been busy with letters, telegrams and telephones. However, doing one thing like this is so much simpler than the usual variegated life one leads that so far I don't feel swamped, though James prophesies I will be by Monday.