SEPTEMBER 10, 1938
ROCHESTER, Minn., Friday—I have spoken several times of the efficiency which marks all that is done in this clinic, but I have not mentioned the extraordinary way in which the human personal touch is preserved. This has impressed me from the very beginning. A good example of it is the fact that last evening, a doctor who is not in direct charge of my son's case, telephoned me to say that he and his wife were going to meet my daughter-in-law on her arrival this morning and would stop at the hotel for me if I cared to go to the train.
At 8:00 o'clock this morning, there they both were in the hotel lobby. Who could help being warmed and cheered by such friendliness? Somehow a very wonderful combination has been achieved here. Science is never neglected, but everyone, even the busiest doctor, has time to be kind. The attitude spreads to the patients. A woman whose husband was seriously ill and whom I had only just met, stopped to inquire about James and to say cheering things drawn from her own experience.
Just before leaving Hyde Park, I received an interesting character doll from a woman who lives in California. I have been meaning to tell you about her letter ever since, because it was different from the usual appeal. She told me that she was too old for WPA work and a few months too young for an old age pension, but in any case she would rather do something "on her own." She evolved the idea of making dolls to represent various historical women. She wished to know if I could suggest a way whereby she could find a market. Her idea, of course, is not entirely original, but she seemed to be such a spirited elderly lady that I cannot help hoping that some of the schools in her locality will decide that a group of correctly dressed dolls is a good medium for interesting children in history.
At various times, I have given my grandchildren dolls I have bought in foreign countries, to familiarize them with the types of people and the costumes of other lands. They are never useful as toys, but as a collection simply to be looked at that can serve as a stimulus to interest children in various lines of study, I think these dolls are valuable. I know that in some of the WPA and NYA projects for museums and schools export workers in this field have been developed and the dolls have been most useful.