SEPTEMBER 12, 1938
ROCHESTER, Minn., Sunday—The sun shone yesterday morning and all of us had a more cheerful "morning face" in consequence. Practically all the people in the elevators, on the streets, in the hotel lobby, are concerned about themselves or someone else, so there is a certain community of interest wherever one goes. People nod and smile at each other on the general principle, I think, that they all need a little cheer.
Before I walked up to the hospital this morning, a farm woman, from Wabasha County, came to see me. She was in town trying to start a sausage business. I gather that she never lets the grass grow under her feet and if she has an idea she is quick to see if it can be made to work. Her desire to see me grew out of her interest in having something done to make domestic service jobs more attractive to girls and farm work more desirable for single men. I enjoyed meeting her, but the more I think of the difficulties involved in solving this problem, the less hopeful I feel. However, I've learned one thing, no problem is solved till you try.
Photographers greeted me as I left the hotel. For their sake, I could wish they had a more promising subject to reward them for all their activity. One extremely persistent gentleman wishes to take a photograph of us all in James' hospital room. The only invalid picture I've ever found interesting is the one of Robert Louis Stevenson, and so I've assured him that the circumstances do not warrant a bedside group. At last he suggested that rumors were afloat which could be set at rest by a photograph, but even that fell on deaf ears, for I never knew a rumor which could be disposed of so easily. In any case, why try to dispose of one simply to have ten others sprout up in its place.
I read a novel called "The Strange Woman" by Sarah Elizabeth Rodger, after I went to bed last night. It is an interesting story but these people seem to work out a pretty dreary solution to their lives. I'm glad I don't have to believe that all parents resemble these parents or all young people are like those in this book. If I did, it might seem more possible for our young people to fall in line with some of the modern "isms," as some of my friends seem to fear.
The President has arrived and shortly the operation for which the doctors have been preparing James will take place. I dislike operations.