SEPTEMBER 16, 1938
ROCHESTER, Minn., Thursday—Jimmy is feeling better every day, so I began to make plans for leaving tonight. Betsey has a sore throat this morning, however, and Jimmy thinks I had better wait another day, so we will spend another 24 hours in Rochester.
This is certainly an interesting place. Yesterday afternoon I went for a few minutes to a tea at the Young Women's Christian Association and met a group of women, some of whom I had met before. Dr. and Mrs. George Eusterman invited Betsey, Miss Thompson and me to have dinner with them last night before the regular weekly staff meeting at the clinic.
Dr. Ruby Daniel had asked me to go to the clinic with her last night, and so we came back to the hotel to meet her and all walked over together. I found it most interesting, but as we were a little late, I had some difficulty at first in identifying from slides what part of the body the doctor was talking about. I finally heard some medical terms which meant something to me, and from then on followed everything quite easily. In one case they had the subject of the operation to show how successful it had been.
Jimmy asked me about it this morning, saying he had found his only difficulty was that he came out feeling that every part of his body was so important that he couldn't decide what he could neglect.
Dr. Will Mayo, who sat beside me, explained to me, while one of the younger men here on a fellowship was speaking, that the object of much of the work done, particularly from the educational point of view, was to teach men how to think. Every educator I have ever known has claimed that was the real objective of all education. They probably have better material to work with here and are therefore more successful than in the large majority of educational institutions.
I came across such a very nice column written by two Washington correspondents the other day, about a man for whom I have had great admiration ever since I first met him. I am very happy to have my own opinion confirmed by others who are probably far better judges than I am. I quite agree with them that "M. L. Wilson (Under Secretary of Agriculture) is looking ahead, not behind." I wish more people had his quiet, calm personality.
I don't know whether it is the result of being "a cross between a Quaker, a Unitarian and a scientific humanist," or whether it is the result of close contact, first with the soil and then with an educational institution where his interest continued to be in agriculture and rural life. Whatever the source, the result is excellent. You cannot be with Mr. M. L. Wilson and not feel a kind of strength in him which faces situations and thinks them through, looks realities in the face and finds a way out.