SEPTEMBER 26, 1938
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Late Friday afternoon in New York City, I went to see the Puerto Rican Needlework Cooperative, which has an office at 99 Madison Avenue, and which is now selling wholesale to shops in New York. The needlework trade in Puerto Rico employs a great many women, chiefly in their own homes, though there are a few factories. Their work is exquisite, but I thought at one time that much of this work was put on materials which were not good enough to warrant it, except that labor was so cheap they were able to sell what looked like elaborate underclothes but which were really of little value.
The Cooperative seems to me, from the work I saw, to be using good materials. They are not skimping in the cutting or the sizes and the designs were among the most attractive and original which I have seen in a long while. They have adopted the trade name "Linda," which in Spanish means beautiful and is a very appropriate name. I am very much interested in the success of this venture for it would probably help the women of Puerto Rico very much if fair wages could be paid in this trade and the manufacturers could still make a reasonable profit.
Our drive up to Hyde Park was uneventful, though I expected to find trees across the road and signs of flood in many places. We were extremely lucky here and only lost half a tree on the avenue to the big house. The electricity went off for a time and our cellars at the cottage were flooded with water, so that we have neither hot water nor furnace heat to dry anything out, still we can be most thankful that no more serious damage was done.
My son, John, called me from Nahant, Massachusetts, last night and said that all but one boat in the harbor had been lost. While Mrs. Clark's house did not suffer, they had seaweed on every window, practically every tree was gone and the garden looked as though it had been plowed. Mrs. Clark had left for New York City by boat, for travelling by train was still almost an impossibility.
New England has suffered, of course, from floods many times, but I doubt if the coast has had such a bad storm in many years. The Red Cross is asking for financial assistance from the public to aid the sufferers, and the various Government agencies are doing all they can. I am always impressed by the valiant work down in all these crises by the WPA men and the CCC boys, who have become our first line of defense in all catastrophes wherever they may occur throughout the country.
This is a most beautiful day and three of us are motoring up to lunch with a friend in Albany.