OCTOBER 1, 1938
BOSTON, Friday—Travelling upon the railroad yesterday afternoon we began to see signs of the hurricane and the flood. Trees down, places along the railroad where the water had risen almost to the railroad ties, gardens withered as though a heavy frost had killed them, buildings here and there with the roofs off and, in some cases, even completely destroyed.
The young Mayor of Springfield, Mass., Mr. Roger Putnam, boarded the train at Hartford to tell me a little about the hardships through which his city had passed. He praised all the Federal agencies which had been working in the area and told me how the dikes had been saved by the addition of countless numbers of sandbags put on by WPA workers.
As I remarked before, it is astonishing how these men who are alleged to lean so heavily on their shovels manage to do valiant work in all these emergencies.
The Springfield streets have been almost entirely blocked by fallen trees. I know I have not been through the areas which have suffered the most, still I think I now have a slightly better conception of what the wind must have been as it passed over this section of the country.
I had fully decided that the Teacher's Club had decided that they could not sponsor a lecture when everybody had been through so many days of strain, but everything went off smoothly. We dined with the Mayor and Mrs. Putnam, the auditorium was well filled and perhaps it was a relief to turn from the kind of work they had all been concentrating on to something entirely different.
When the President telephoned me last night I realized that he was already feeling much less tension concerning the European situation and our newspapers give the same impression this morning. The negotiations going on seem more satisfactory.
I cannot help wondering, however, whether the patient in this case, when he comes to and finds himself minus some arms and legs, will not feel rather sad at having them removed without being allowed a consultation.
We drove into Boston early this morning, taking here and there a back road when a bridge was down on the main highway. We found Johnny and Anne's apartment with Anne already at the door to show us in.
The outskirts of Boston are certainly satisfactory places for young people to live in and they seem to be comfortably settled. After we had looked everything over we drove to our hotel, where Johnny joined us for his lunch hour.
We are leaving shortly for Portland, Maine.