OCTOBER 4, 1938
EN ROUTE TO INDIANAPOLIS, Monday—When I was in New York City yesterday afternoon, Mr. Walter White came to tell me his impressions of the Virgin Islands. As a member of the Commission, he visited the Islands this past summer and was impressed by their beauty. I think he is going to write something to inform the public of the changes which are slowly coming about there. Because these islands are a part of the United States, we all have an interest in them, and to find that the people are becoming self-supporting and that the natural beauties of the Islands are appealing to tourist travel must be satisfactory to all of us. More cruise ships will stop there this winter than in any other season since the United States took over the Islands.
I was glad to hear that the craftwork which was just beginning when I was there, has made great strides. My son, James, when he was there last winter, admired a mahogany tray made in the shape of a tania leaf and asked them to make one for me. They entrusted Mr. White to bring it back, and it certainly is a thing of grace and beauty. They also sent the President a mahogany cigarette box with his initials inlaid in a lighter wood, and this also shows excellent workmanship.
People on cruises are always looking for souvenirs to bring home and frequently find nothing original or indigenous to the place in which they travel. I think many travellers will be glad to shop at St. Thomas, if attractive articles which have a reminiscent flavor of the island are created there.
A lady also came to see me, with many difficulties to relate and much hesitation about doing so. It happened, however, that I already had two letters from friends anent her difficulties, so she brought me nothing new.
My brother and some friends went with us to dine at a little French restaurant far over in West 29th St., and we boarded the train at eight thirty-five. We meant to go to bed at once in spite of the early hour, but I had brought a considerable amount of mail which I had not been able to finish in the afternoon. I started on it and the urge to finish was too strong, so it was well after midnight before the porter was allowed to make up our beds.
Never before have I been on a trip without my knitting! I forgot it and decided it was a good thing to discipline myself and not become dependent on any one occupation. After all, men smoke to keep their hands busy, just as women knit. I find, however, that using my eyes all the time in reading, is rather more tiring than turning to knitting now and then and so I will try not to be so forgetful again.
We arrive in Louisville, Kentucky, about 5:00 p.m.