OCTOBER 8, 1938
NEW YORK, Friday—You probably won't believe it, but in conversation the other day, someone repeated to me as a new story, the very, very, ancient one about people who live in slum clearance projects or improved rural housing, selling their bathroom fixtures and using the bathtubs as coal bins.
Well, I have at last seen something which may be a clue to why this story, in spite of frequent denials, still persists. In a very rural section, on my recent trip, I saw out of a train window, three bathtubs in different pastures with pipes leading to them from some water supply further away. To be sure, these bathtubs are used for water, but evidently the stock and not the people are making daily use of them. Something tells me that, if there is no nearby swimming hole, on a hot day a small boy might fall in by mistake, but he certainly would be ordered out for fear of contaminating the drinking supply for the stock.
Of course, I haven't any way of knowing whether these bathtubs were taken out of the houses or whether there was an unusual sale somewhere nearby which made it cheaper to buy bathtubs for troughs than to use anything else. However, this is the first time I have actually seen a bathtub out of its proper environment.
We landed in Washington late Wednesday night, and yesterday I went up to Philadelphia to speak for a group of Democratic women and then on to New York City to try on some clothes and spend a gay evening.
Last night I went with some friends to see "Sing Out The News." It was conceived and directed by Charles Friedman, who was responsible for "Pins and Needles," which is still such a success. For that reason, I suppose it is not astonishing that one can find many scenes which remind one of the "Four Little Angels of Peace" for instance, and various other amusing skits. There is a tremendous cast and it seemed to me that the scenes played by the colored people were particularly good.
In its political references it is rather kind to certain prominent political figures of the moment, and I think all of us, no matter what our party or our group, will be able to smile at ourselves while we are gently satirized on the stage.
In glancing at the front page of the newspaper this morning, one cannot help being amused at the avalanche of difficulties which descends on anyone's head when something new is tried these days. Here the British, together with some others, have decided that the Sudeten Germans should have the deciding voice as to what country they wish to belong, and lo and behold, Palestine has a revolt. Perhaps they want to vote. The Irish seem to have caught the fever also. Shall we be hearing from a few other peoples soon, I wonder? A complicated world, isn't it?