OCTOBER 18, 1938
CHARLESTON, Ill., Monday—We were in Joplin, Mo., such a short time yesterday I had comparatively little opportunity to see anything of special interest in the city. I was struck, however, by the interested audience and the quality of the questions which were asked at the close of my lecture. The woman who runs the town hall series for which I spoke, told me that she has excellent support for two series of mixed lectures and music every winter and that she brings many prominent artists to Joplin. I can well imagine that they would find it a pleasant engagement.
A group of young Democrats came to call on me at the hotel and, the world being a small place, I found some friends of my friends Mr. and Mrs. Eric Gugler, of New York. The best tie I know of is a mutual admiration and affection for some individual and I felt that I had really found a friend because we had this bond. My whole connection with Joplin in the past is through Mrs. Emily Newell Blair, whom I have long known and admired. Her home was in Joplin and, of course, her friends greeted me on every hand.
All about us there was a friendly interest which could not help make us feel at home. For instance, Miss Thompson handed a telegram to one of the bell-boys and said she had expected a letter which had not arrived. A few minutes later he was back with the letter and the telegram saying: "I think this is the letter you are waiting for, so I didn't send the wire."We both thought that indicated real intelligence and a friendly interest.
Someone had evidently sent word ahead that we were on the train going to Joplin, for quite a number of people gathered at various stations and I had an opportunity to shake hands with men, women and children. My only anxiety was that the train would start suddenly and someone would get hurt.
This morning we changed trains in the station in St. Louis a little after 8:00 . It seemed to bring me very near the Hudson River to find myself back on the New York Central Lines with a time-table indicating the beauties of the Mohawk and Hudson River Valleys.
The porters who carried our bags from one train to the other reappeared after a short interval armed with autograph books and I learned of children who were collecting them and the fact that they succeeded in having a number of interesting people write in their books. Two young people from the press and two photographers were also up at that hour, but by 8:30 Miss Thompson and I were free.
We are now in Charleston, Ill. The country we have been coming through is flat but evidently good agricultural land. We are staying at the Eastern Illinois State Teachers College and after lunch expect to have an opportunity to see several points of interest.