NOVEMBER 21, 1938
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday afternoon I had a most interesting visit from the wife of the President of Nicaragua, Senora Somoza. It means so much to people from the mountainous Central American countries to be able to travel by air. A trip which might have taken weeks in the old days can now be accomplished in two or three days.
She left me a most exquisite sample of needlework. I wish we could have had a longer time together, for I feel sure there are many things she would have told me which would have been of great interest to the women of the United States.
Later I drove over to Baltimore to give a lecture and then took the night train to New York City. Yesterday morning I attended the Children's Book Fair, which is held this year in the auditorium in Wanamaker's. Mrs. Rohde, who met me there, spoke very charmingly and told a story of her own imaginings which I feel sure appealed to the children present. Uncle Remus and his animals were beautifully associated in her tale with the pearly gates of Heaven and, as I looked back on my own youth, I remembered how blissful it seemed when characters as familiar as Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox could be attached to anything as unfamiliar as the streets of Heaven.
I did some Christmas shopping, tried on some winter clothes for the last time, and entered the Hotel Astor at 12:40 to lunch with the New York Association of University Women.
It had been gray in the morning and the rain had gradually settled down to a steady downpour, so it occured to me that I had better find out if the plane on which I had intended to fly back to Washington was scheduled to leave. I called the airline and a very polite voice said that they had been trying to reach me, because it was very doubtful whether the plane could leave and they had therefore taken a seat for me on the 2:30 train to Washington. This sounded simple, but my heart sank, for I knew that I was expected to speak at the luncheon and might easily be the last speaker.
Mrs. Ogden Reid, who is a very good toastmistress, managed to let me speak in between courses and I only hope the guests did not object to having their luncheon interrupted in this manner. At 2:10 I was on my way to the Pennsylvania Station and settled myself on the train to catch up on some reading I had been accumulating.
One little book by Thomas Mann comes out tomorrow. It is called: "This Peace" and, though it is evidently written under the strain of recent events, there is much in its 36 short pages which will be interesting reading even to those who may not agree with his point of view.