NOVEMBER 29, 1938
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Monday—Yesterday afternoon, my husband took a very protesting gentleman in the front seat of his little open car immediately after lunch. Mr. McIntyre was as firm as one could be with the President of the United States in telling him that the weather was too cold for the gentlemen of the press to be interested in visiting any outlying farms, no matter what improvements the President might be anxious to show them. In spite of his usual amenableness to such suggestions, the President replied that there was a good story in it for the press and he was going.
Very reluctantly, apparently, everybody appeared outside of our cottage at 2:15, and as a gesture of conciliation, the President invited Mr. McIntyre to ride with him in the front of his car. He put Miss LeHand, Captain Callaghan and myself in the back seat and then proceeded to drive along the windiest road there is on the mountain, far beyond our destination, because the President, himself, was not quite sure where we were going.
Miss LeHand and I were not ashamed to say that we were gradually becoming icicles and we finally overcame that masculine aversion to inquiring whether one is on the right road. Eventually we reached a spot where something was shrouded in a white sheet and surrounded by a group of automobiles and people.
By that time Mr. McIntyre began to realize that he was probably the victim of this joke, whatever it might be. When they handed the President the string to unveil "the monument" and a member of the press made a speech dedicating a new "memorial" he was quite sure something was up. Finally the President drew the string and a beautiful new sign, far cleaner than any others on the reservation, announced that this was a memorial to Marvin Hunter McIntyre - "The Possum Preserve" - and the President handed him a deed to the property, which might not be strictly legal but which is made out in the President's own hand. Just to warm up we sang "Happy Birthday to You,"and then drove to the Marine encampment, where the Marines were giving an exhibition drill for the patients of the foundation.
They had hoped for a warm day and had spread out an exhibition of weapons and equipment on a table to show their young visitors. It was too cold, however, for most of them to get out of their cars, but they enjoyed the drill and the hot chocolate and the cakes which were given to them afterward. The Colonel told us all his "boys" had been anxious to do something for the patients.
Miss Thompson and I left just before the Ambassadors arrived and I was very sorry not to see them, especially our old friend Mr. Phillips, for I should have liked to have news of his wife and children. We are on our way to spend a few days in Florida with my Aunt and Uncle, Mr. and Mrs. David Gray.