NOVEMBER 30, 1938
SARASOTA, Fla., Tuesday—There is no doubt about it that at this season of the year one can make very good time on Florida roads. We left the hotel in Jacksonville a few minutes after 11:00 and the first part of the trip was cold and through flat rather uninteresting country. However, just as soon as water appears on the landscape, it seems to completely change one's feeling, for it gives the needed variation.
We passed a lake where trees with moss waving in the breeze, looking like old gentlemen's beards or some beautiful maiden's tresses in the long ago before she had cut off her hair, plus the dark green of the long-leaf pine made a really lovely picture. The cows wander along the road and the pigs do the same, we even saw some white goats. The most noticeable birds were the buzzards circling in the air and alighting here and there with great, graceful sweeps. We stopped at a little cafe which overlooked a blue lake circled with trees and ate our lunch.
Inadvertently I said something about the White House, whereupon the proprietress shook her head beamingly and said: "I thought I wasn't mistaken," and I could have bitten off my tongue. I tried to make believe I hadn't heard her, while everybody with me made fun of me and said I really grieved at not being recognized and had to do something to obtain attention. I certainly deserved the teasing.
The Jacksonville newspapers and their editors deserve my thanks, for I told them I was taking that rare thing, a pleasure trip entirely unofficially and was not being photographed or being interviewed for a short period. I assured them that there would undoubtedly be plenty of official trips when all the pictures could be taken and all the usual questions could be asked and answered.
I didn't tell them that the President suggested that my hopes of getting anyone in this country to consider any trip unofficially were unduly optimistic. I think he was somewhat fearful that if I was successful, I might find it pleasant to return to Washington via the longest route, taking in Havana and Canada on the way.
We found my aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. David Gray, waiting for us when we arrived a little before 6:00 o'clock. They both said exactly what one always expects people to say who live in a land which makes a virtue of its climate: "This is most unusual weather, we are sure it will be warm before you leave."
Well, there is a polar bear rug on my dressing room floor and some of us would gladly have slept under it last night, but the sun is out this morning. We have all had walks along one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen beside an ocean. Nowhere is the sand whiter nor the beach nicer to walk on. Now we are sitting in the sun enjoying perfect quiet and almost forgetting that it may be cold again.