DECEMBER 10, 1938
WASHINGTON, Friday—I saw another play last night, a very frivolous one called: "The Boys From Syracuse." It is based on Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors," is delightfully staged and acted and there are a number of charming songs. However, I am afraid that as I grow older I find musical comedies hold my attention less than what I call real plays do. Nevertheless, I feel sure all of my young people will enjoy this particular play and tell me it is a sign of old age when I want something at the theatre which absorbs me completely and takes me out of my own thoughts.
I am finding that I also judge a number of the books I read now by their ability to hold my attention sufficiently so that I will not revert to any problems which may be on my mind at the moment. When I find myself reading a book and at the same time thinking of something else, I rather weakly decide that it is not the fault of my own powers of concentration, but a lack of something in the book. You will say that this is just an excuse for an undisciplined mind which is not able to wipe out certain things which seem engrossing at the moment!
We were up at 6:30 this morning to make a 7:30 train for Washington. How far away we seem from our early start in Sarasota just a week ago. Everything moved so swiftly this morning that we found ourselves boarding the train at the Pennsylvania Station at 7:10 and had almost finished our breakfast before the train pulled out of the station! I say a little prayer of thankfulness for trains when I have fallen behind in my work. The drawing room on a train is almost the only place I know where one may be comparatively uninterrupted.
I still have in my bag to read the minutes of a conference on the education of women, a one-act play, a pamphlet on taxation prepared by the officials of the City of New York, a plan for the rehabilitation of a group of workers, a part of a book for the Junior Literary Guild, a pamphlet on the religious situation in Spain, and an article on a broadcast which is being given weekly. I will probably tell you more about these things as I get a chance to digest them, I list them simply as a record of the variety of human endeavors which cross my desk.
We arrived in Washington at 11:25 and I gave the luncheon today for the ladies of the Supreme Court, attended the sale of the Goodwill Industries, saw six or eight people at different times during the afternoon. In short, I have again taken up the busy life of Washington.