DECEMBER 22, 1938
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday morning I went up to the Women's Trade Union League Club House to dress the tree and found that kind friends had done most of the real work, so I spent a very short time there and was able to do a few errands and return to my apartment to have two friends lunch with me.
In the afternoon I had one of those pleasant experiences which comes to all of us occasionally. In the last few months we have turned over our various industries at Hyde Park to the workers, believing that they are now in a position to take the responsibility of running them themselves.
The woman who does the weaving is set up in a little house on the highway. The young men who do the handwrought pewter and make very lovely cherry wood salad bowls and other small wooden articles, have their shop near the cottage buildings, and our head man who had taken over the furniture making, has it in his barn at East Park. All three needed an outlet for their wares and yesterday afternoon invited me to come to 130 East 51st Street, where they have joined with some other Americans of Scandanavian extraction and have established a small shop.
Here they have everything one can want for skiing. The tropic wood skis and other varieties and everything else within a wide range of prices, from poles to shoes and hand-knit socks, caps and stockings. It is interesting to see handmade Scandinavian articles side by side with articles made by hand in our own country. I must say I was very proud of the pewter, the woodwork and the weaving. It stood comparison very well.
Of course, it is possible to buy many pewter articles which are attractive, but which are made by machine. But anyone who really loves pewter can tell the difference in the texture and the feeling of a handmade article, just as one can in woodwork and weaving.
I had already bought all my Christmas presents but I was so pleased to find how enterprising these young people are, and to see so much activity going on, that I even bought one or two more things to stuff into Christmas stockings! I do wish them great good luck and I think anyone interested in the type of things they have will find a visit profitable.
While there I met a young Norwegian girl who is over here doing exhibition ski jumping. She is pretty and very good at jumping, they tell me. She performed here in early December in Madison Square Garden and is now going somewhere in the far West.
My annual Christmas Tree Party for the children at the Women's Trade Union League Club House in the afternoon seemed to be successful and I left the children eating ice cream and cake very happily.
It was a pleasant experience last night to take part in the program of "We The People" and to find myself sitting next to Mr. Will Moore, whom we usually see at Warm Springs, Georgia. He read portions from his great-grandfather's poem: "The Night Before Christmas." If I had had the time, I would have told him that this is one of the few poems my husband enjoys reading aloud too.