My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

WASHINGTON, Sunday—I must tell you something which has keenly amused me. In a very large envelope bearing in the left-hand corner "Manufacturers Trust Company" with a New York City address, I found enclosed a part of a newspaper sheet. It had been cut off just above the column written by General Hugh Johnson the day after the President's speech to Congress, and in red pencil the following words were underlined: "Mr. Roosevelt first waved the bloody shirt," and then in the last paragraph "Weakness peers through every sentence."

At the bottom of the page was my column and here the words were underlined again in red: "I was, in spite of myself, swept into emotions that lay back of the speaker's words," and underneath in red pencil: "You damn fool."

In the same mail from an extraordinarily fine person, who seems to find black ink as good a vehicle for expression as red, I found the following words: "A marvelous speech, stating temperately the necessary position of democracies and wisely making the appeal to a unified country."

How differently people can see the same thing. After all, no one knows what lies in the backgrounds of our experience and our training to make us interpret the same words in such different ways!

Our spring weather still continues and I managed yesterday and today to have some time out of doors. As we were riding home yesterday, I told Captain Waddell, who rides with me, that I thought my horse was a spoiled baby, for she even has a preference for one side of the road and whoever rides with me always remembers this and rides on the other side. Captain Waddell's reply was that he would be glad to have a good many like her, and he was afraid that I was spoiled and would never find any horse quite as good as she is. Considering her age, this is a discouraging thought, and yet I know he is right. Our new Mexican Palomino, who belongs to John, has the same type of intelligence and you can talk to him and trust him in just the way I feel I can count on "Dot."

Ethel and Franklin had their baby christened here yesterday afternoon by Bishop Atwood, who has so many close ties with our family and Groton boys in general. This is the second one of our grandchildren to be christened here and one of our silver bowls, which we brought with us when we came, is shortly going to be put aside as a christening bowl, I think. This baby never even whimpered, perhaps there is no "Devil" in him to come out!

The Jackson Day Dinner, as far as the speeches were concerned was very entertaining last night. I felt very much honored, for I sat at the same table, though somewhat removed, with Senator Connally, ex-Senator Bulkley, Senator Byrd and Senator Glass. All the speakers told good stories which gave rise to much laughter, but some of the more serious aspects which lay behind the stories may give us all good reason for thought in the future.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL