JANUARY 10, 1939
WASHINGTON, Monday—Yesterday was such a restful day that I felt caught up on a great many things, though I have no lack of work ahead! This morning I went to Mrs. Townsend's concert accompanied by Madame de Los Rios, Madame Ertegun, Mrs. William Bankhead and Mrs. Littleton Hambley.
A very young violinist, whom I had never heard before, Miss Guila Bustabo, played charmingly, but for me the joy of the morning was hearing Mr. Ernest Schelling. I always enjoy him, and this morning he played a Chopin barcarolle which I particularly like, as well as a sonata by Cesar Franck in which Miss Bustabo joined him, which made a delightful end to the morning's music.
I was delighted to find that Mrs. Bankhead had been to see Jo Davidson's exhibit and enjoyed it as much as I did. She has also seen the exhibition of water colors at the Corcoran Art Gallery, which I hope to see soon. She tells me that though she never knew she had any talent, in the past few years she has been experimenting with painting in oil, water color and pastel and that she enjoys her new achievement greatly. There is no doubt about it that at any age, a discovery that one can master a new type of expression is a most satisfactory feeling.
The release of Tom Mooney must bring to his friends and family not only personal satisfaction but a great sense of vindication. It must be a curious feeling after so many years of enforced confinement, to walk again a free man, able to make personal decisions without consulting other people. I think that the sense of being held by force in any place must be a horrible sensation. That is one reason why I have always hated to watch wild animals who seemed to resent being caged.
The WPA report on urban housing throughout the country should stimulate building, it seems to me. It certainly bears out the contention that our housing is not of the best. I feel quite sure that if it were possible to make a similar survey of rural housing, we would find the percentage running very much along the same lines.
The contention always is that it is impossible for low-cost housing to be done by private individuals, because money cannot be borrowed at a low enough rate to make it possible. I still wonder why banks cannot make this money available at a lower interest rate. Of course, they cannot unless people become conscious of the need and are willing to have their money used in this way. After all, everything in our country is referred back to the individual, isn't it? In a democracy the individual must control the economic as well as the political situation and he cannot do this unless he is willing to shoulder the responsibility of making up his mind about what he wants to have done and then sees to it that it is carried through.