FEBRUARY 13, 1939
WASHINGTON, Sunday—The dinner in New York City on Friday night with the P.E.N. Club was most interesting, and the talk with Mr. Louis Bromfield, who made the speech of the evening, was an absorbing experience. Here is a man who has lived for 15 years in different parts of Europe and watched the political scene. He has a background of American politics, for his family came from Ohio which has a way of producing politicians. Now he is back on a farm in Ohio where, instead of writing books, I gather he is deep in political questions and much interested in the American scene.
The Newspaper Women's Ball, which I attended after the dinner, centers for me in the winners of the annual prizes. It must be such a satisfaction to the reporters who get this recognition from their fellow craftsmen. I knew nearly all the winners slightly, but Kathleen McLaughlin I feel I know fairly well. My children, Anna and John Boettiger, are very fond of her, so I was particularly glad to hand a prize to her.
The party was a grand success and I did not board the train for Washington until 2:20 a.m. I arrived here Saturday morning at 7:45 in the rain! The first thing which greeted me at home was a series of people with colds. From the President down through the house, colds in different stages seemed to be prevalent. Fortunately none of them seem serious.
Yesterday and today have been fairly quiet days, a few people for tea yesterday afternoon and a great deal of accumulated mail to go through, then to bed rather early to make up for the night before. Today is glorious and I had a beautiful ride along the river.
All of us are feeling very sad over the death of George Holmes, Steve Early's brother-in-law. He was one of Washington's finest newspapermen and a man many people loved. His way of passing was probably easier for him, but a great shock to his wife and family.
I meant to tell you the other day of a visit I paid to the new Department of the Interior building to look at the murals. Henry Varnum Poor's mural of wildlife is a grand piece of work. You almost feel that you are walking right into the scene and that the men and birds are alive. Be sure, however, that you ask someone to light it up for you, for the lights bring out the color. One of Ernest Fiene's murals, cattle being driven down a canyon, was a joy. The desert scene on another wall by Nicoli Cikovsky, is very beautiful, for it has all the quality of sunshine in Arizona and New Mexico. Don't fail to see them if you are in Washington.