My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Tuesday—Miss Esther Lape and I left for Philadelphia yesterday on the 3:00 o'clock train. I neglected to inquire at what station I was to meet Mr. Morris Llewellyn Cooke, so, as Miss Lape had arranged to meet her sister at the Thirtieth Street Station, I calmly stayed on the train and got out there. We found Miss Lape's sister but no Mr. Cooke! I stepped into her car and had a short drive along the river and then they took me to the Barclay Hotel. There I found Mr. Cooke and made my apologies for being so careless, for he had gone to meet me at Broad Street.

I dressed in leisurely fashion and was all ready at 6:45 to go to the Cosmopolitan Club for dinner. This is a charming club, much more homelike than the larger ones I am accustomed to in New York City.

Dr. Gates of the University of Pennsylvania sat beside me at dinner and was a most delightful companion, for his interest, like my own, centers in young people.

At 8:30 we were at the Academy of Music all prepared for the great event, the giving of the Annual Bok Award. The Quakers are such modest people that it gave me special satisfaction to see two of them honored last night and to have the work of the American Friends Service Committee eulogized as having served Philadelphia in the "larger sense." Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, who presented the awards to Mr. Rufus Jones and Mr. Clarence Pickett, remarked, before he did so, that the award was being given to a big business and then he gradually explained that it was not a business conducted for private gain, but the business of saving human beings from want and sorrow, one of the biggest businesses in the world today!

The Philadelphia Orchestra played and Mr. Enescu conducted. They played for the most part his own compositions and I particularly enjoyed the aria in the first composition and the Roumanian Rhapsody.

We just caught the 10:35 train for New York City so my goodbyes were brief, but I feel that I would like to congratulate here not only the two recipients of the award, but all the hundreds of workers who carry out the plans so carefully prepared in the office of the American Friends Service Committee. Then I would like to add a word of congratulation to Mrs. Edward Bok and her sons. They must be proud that Mr. Edward Bok had vision enough to establish an award of this kind which draws such a crowd and sends them all home thinking of what it means to serve humanity along a hundred different lines.

I have had a lesson this morning with Mrs. Elizabeth von Hesse, who tries in the brief opportunities I occasionally give her to improve my speaking voice. All I can say is that if she is successful I consider her a most extraordinary teacher, for I give her very little opportunity to teach.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL