MARCH 20, 1939
YUMA, Ariz., On the train, Sunday—Friday afternoon I saw some WPA and NYA projects in San Antonio, Texas. Back of the Wittie Museum, a pioneer log hut is being built by NYA boys under the careful supervision of the museum directors. When building is finished, they will be taught to make the tiles for the fireplace by a young man of real ability who is producing and selling some very attractive work. We visited a WPA archeological project which is digging up the past history of Texas under the guidance of the State University. We also saw an NYA girls sewing room and craft project.
Mayor Quinn was kind enough to call with his wife when I returned to the hotel. There were a number of other groups of people, so that I found myself filling an already over-filled brief case with unfinished mail when we left for the train at 11:30 p.m.
Yesterday we woke in the western part of Texas to miles and miles of desert. A few cattle, some goats and some sheep with their lambs, moved about. This is a desert I have not seen before. Lovely young green and yellow wild flowers are to be seen from the train. While we sat at a rather late breakfast on Saturday, we crossed the Pecos River Bridge and looked 381 feet into the Canyon. The guardian of the bridge, a little figure of a man, stood by his house waving his arm and received a newspaper dropped down from the train.
Later in the day we saw mountains beginning to take shape in the distance. We passed dry arroyo beds, on which a slight shower had not made any impression. Now and then we saw small ranch houses. Every time I go through this country, which for me has real attraction, I remember the comment by an English friend who crossed the Continent by this same route and wrote me when she reached New Mexico: "What a country of vast spaces. How do you ever get governed."
This brings me back to the impression which crisscrossing Texas and talking to many people have left with me. These people are all conscious of the riches of the state in which they live. They know that there are vast natural resources still undeveloped. They know that they grow certain things at a time when a ready market is to be found in other state. However, you hear one complaint from them: "Why can't we get action from the Interstate Commerce Commission and Congress in the matter of freight rate differentials?"
I am just a passing visitor and, of course, know little about the intricacies of the problem, but it seems to me that this theme song has been sung for a long time and that the rest of the country should wake up to the fact that one of their sister states feels a real sense of grievance. That isn't healthy and should not be allowed to continue.