MARCH 27, 1939
SEATTLE, Sunday—I think I will begin today by telling you the thing which impressed me most on Friday. Since I could only dine with Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Goldwyn and see merely the opening of the preview for his new picture: "Wuthering Heights," my son arranged that we should have a private showing in the afternoon, for this is the first picture which has been produced since Jimmy has been connected with the company. The movie is based on Emily Bronte's great novel. The atmosphere of the Yorkshire moors is quite a wonderful achievement at the start and, though the ending of the picture is, of course, different, on the whole it follows the story fairly faithfully and you lose nothing of the remarkable play of human emotions which made the novel such an outstanding achievement. It will be hard for anyone seeing this picture not to lose themselves in the story. The final note, that love goes on through every struggle into eternity, is one in which we would all like to believe.
What magnificent gamblers the people in this business are! Mr. Goldwyn told me that millions of people would have to see this picture for it really to pay. No wonder that at a dinner before the preview, the start, Merle Oberon, who is a charming person, and even Mr. Goldwyn, who has been in the business so many years, were decidedly excited and anxious to know the verdict of the public which will vindicate the judgment of the producer and the acting of the star and the other artists in the production.
By way of contrast to this rather brilliant evening with ladies in lovely gowns and gentlemen in evening clothes, I spent two hours on Friday morning visiting the much discussed NYA Resident Project at Hermosa Beach. Here, in a big hotel on the beach, about 500 young people, approximately 400 boys and 100 girls, are housed and put to work. They use the Los Angeles area for work projects and take related training which will fit them for better jobs later.
Hermosa Beach is a community of small homes closely crowded together. Before the project actually was working, a number of property owners became agitated for fear the proximity of such a project would injure the value of their property by endangering the peace and quiet of their homes. So rumors have circulated fast and furiously. "The people in charge are unreliable." "The youngsters are not properly supervised." "They are a menace to the community." In fact, as so often happens, you can hear almost anything!
I went over the building fairly thoroughly and every precaution is taken, as it would be taken in a coeducational institution, to properly house and supervise the young people. Their days are well scheduled from the time they arise at 6:15 until they go to bed at night. On all days, except Saturdays and Sundays, their lights are out by 10:00 . I hope that the community will eventually find, that instead of being a menace, this is a great opportunity to be of service to a great group of youngsters who need understanding help.
Yesterday, in San Jose, it was gray and misty, but we had a delightful day and thoughtful hospitality was extended to us on every hand. This was my last lecture and after it I drove to Oakland to take the night plane for Seattle.