JUNE 6, 1939
HYDE PARK, N. Y., Monday—Now I must report to you, oh, gentle reader, that we have spent a very peaceful weekend in the country and I have had my first swim of the year out of doors. It was cool but invigorating, and sitting in the sun afterwards was very pleasant.
I am hoping very much that the King and Queen may like to swim. I am sure they like to walk, for all the English people I have ever known enjoy that exercise and really know how to walk, not saunter. So far, our woods are fairly free from mosquitoes and flies, so it would be pleasant to return to the Sunday afternoon pastime of my childhood and take a long walk, ending up with a swim. Perhaps, neither the King of England nor Queen Elizabeth enjoy swimming, for I haven't seen a mention of it in any of the stories written about their trip.
I rather hope that is because Canada is somewhat colder than the United States. The particular lakes where they have been resting, must still be somewhat glacier-like. I remember swimming one summer in the St. Lawrence River, when my husband was Governor of New York and we were going from one canal to another along the river. It was very chilly amusement even in mid-summer.
If all the people who wish to send gifts to the King and Queen succeed, I think it will take an extra ship to carry these gift home. In self-defense we have had to say that everything has to be sent to the British Embassy. I imagine there is a policy of long standing which forces them to accept gifts only from personal friends. It is, however, a very pleasant gesture and I think our royal visitor will appreciate the kindly feeling which goes with every preferred gift, whether it is large or small.
When I read my brother's book not long ago, I was fascinated by all the various trips made by our ancestors. Some of us still have their spirit, for this morning I received a letter from Leila Roosevelt Denis, mailed in Belgium where she and her husband have just had an opportunity of showing the picture "Dark Rapture," which they made on their last trip, to his Majesty King Leopold and Queen Dowager Elizabeth of the Belgians.
Mrs. Denis casually mentions that she is leaving with her husband for London and from there departing the following day by plane for Rangoon. This trip, if weather condtions are favorable, will take four days, whereas she once struggled seven months to accomplish it. From her account, King Leopold and the President were particularly amused by the same scene in "Dark Rapture"—that fishing scene where the method of fishing is to use a basket. I look forward to seeing the film which will be made on this next trip.