JUNE 20, 1939
HYDE PARK, Monday—I was overjoyed on Saturday to discover that my aunt, Mrs. David Gray, is at her own home in Tivoli, New York, with her husband. They came over that afternoon and we sat out in the sun catching up on all the months since we were together in Florida after Thanksgiving.
There are comparatively few people in the world you always are sure of finding equally interested, equally sympathetic, and equally as entertaining as when you last met them. When your ties go back to your childhood, however, and you have always found that a given person came up to your expectations, you pick up the threads of relationship just where you dropped last when you were together. You feel a security of understanding which you do not feel with many people, that is why it is always such a joy to me to have this particular aunt somewhere within reach. I am looking forward to the next week when Maude and David Gray will come to stay for a few days.
It is a wonderful thing, too, to sit and talk without having your eyes on the clock and without having your mind busy thinking of things which must be done before a certain hour is reached. It does make quite a difference to conversation.
Yesterday morning dawned clear and cold, which proved a blessing to man and beast, for I had made up my mind that I could no longer ride in the woods. The flies simply made life impossible for both horses and riders. However, we went through the lower woods yesterday in comparative comfort, so I need not take to the fields exclusively until our next warm spell.
After my ride, I sat in the sun and read the newspapers, completely forgetting I had an appointment with Mrs. Hallie Flanagan at noon. She appeared on time, however, and I confess that I am just as concerned as she is about the proposed ending of the Federal Theatre Projects. There seems to be nothing I can do to help. Apparently the House of Representatives has decided that it doesn't matter what happens to people who have definite talents of a particular kind. Only 5 percent of people on the Federal Theatre Project are non-relief, so apparently the 95 percent can starve, go on local relief, or dig ditches, if they can find ditches to dig.
I know that this project is considered as dangerous because it may harbor some Communists, but I wonder if Communists occupied in producing plays are not safer than Communists starving to death. I have always felt that whatever your beliefs might be, if you could earn enough to keep body and soul together and had to be pretty busy doing that, you would not be very apt to have time to plot the overthrow of any existing government.
However, the wisdom of Congress must never be questioned and I can only hope that in the Senate some changes may be deemed wise. Aside from the humanitarian aspect, there are a great many people who feel that we are sacrificing something which has meant much to the development of culture in many parts of this country. If this is an era, as some people think, of civilization, then this project may serve as an instrument to that end.