JULY 28, 1939
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Yesterday I went down to the "Manhattan" to see Johnny and Anne off on their trip. I knew that there were many other people sailing with whom I would have gladly had a word, but I find it a little difficult to move around freely on a ship that is about to sail. The crowds, the press and the photographers seem to surround me at every turn.
However, I thought the ship was most attractive and comfortable and I am sure everyone will have an enjoyable trip. Johnny came out on the gangplank with us, when Miss Thompson and I left, and we had to pose for the newsreel and photographers. This pause gave me a chance to see Mr. and Mrs. John O'Donnell (Doris Fleeson) and their little girl just as they came on board, and also Mrs. Henrietta Klotz, Secretary Morgenthau's efficient secretary, who is taking her little girl to Paris.
It is nice to think that Johnny and Anne will be over there part of the time my mother-in-law is in Paris. They are looking forward to going there from England to pay my mother-in-law and her sister, Mrs. Forbes, a visit. Otherwise their plans are completely flexible, which I think is the only way really to take a holiday. Whatever is pleasant to do, you can do, and you do not have that feeling that every day is scheduled with special places to be seen in stated periods of time.
I have just heard one very gratifying piece of news. When the WPA theatre project came to an end, of course, in many places throughout the country, gifted people were left without a job. In addition there was a good deal of material waste, because producing a play means scenery, costumes, and a number of trained people who do not act, but who are as important to final productions as the actors. In San Francisco, the Swing Mikado was produced by the Federal Theatre on Treasure Island, and was so successful that with the cooperation of Mr. George Creel, Mr. Paul Posz has taken over the company and early next month, August 7th to be exact, they are going to continue giving their performance in a San Francisco Theatre. We saw the Swing Mikado here with the Chicago company and I feel sure that anyone going to San Francisco to see the Fair will find that he can spend a very pleasant evening at this performance.
While we are talking of the arts, another very charming story has come to me. Artists are always sensitive people who appreciate the hardships of others. The stories of the Spanish refugees made such an impression on Richmond Barthe, the sculptor, that he has given his sculptured figures of two Spanish refugee children as a contribution to the Negro Peoples' Committee for Spanish Refugee Relief. His only stipulation is that the proceeds must go to resettle a Spanish family in Mexico.
The city was hot and we were glad to return to the country again.