JULY 31, 1939
HYDE PARK, Sunday—someone evidently reads my column. Early this morning the telegraph office called and in a perfectly normal manner delivered a message saying that a gentleman had missed his train and would arrive later in the morning, and then in a rather embarrassed fashion the office said: "We have a rather long and strange telegram. It is in paragraphs." It turned out to be not only in paragraphs, but in rhyme and a comment on Saturday's column in which I made a confession that I was held up for speeding. I won't quote it all to you, but the following lines may amuse you:
Oh shame, oh shame,
You'll never live it down
That cop should be the next President
The vigilantic hound."
I think this is rather severe punishment for a gentleman who kindly reproved a lady, who was undoubtedly in the wrong.
Really good showers blessed us yesterday and today the sky is cloudy and gray and gives us the hope that we may have a really steady downpour.
Two young people who are staying with me, rode with me yesterday morning and a number of other guests came to luncheon. We swam and broiled our steaks out of doors and talked for long hours. Two of the young people stayed over for supper and we were all so interested in our discussion that one of them missed the train which he intended to take. So, instead of going to New York City to take a plane for Chicago, he took a train here for Chicago, hoping he would wake up in time to get off to Cleveland, where he could catch a plane which would get him in at an early hour this morning.
The newspapers fill me with foreboding these days. It would seem that we persist in doing all that we can to stir up the very forces around us, which we profess to want to allay. Instead of acting with kindness, we seem to do the very things which promote intolerance and hatred amongst races and religious groups, to say nothing of the way we treat each other when we happen to be labelled workers or employers.
This is happening in the United States where there is really an opportunity for leadership to create better understanding and more kindly feeling between different types of peoples. My own great hope, in what seems to me a rather baffling world, in the attitude which young people, with all their difficulties, seem to preserve. There is always a note of optimism among the real leaders and an idealism which I marvel at their being able to preserve in the present situation.
Last night I read a child's story called "The Red and White Secret," by Florence Selden Peple. She sent it to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed it and am going to send it on to one of my grandchildren. It is interesting, I think, to grown people, because of the wise and rather novel way of treating children shown in the relationship between the boy and his father. I hope other people, both young and old, will enjoy it as I did.