OCTOBER 11, 1939
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—By dint of working on my mail until late at night the past two nights and using every minute on the trains and the planes yesterday, I think I am nearly caught up.
Before I took the train yesterday morning, I had a few minutes in my own apartment in New York City to attend to a little of my long distance housekeeping. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is as reckless as I am about trusting other people to imagine what I want them to do. I have a maid who has been with me for a long while, she looked at me rather sadly yesterday and said: "Before you get too busy, could I talk to you for ten minutes?" It occurred to me that once in six months wasn't a great deal of time to spend on running even a small apartment.
Life is full of little coincidences. On the train to New Haven I sat next to a lady who told me that she came from Rhinebeck, N. Y., and knew well a lady whose family had lived for years in Hyde Park. People who live on the Hudson River always have a sense of knowing each other, largely, I believe, because all of us love the Hudson River scenery.
That reminds me that if you have not seen the photographs of the Hudson River in "Life," you still have a pleasure in store for you. I wish something like this could be done for all the beauty spots of our country.
I joined my mother-in-law in the church in New Haven and she drove back to Hyde Park after the funeral service for Dr. Harvey Cushing. It was an impressive service, but very simple. The people there indicated how many and how wide had been Dr. Cushing's interests. For all his honors, which made him an international personality, he always seemed such a simple person. You felt that he enjoyed talking to you, even if you were not one of the brilliant people of the world. I think he would have appreciated the tributes paid to him, but perhaps he would have read them with a little smile which would imply that he set his own standards and lived by them, and that, while he liked the praise of other people, neither praise nor blame was really important unless it came from within his own conscience.
I confess that when I found myself sitting in the bus waiting to drive back to the Newark airport, I was somewhat weary, but the gentleman who sat down beside me introduced himself as a friend of a friend, and we chatted intermittently on our way to Washington.
One should never make rash observations, but it had been borne in upon me as I travelled through the West that the preponderance of men on planes was very great. On the train yesterday, there seemed to be many more ladies in the diner, and so I made the casual remark that for some strange reason, men preferred planes and women preferred trains. Then we boarded the plane for Washington and the ratio of women was two to one in favor of the female of the species, so generalities are always dangerous.