NOVEMBER 2, 1939
FORT WORTH, Texas, Wednesday—Before we left the train in Oklahoma City, Okla., yesterday, we saw a newspaper which carried a most amusing account, written by a newspaper reporter who acted as though he were a detective describing his day's efforts extracting the information concerning the time of my arrival in Oklahoma City. It always seems a little unfair on these lecture trips to tell people every detail of your plans so far ahead that they feel obligated to look after you and try to do something for you. If no one is quite sure until the last minute, except the sponsors of the lecture, then the plans are left entirely to them as they should be.
We were greeted on arrival by some members of the Altrusa Club, and after getting settled at the hotel, we went down with them to lunch. It was interesting to find myself again with this group which seems to attract particularly active business women. They made their regular business reports, and I was struck by the useful work they are doing.
One committee was arranging a series of six discussions and talks for young working girls at which their problems will be discussed and advice given by experienced women who have already established themselves in some business or profession. Another committee chairman reported on the work done to help older women who have to go to work in middle life with comparatively little training. The particular procedure they follow originated in Dallas, Texas, with the Altrusa group there. The chairman told the story of a woman who wanted employment in an office, but who after careful interviewing was found to be primarily interested in sewing for her own home. A number of people had her make slipcovers and drapes for them and she made such a name for herself that one of the big shops in the city in which she lived finally employed her. She was able to save her home, which was her main reason for wanting work.
The third report dealt with a project which might be termed pure charity. The support of a room in the home for unmarried mothers.
After a press conference, the WPA and NYA representatives came to see me. The construction programs being carried out by both of these agencies in this stateseem to be extraordinarily successful.
On the train yesterday a gentleman spoke to me who is connected with the training of Indian boys in their CCC camps. Some 7000 of them are doing soil conservation work. Yesterday afternoon the representatives of the WPA Administration presented me with some bead work done by their Indian girl's project. This project has meant a revival of the old Indian crafts and the young people are being taught by the older people. The belt which was given me is of exquisite workmanship and shows how much skill can be developed in our native Indian groups.
We left last night for Fort Worth, Texas, and are now with my daughter-in-law, Ruth, and the children, before driving over to the college at Denton, Texas.