NOVEMBER 6, 1939
ST.LOUIS, Sunday—We are becoming so familiar with Kansas City, Mo., that when we walked into the hotel there yesterday morning, I felt almost as though we were coming home. We started off with a press conference and then I had a talk with the representative of the NYA, Mr. Sykes, who was anxious to have me visit their project where colored girls were being taught to sew and were receiving other training which fitted them for a variety of work. He said this training had made it possible for a number of them to be placed in permanent positions. I should have liked to visit this project, but I had promised to see the WPA representatives and there are only a certain number of hours in a day.
The WPA people arrived at 11:00 o'clock and I went out with them to see a nursery school for colored children. It was situated on the second floor of a building which belongs to a group of labor union members. Twelve or fourteen men belong to the plasterers' union. They, I believe, have been able thus far to donate the second floor of their building for this nursery school. The WPA workers in charge seem to be doing a very good job and the sponsors are really interested in their young tenants.
We then went to the Mexican community house called Guadalupe, where WPA workers were making it possible to have teachers for various crafts and supervised play and recreation. The community house was attractive and a group of young musicians played really remarkably well. They were dressed in picturesque Mexican costumes. I was told that the young man who directed them, with a group of other young people, had succeeded in using their music in periods of unemployment as a means of support for their families.
Some guests joined us for lunch and one or two people came during the afternoon. We made a dent in four large envelopes of mail from Washington which had waited for us in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday evening, and two more from Kansas City. When we reached St. Louis this morning, we were really relieved to find only one large brown envelope of mail.
Last night I did a thing for which I have been apologizing ever since. I completely forgot the hour at which our hosts had said they were going to call for us, and when they arrived I was still doing the mail. I packed, shoved all the mail into my brief case and dressed in 25 minutes. I shall never cease to be grateful to Mrs. Stark, the Governor's wife, who for some reason was delayed also and arrived a few minutes after I did. There was no excuse I could offer. I think I just had a mental blind spot for the way time was passing. I hope I won't do it again, for it has left me with a most apologetic spirit.
A lovely day here and we are going out with the WPA representatives after lunch.