NOVEMBER 24, 1939
Thanksgiving Day in WARM SPRINGS, Ga.—A blue sky overhead, a warm sun, and yet enough chill in the air to make a brisk walk pleasant. In the evening, a great log fire on the hearth gives added cheer. We are alone for lunch, but tonight we will eat our turkey with the patients and guests in Georgia Hall.
Many messages have come to us this day which warm the heart. I feel each day an increasing gratitude that I am a citizen of the United States at peace and free.
I have just received a little bulletin published by the Washington Electric Cooperative of East Montpelier, Vermont. The bulletin is only two months old, but I predict it will appeal to its circulation. There is a poem glorifying electric lights for rural areas and a practical New England item on a nearby page, which says:"Under the Rural Electrification Administration, lines are being built at a new cost of about $810.00 a mile. Before Rural Electrification Administration days, $1,500 was considered low."
The question and answer department in this little bulletin amused me, particularly the answer to the question:"If I should want to do something to my wire, is it all right if I put a ladder on the pole and turn off the transformer?" The answer ran: "It is a convenient way out. In order to save trouble for your family we suggest that you make the funeral arrangements first and leave a note for the police so that they will not think it was murder."
I think we all enjoy keeping in touch with the human side of the REA movement. Like all other things which the Department of Agriculture has a hand in these days, there is a conservation side to rural electrification which affects the lives of human beings. Men and women can get more joy and ease out of life when they have electricity to work for them on the farms.
One farm wife in Knox County, Ohio, tells the story of her new electric range and its uses in harvest time. She fed as many as twenty and thirty men at times and her meals were not light luncheons, for farm hands like real food. "Pies and fried chicken and baked beans," writes this farmer's wife, "were what I served." Yet her monthly bills with all this cooking never amounted to more than $6.57. Besides the range she had a radio, electric lights, a washing machine and an ironer and her farmer husband uses electricity on his corn shellers, emery wheel and cream separator. If this isn't a story of a better life on a farm, then I do not know what it is.