DECEMBER 8, 1939
NEW YORK, Thursday—It was a great pleasure yesterday to have an opportunity to talk during luncheon with Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Brandeis who were my neighbors at table. Mrs. Brandeis spoke of how hard it is these days to preserve a calm spirit and confidence in the future. This serenity of spirit and assurance, that in one way or another, the pattern of life will work out eventually for the good of mankind, is easier, I think, to acquire with age.
I can look back and see, in spite of all the faltering and even backsliding, that the world as a whole has made progress even in the years I have been able to watch. If you haven't a perspective, each event as it hits you, seems the final stroke of fate. Occasionally you are over-elated at a step forward, but frequently you sink into black despair at what seems to be the endless stupidity of the human race.
One of my guests at luncheon was Miss Dorothea Campbell of Charleston, West Virginia, who, with the Business and Professional Women's Club there, has been helping to develop some handcraft work at the government homestead near Red House, West Virginia. A number of sales have been held lately in nearby towns, and it looks as though a market is opening up for some of the work done by the women, which is very encouraging. They sent me two charming little hand woven towels with my initials woven into them. I can think of no more personal and attractive gift for anyone who likes hand woven linen.
I had a brief talk in the afternoon with Professor Julian Huxley, a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Elmhirst. From his conversation, it is evident that people abroad in all nations are trying to work on the question of a future and more permanent peace. They feel as I do that a war every twenty-five years is more than any civilization can stand.
At the airport, I was surprised and very pleased to meet again some old friends, General and Mrs. Crozier. The war has driven them home after years of travel, and they are again in their Washington house. As we boarded the plane, Mrs. Crozier spoke of some the early flying she had done, planes were very much smaller and the wings higher up so that you could see under them. She said today's airships made her think of the Normandie and the Queen Mary transferred to the air. She spoke of flights in China and other parts of the world and I could not help think how extraordinarily interesting it must be to have seen so many countries during the last few years.
We arrived here rather late to fill an engagement which I had made some time previously. This morning it is cold and clear and I am starting off on a very busy day. Some errands first and then a lunch with the People's Guild of Brooklyn, and later a visit to the Bank Street School. I shall have to tell you about the rest of the day tomorrow.