FEBRUARY 16, 1940
ITHACA, N.Y., Thursday—I must go back and tell you about a delightful play which I saw in New York on Tuesday evening. "Two On An Island" by Elmer Rice is like so many other plays this winter, a series of episodes, but they are charming and clever. I was interested to find that several of the young actors and actresses, who did their parts extremely well, were theatre children, so to speak, the sons and daughters of people I have known and enjoyed upon the stage.
Now to go back to more recent happenings. We visited the housing project in Syracuse in a near blizzard yesterday afternoon, but the two houses I was able to inspect looked very attractive and I can vouch for the fact that the heating in this project is good. They seem to have built with great consideration for sun, air and play space in the center of the block. The plans are simple but sensible and adequate. The rents, which include all utilities such as gas, electric light, heat and water seem to me reasonable. The best gauge of the success of any project is the fact that the tenants who have been living there are contented. The manager told me that many things had been said to discourage people from moving in, but that those who were now there were bringing others, so that the applications are increasing daily. I talked to one woman, who had no idea who this visitor out of the storm could possibly be, but who answered my questions very cheerfully. She said she had never been so happy in her life.
After this stop, we started on our drive to Ithaca. The snow came down steadily and was already thick on the ground. Some newspaper men followed us and we made pretty good time until something happened to a coil in the engine. It was a most considerate coil, for it burned out (is that what coils do?) just outside a garage, so the car behind us pushed us in. We sat around and talked for an hour while we waited for another coil to be obtained and put in.
We proceeded on our way and reached Miss Rose's, at Cornell University, at about 7:00 o'clock, but our newspapermen were lost on the way. I thought Miss Rose would probably expect us to start out to attend several meetings, and Mrs. Morgenthau murmured gently in my ear that all she wanted was some food and a nice warm fire. When we arrived, we found that Miss Rose had provided just that for us, besides the company of several pleasant people. We spent a quiet happy evening. I was glad at about 11:00 o'clock to receive a phone message saying that the two boys who had driven us down had returned safely to Syracuse. I can vouch that our driver was one of the best I have ever seen and I really enjoyed the snow in spite of the delay.