FEBRUARY 26, 1940
GOLDEN BEACH, Fla., Sunday—Have any of you read Elizabeth Goudge's "A City of Bells"? If you have, a little story called "The Sister Of The Angels," will bring you some of the same characters. This is one of the most delightful Christmas stories I have ever read. Henrietta, the eleven-year-old heroine, is a charming child. In one way she is more mature than most of us, for she accepts people as they are and does not try to turn them into the kind of people they should be. She has the appreciation that all children have for people who treat them as equals.
The author shows her deep understanding of this particular trait in a child when Henrietta wisely reflects that she "never could see that being grown-up was anything to boast about. One didn't grow oneself, adding to one's inches by one's own skill. God grew one." If only more of us could remember that, we might not be such a trial to our children.
I rejoiced in one other little passage: "Why does Christmas come only once a year? I think it is a great mistake that it doesn't come oftener." Of course, I can understand that, in some ways, it might prove fairly exhausting to have to repeat all the things which one does on Christmas several times during the year, but I wish the Christmas spirit could stay with us more constantly. I am sure many of us would be happier.
Last night we drove to meet my son James at the airport. We had not telephoned ahead and found ourselves three-quarters of an hour early because headwinds had delayed his plane. We watched a plane come in and leave, a sight which always fascinates me at night. They look more like birds than ever and, when they are far away in the sky, they just look like shooting stars.
I did not step out of the car, for so many were parked around us that I decided there must be quite a crowd. However, we were in a place where I could see Jimmy leave the plane. I saw him arrive and in a few minutes he was walking through the darkness toward the car. While we waited for his bag, and he went inside to the ticket office, I had an opportunity to catch a glimpse of a gentleman who has always been just an interesting name to me, Mr. Walter Winchell, who had also apparently been meeting this plane. As he walked away with another man, I craned my neck to get a really good view of him, but all I saw was a hat worn very jauntily and a rather tall, thin gentleman who walked rapidly away.
It has always amused me to see celebrities, but unless I can sit down and really talk to them and come away with a feeling that I have actually made the acquaintance of another human being, I have no urge to go and shake them by the hand, or say a polite good morning or good evening.
We arrived home rather late and today has dawned a most beautiful sunny, windless morning. I look forward to the beach with the greatest of joy.