MARCH 5, 1940
WASHINGTON, Monday—I left Miami, Florida, yesterday in good weather and flew into bad weather. They told me soon after taking off that, in all probability, we would not be able to land in Washington, D. C., but that Richmond, Va., seemed sure. I sent word to the White House and asked them to send a car to Richmond for me. I fully expected I would have to sit in the airport and wait for it. Instead, we circled the airport, the captain found we could not land, and back we went to Raleigh, North Carolina. I suppose to a great many people it made a real difference, but so far as I was concerned it was just inconvenient, and I was sorry that a car had been driven all the way to Richmond to meet me.
Anything of this kind seems to draw the occupants of a plane together. Every seat was taken and everybody, of course, began to rearrange his plans. The man in front of me was pleased. He had a son at Duke University and this unexpected stop at Raleigh made a visit to Duke possible. I was really sorry for Mr. and Mrs. Berlin, who had bought a four-months-old Pekingese puppy in Florida. She was the softest, most adorable little bundle of fur, but when no supper was forthcoming at the proper hour, she behaved as badly as any hungry baby and yowled pitifully.
A couple across the aisle from me was reading "John Brown's Body," and I could not help but thinking that no matter what happened, they had some satisfactory and engrossing literature. The gentleman immediately across the aisle was on his way home from Mexico and was reading Stuart Chase's book on that country. He kept telling me what a wonderful place Mexico City is, and I told him how much I wanted to go there.
As we flew up the coast between Miami and Jacksonville, Fla., the shadows on the water were really too beautiful not to attract everyone's attention, no matter how interesting their books might be. I love flying over the water. The waves below stood out like so many little ostrich feathers in the breeze. When there are extra sections in a flight, the several planes fly at different levels. At one point we could see our second section flying at 7000 feet, and looking like a great shining bird against the clouds above us.
I had two books with me and both were interesting. One of them, "Chinaberry Tree" is a tragic novel of the Negro people. I do not think it in any way a remarkable novel except for the tragedy which it portrays and which we, who happen to be of another race, so often forget.