APRIL 9, 1940
YOSEMITE, Calif., Monday—One of my most pleasant San Francisco experiences was 5:00 o'clock coffee with Mr. Alexander Woollcott. He is touring the West Coast in the play: "The Man Who Came To Dinner." I wish I could have seen the performance, but, unfortunately, we were rival performers during the evening hours. It was a privilege to see him and I spent a very happy hour with him.
Before the lecture, Mr. Paul Posz took us to the Chinese restaurant, Cathay, for a real Chinese dinner. What delicious food and what a quiet atmosphere the quiet, attentive Chinese hosts create for their guests.
On Friday morning I breakfasted with Miss Chaney, climbing many outside steps through attractive little porch gardens, finally to reach her apartment, from which we had an unobstructed view of the bay. I know of no other city where such individual and unusual apartments may be found. After a brief visit to a Japanese shop, we returned to the hotel.
Miss Thompson, Miss Chaney and I attended a lunch at the San Francisco Press Club, where I received a silver life-membership card. I felt greatly honored as well as pleased. I hope to have occasions on which I can use my membership and to have an opportunity to talk to the gentleman of the fraternity, whom I found a most interesting group.
At 2:00 o'clock, the Chief Ranger of the Yosemite National Park, Mr. Townsley, met us at the hotel and I was very happy to see him again. Six years ago he gave me five perfect days of camping in the high country near Young Lakes and an unforgettable day in the valley. He has the kindliest face I know and the most humorous, yet the eyes look you so straight in the face that I should hate to meet him if I wished to hide anything. He gives you a sense of strength and confidence, one of those men you would like to have with you in a tight place. We stopped on the way out to see Billy Nelson, who is now retired but who was one of the rangers who had been most kind to me when I was here in 1934. The last part of the drive as we approached the hills was lovely, but the courthouse at Mariposa, the first building of its kind erected here in 1854, is a landmark to remember. It looks exactly like a New England meeting house.
Yesterday we woke to a view of the sheer walls of rock which form the sides of the valley. There is plenty of green in the evergreen trees, but as yet the other trees are not even in bud, though a lovely pink flowering shrub appeared along our way yesterday. The waterfalls are beautiful, and the blue sky made our day in the open a great joy. Mariposa Grove, with its giant trees, was even more impressive than I remembered it.
In the afternoon we celebrated the seventh anniversay of the founding of the CCC camps at Camp Wawona. The boys are largely from the South and so is their commanding officer, Mr. William Spencer Rockwell. This is a great opportunity for these boys and they are doing splendid work. Superintendent and Mrs. Merriam, Chief Ranger Townsley and some of the park rangers were with us. To them we owe the planning of this delightful day.