MAY 23, 1940
ELKINS, W. Va., Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon the agencies taking part in the Community Chest Campaign here gave a delightful country fair at a beautiful place far out on Massachusetts Avenue. Each agency had a booth in which they displayed the work they are doing. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were in evidence helping everybody from every settlement house and agency which works with children, a group of which had been chosen to give an entertainment.
For a little while we sat on the slope of a hill and saw the different groups in costumes and heard the first song. Then I had to come home again to talk about the housing bill for a few minutes and to have tea with Mrs. Helm, who left early this morning for her summer home in southern Illinois. It is always sad to have her go and someday I hope we will enjoy more leisure time together. As it is, Miss Thompson, Mrs. Helm and I have enjoyed these busy years of work.
Mr. and Mrs. George Bye, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Deans and my brother came down for the newspaper dance last night. More people were here for dinner than the little family dining room could hold at one table and, of course, with supper to serve later in the evening, we could not use the State Dining Room. Necessity often drives one to do new things, and so we had four tables in the little dining room and quite comfortably seated more people than we ever seated before.
The President received all the guests as usual in the East Room and the grounds were gaily decorated with colored lanterns. I think this dance, given every spring for the newspaper people in Washington, is one of the prettiest and nicest parties of the year. It is crowded, however, and last year the fact that we had rain at intervals during the afternoon and evening made it impossible for people to enjoy being out of doors. This year it was warm and pleasant and the moonlight made it even prettier as the night advanced. I hope everyone had a good time. I know I enjoyed myself.
This morning, Mrs. Henry Morgenthau Jr., Miss Thompson, Mrs. Allie Freed, Miss Mary Switzer, Mr. Clarence Pickett, Mr. and Mrs. Deans, Mr. and Mrs. Bye and I all started off by automobile for Elkins, West Virginia. We took our lunch with us and went through the usual throes of finding just the right spot for a picnic. Now we are at Elkins going out to Tygart Valley in in a short time for the commencement exercises there, and later motoring on to Arthurdale to spend the night.
I can hardly believe that for us life goes on with the ordinary joys and sorrows while the rest of the world seems so deep in tragedy.
We learned yesterday that Mr. Boettiger, my son-in-law's father had died. I think this is the first real sorrow that has come to that young family group.