SEPTEMBER 6, 1940
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I spent most of yesterday morning at a meeting of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children, and returned to my apartment for a short conference with Mrs. Henry A. Ingraham and Miss Emma P. Hirth, of the Young Women's Christian Association.
I am becoming almost self-conscious about the fact everybody who comes to my apartment, arrives at the top of the three flights of stairs in a perfectly breathless condition. Now I warn everybody beforehand that I shall meet them somewhere else if they mind climbing three flights of stairs.
I really think the introduction of elevators, while very convenient, has probably made life too easy for us. As a little girl, I can remember that two flights of stairs were a matter of course to all of us, and three flights of stairs, nothing extraordinary. In fact, I was much annoyed when I was forbidden to slide down the banisters the whole way, for it was not considered safe until I reached the lowest flight of stairs.
In the evening Mrs. Grace Murphy came to see me to ask if I would speak for her group in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is opposed to the selective draft. I listened to Mr. Norman Thomas last night over the radio on this subject. No one hearing him could refrain from feeling that he was a most able and persuasive speaker.
With both Mr. Thomas and Senator George Norris, one knows that one is listening to people of absolute sincerity. Their reasons might not be entirely similar to reasons put forth by the women for whom Mrs. Murphy speaks, but I think all of us should listen to both sides of the question and not make up our minds until we feel we have heard equally good presentations of the problem.
We drove up from New York City this morning, and the autumn colors are beginning to show on the trees. My purple loosestrife is fading and its brilliance will soon be gone. We saw two deer run across the parkway, a most unusual sight.
On arrival at Hyde Park, I found that our Norwegian guests were comfortably established and had apparently had pleasant weather while we were gone. Little Franklin, III, has returned from Maine, but he was asleep right after lunch so I have not seen him.
At my cottage, Diana Hopkins, arrived early this morning from Illinois. She had a good play with the other children at the pool and all of them plan to go swimming again this afternoon. I never cease to marvel at the way the young Norwegians take the cold water, they do not even gasp as they go in.