SEPTEMBER 12, 1940
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I started my morning yesterday with the feeling that I would accomplish a great deal. I can't say that I actually did, though I kept at it. I never left my desk at the cottage from 10:00 o'clock until nearly 1:00, when Diana Hopkins and I motored back to lunch at the big house.
At work again in the afternoon, but about 4:00 o'clock the sky began to clear. Diana and I drove to the top of the hill to invite a little two-and-half year old girl who lives there, to come down and play for a while. Someone had told me that little Ruth Bie was really lonely, for when their car drove up the other day, she opened the door and said: "No little girl in here?"
I thought, therefore, we should provide her with a little girl as a playmate for a while yesterday afternoon, even though Diana is so much older. Diana took good care of her and kept her entertained for more than an hour after we reached home.
We put in a little exercise before dressing for dinner and we had a most hilarious meal in which my husband suggested that if at any time it became a little difficult to chronicle the affairs of the day, I should go back to the past and pick out amusing incidents of various kinds. He proceeded to pick them out for me and I feel sure that the tales would make everyone forget that I was not writing contemporaneous activities!
We happened all of us to be listening to the radio the other night when the debate was going on between young Sumner Gerard and James Lanigan. They stated their reasons for voting for Willkie and Roosevelt, respectively, and were cross-examined by two eminent elder gentlemen. All of us were much amused, for we have known Sumner Gerard's family for many years. His flow of words is certainly inherited, but he did not think quite quickly enough when he was asked if anything in the debate had changed his mind so he would vote differently in November, and he almost said his vote would go to Roosevelt.
The insistence of the gentleman who wanted Jim Lanigan to name a breadline which he had actually seen and could recall in his personal experience was funny. The fact that Mr. Lanigan is 22 and probably would not have recognized a breadline if he had seen one at the age of 14, did not seem to dawn on the gentleman. I remember, morning after morning, passing a breadline outside of a certain Roman Catholic Church, which stands halfway down the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the Thirties in New York City. That breadline often went all the way to the corner and stood three deep. What is the use of recalling such things, however? They are not pleasant to think about and thank God they are gone.