SEPTEMBER 13, 1940
HYDE PARK, Thursday—It seems that I have to read the papers in order to find out about my shortcomings! I must say, many as they are, novel ones creep up on me all the time. Yesterday I found a little item announcing that in Cincinnati, Ohio, at an Interstate Commerce Commission hearing, a porter testified that I had paid him fifty cents for a seventy cent service and that he had not told me of my mistake.
What grieves me, is that he did not tell me, for I have always doubted whether the new rule of ten cents a bag, gave the porters sufficient pay. Therefore, I thought that I had always paid not only my ten cents a bag, but a tip in addition. To find myself twenty cents shy on the actual amount due, is really a shock. However, if it helped the porters to change this rule, which I feel quite sure is not giving them enough weekly income, perhaps it will not do me any harm.
I had a letter yesterday from a gentleman who says he reads my column in two different papers, and he found something which he considered vital to the meaning of the column left out from one of them. I am flattered that anyone bothers to read what I have to say in two papers, but I am also rather interested for, of course, while no paper can add to what I have written, any paper, because of limitation of space, can take out sentences. This does inevitably change the meaning somewhat.
I traveled down to New York City and back on the train yesterday and had an interesting conversation on the way down with one of my Poughkeepsie neighbors, who is interested in laboratories and research work for the prevention of contagious diseases. She is convinced that we should force every mother to have her child innoculated against diphtheria before it is a year old. She told me that every death from diphtheria was equivalent to murder.
I think it is so well known today that it is a protection for a child to be given diphtheria anti-toxin, that there is really comparatively little necessity for a drive to educate people in this particular field. If, however, statistics show that many people, especially children, are dying from diphtheria, I agree with my lady of the train that we should all do what we can to prevent it.
Today has been a glorious day and, after a grand ride and plenty of exercise, I even had a swim, though I must confess that the water is getting very cold. Some friends came to lunch to discuss some difficulties about refugee children in unoccupied France, and now we are about to start to attend the Democratic Women's Tea given by Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr.