DECEMBER 14, 1940
WASHINGTON, Friday—On reaching the sale for the blind yesterday, it was a shock to learn of Lord Lothian's death. As an ambassador he has had a peculiarly difficult position in a very trying time and it is no wonder that his health suffered. It is sad that at the present time his services should be taken from his country.
A raffia doll, which was to be presented to me at the sale for the blind by the English consul, was given to me instead by Mrs. Straus. I was interested in this new idea, which seems to be something every gardener will enjoy.
I thought there were a number of new ideas for gifts. The blind workers who were plying their trades were interesting to watch. I was fascinated by the worker who was dipping bayberry candles. His hands moved with such precision and the work progressed so rapidly.
I went from there to see Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Knopf, who published my little Christmas story, and I enjoyed so much seeing many of their fine books.
The rest of the day was one of complete personal self-indulgence. Perhaps it was somewhat of an orgy, for I certainly crammed many things into a short time! In the afternoon I went to hear "Tristan and Isolde" sung by Madame Flagstad and Mr. Lauritz Melchior, ably supported by a remarkable group of other singers. It was, as it always is to me, a tremendously moving experience. I can never listen to the last act without finding something deep down inside of me responding to the emotion of the music and the voices.
Afterwards, I went to see my aunt, Mrs. Stanley Mortimer, and later to dine with Mrs. Grenville Emmet; her daughter Pauline, and Franklin, Jr., and Ethel. Mrs. Emmet and I left the young people and went to see Ethel Barrymore in "The Corn is Green" after dinner.
I think Miss Barrymore does a beautiful piece of acting, for it seems so real. The last scene is beautifully acted and has an emotional quality which one cannot resist.
We found Franklin, Jr., waiting for us as we came out. He had made up his mind that he was going to give two old ladies like ourselves, a whirl by taking them to "Cafe Society" to hear some really very excellent musicians. We spent an enjoyable hour and a half there, but I will acknowledge that when I reached my apartment, I closed the door with a feeling that I had run the gamut of various kinds of emotions and that a little calm and quiet would be a good thing for an old lady.
I flew back to Washington this morning and had a pleasant time on the way down with Mr. Roy Howard, who like many other people, is arriving in the city for the Gridiron Club dinner tomorrow night.