DECEMBER 16, 1940
WASHINGTON, Sunday—I was deeply distressed Friday to miss attending the meeting of the American Red Cross. My first appointment in the afternoon was with an economist, who proved to be so interesting that I could not get away before the time had come to rehearse for a little curtain-raiser which a few of us were preparing for the "Gridiron Widows" party last night. Some of my experiences furnished the idea, but all the work was done by Mrs. Henry Morgenthau and the other participants. I didn't memorize the few lines that were given me very well, but it was fun to do.
Friday evening we went to see "Out West It's Different." Some of the scenes are extremely amusing and some of the acting is excellent, but it does not seem to me to be a finished play as yet. By the time it reaches Broadway, however, that will probably be accomplished.
My guests must have felt that their hostess was extremely peripatetic last night. I seated them all at the dinner table and then dashed to the radio station to do a two-minute speech on the Alec Templeton hour for the benefit of the sales of work done by the blind. At the end of the second act of the play, I had to run out again and give the speech over again for a Western radio audience. I returned in time to see a good part of the third and last act from a back seat.
Yesterday I went to visit one of the new alley Dwellings, where Friendship House has furnished one in order to demonstrate how inexpensively it can be done and still be attractive. I was very much impressed and encouraged to see that one can accomplish so much in making a home comfortable on so little money.
I enjoyed my own party last night, as I always do. Our own curtain-raising skit was very light and unimportant, but the newspaper women, who carried the brunt of the entertainment, were as usual entertaining and witty. In any case, I think we always enjoy seeing each other and having an opportunity to chat without any divisions created by politics or professional attitudes.
We had one professional bit of entertaining last night. Miss Vandy Cape did some of her singing satires. I thought it was particularly appropriate of her to be with us, for this party is supposed to make kindly fun of the hostess, and Miss Cape has one number which does that extremely well.
This afternoon I attended Lord Lothian's funeral, and Mr. Stephen Early went to represent the President. At 4:00 o'clock, Mr. David Lilienthal of the Tennessee Valley Authority was kind enough to come to the White House to show us some pictures depicting conditions before the work was started and conditions today. He told us some interesting stories and I found it as enlightening a demonstration of the value of that whole development as one could have.