APRIL 5, 1941
NEW YORK, Friday—I did not tell you yesterday that I had seen Mr. S. N. Behrman's play: "The Talley Method," with Ina Claire and Philip Merivale playing in it. I found it interesting and the acting excellent. I always like both Ina Claire and Mr. Merivale and Ernest Deutsch seemed to me to play the part of the refugee writer extraordinarily well.
As a play, however, I found it a bit confusing, because there were so many things in it—each one in itself sufficient for an entire play. The refugee writer alone was a situation which most of us would do well to contemplate for an entire evening. As to the age-old conflict between generations, there were brought up several sides of that question which would have been complete plays in themselves. I was interested, but not carried away. I imagine I am just not able to cope with more than one situation at a time!
I was very much impressed yesterday with the work which the National Greek War Relief Association is accomplishing and hope that we are all going to give them our cooperation.
My son Jimmy had lunch with me and then I went to my meeting with the New York University students. I had not realized it was to be centered about one particular situation and the only other speaker was Mr. Davis, head of the National Negro Congress, who quite naturally took a less objective view of the situation than I did. Young people are remarkably fair, however, and willing to listen to different points of view and to try to think their way through to the correct solution of problems which come before them.
I found the meeting stimulating and interesting and it left me with a sense of respect for the willingness of the young people of today to try to face the realities of a situation and always to be generous even to those who differ with them.
The dinner last night of the Common Council for American Unity was one of the most interesting public dinners I have ever attended and I was very grateful for the opportunity to listen to so many sincere and gifted people. I think all of them would agree with me, however, that the high point of the evening was Mr. Archibald MacLeish's closing address. There were poetry and feeling and courage in what he had to say, and the whole audience rose in appreciation of one whose attitude inspires us all to better citizenship.
Today we are going to Hyde Park and I am looking forward greatly to starting many of the country things which one would like to watch over, but which one must enjoy in snatches when one cannot be at home.