MAY 1, 1941
OAKLAND, Calif., Wednesday—Yesterday morning, in Los Angeles, I visited Judge Shontz's court. It is a court of little people who have claims for sums of money under $30. I found it very interesting sitting beside her listening for a few minutes to their problems.
From there we visited the Assistance League, a really remarkable organization that Mrs. Hancock Banning is the most active and moving force. I saw a day nursery with the children actually at play out of doors and lunch in preparation, a place for the older boys to do craft work and play games out of doors, a library, a girls' recreation club and a welfare department where people are helped to get jobs and where the placement record is high.
We also visited the Thrift Shop, the Craft Shop, the sewing rooms and the tea room, where women interested in this charity earn much of the money which is given to the support of the other undertakings. It seemed a very busy spot, spread out over quite an area, but full of hope for the betterment of the conditions of the people in that part of the city. This is indicated by the fact that juvenile deliquency has dropped 64 percent since the establishment of the boys' and girls' recreation classes.
We went back to Mrs. Douglas' in time to see a really remarkable collection of craftwork done by the Mexican-American youngsters in NYA groups. Though weaving and ceramics have been taught for only three months, they would be a credit to workers of much longer experience. Finally, a last visit with young Mrs. James Roosevelt and a very quiet lunch before starting at 2 o'clock to drive to Hanford, California. It was nearly 195 miles and, in spite of gray skies, we had one or two glorious glimpses of fields of wild flowers.
In one place a sea of blue seemed to spread out before us. In another field, yellow and blue seemed to be the dominant colors. I had always heard of the beauty of these wild flowers in spring and, while they tell me I am not seeing them at their best at present, still I am extremely glad to carry away this vision of loveliness.
On our arrival, we drove around the very charming town of Hanford and admired the public buildings, schools and charming tree lined streets with their attractive homes. After the lecture, we said goodbye at Tulare to our kind hosts and took the night train for Oakland, where we are now about to board a plane on our way to Eugene, Oregon.