MAY 28, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Our first visit yesterday morning was to the NYA shops in Arthurdale. This resident project has 60 boys, drawn in large part from the four nearby counties in West Virginia. They are receiving training in welding, mechanics, woodworking and agriculture. Their regular training as cooks is useful, for it has made so many boys who have been in NYA and CCC camps valuable in the Army.
For maximum efficiency, this project should have 90 or 100 boys. This will soon be possible, for the damage done by the fire which burned out their mess hall is almost a thing of the past. A few more days to put on paint, linoleum and a door or two; and the mess hall will again be ready to use and they can take in their full quota of boys.
These are remarkably nice looking lads. They live in separate little houses, about 10 to a house, and assume all responsibility for their own behavior and discipline. It has worked out well, for out of 84 boys, only two have had to be dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
We looked in at the furniture factory and the health center, and then attended the graduation ceremonies at the high school. Before lunch, we went to visit Mr. and Mrs. John Mason. These two old grandparents have a bright little boy, one of their grandsons, living with them. For a year the grandmother has been ill and the boy, who is a Scout, came up to me at the commencement exercises and asked if I would not stop to see her, she had been ill so long.
She told me she did not know how she could get on without this young grandson to help his grandfather to do the work, even though her daughter and a neighbor came in four days a week to keep the house clean. Her great worry is that the house does not look as neat and tidy as when she could take care of it herself.
We lunched with the school faculty at the inn and then drove over to Scott's Run. The community house there needs an addition and they tell me it is busy almost all the time when the children are not in school. There is a great interest too, in a summer camp for children. All of them would like to go if money could be found to finance more little housing units and to support the camp over a longer period.
We drove from there over a new road, route number 92, back to route number 50, and turned off at Mt. Storm for Petersburg and Moorefield, West Virginia. It was one of the most beautiful drives I have taken anywhere in this country. We spent last night in a most delightful home called "The Meadows," just outside of Moorefield on the road to Romney. Somehow they managed to take in all our large party of ten and to make us very comfortable. Congressman Randolph was with us most of the day yesterday. I am back in the White House with the usual number of appointments and two days' mail with which to catch up.