JUNE 6, 1941
HYDE PARK, Thursday—We are having our second day of steady rain. It is the kind of June weather when a fire on the hearth is pleasant. Yesterday I discovered that last year's robins, or their progeny, have returned, not to the same bathroom window, but to the one next to it. Two blue eggs lie in the nest, from which the mother flies away whenever she hears a noise. I really wonder whether they are wet and miserable when the rain beats upon the window and all the protection they have is the ivy vine which grows thick around them.
I am going to New York City today to do some shopping. I imagine that it will not be as pleasant as trotting around the house or finishing things up at my desk would be. Work accomplished gives me such a sense of virtue. I wrote last night, but the quiet of the house, broken only by the crackling of the burning logs, seems to make the hours slip away unnoticed. It is only on waking the next morning that I realize that perhaps I sat up a bit too late.
The news that Chief Justice Hughes is retiring on July 1st comes as a shock. He always seemed to be such a vigorous person that I do not associate him with any particular age. It must be a great satisfaction, however, to reach the point where you feel you can lay aside your work and do only the things you want to do the rest of your life.
To be able to look back, as Justice Hughes can, on a successful personal career, a good name achieved professionally, a happy home in which children have grown to maturity and started out on their own lives with a satisfactory background, a public life which has brought posts of honor as recognition of his high ability and integrity, all this must give the Chief Justice happiness. His countrymen will rejoice with him and do him honor, both in the present and the future.
I cannot close these few words about him without saying how much I have always admired Mrs. Hughes. It seems to me, she has contributed greatly to the success of his career and that some honor and affection from her countrymen are due her as well.
I saw the other day that Ernie Pyle, the newspaper columnist, is taking a month's holiday. I want to tell him that, while I do not begrudge him a well earned vacation, I shall miss him very much. This is to say, I shall miss his column, for that daily stint of his seems to be very much Ernie Pyle himself. I have come to feel that I know him and to wish that someday, on his vacation, perhaps, he might drop in and sit before my fire.
Yesterday, Mr. Carey Wilson, of Hollywood, Calif., did just this for a short time. I enjoyed it so much that I was both surprised and regretful when the hour came for him to leave.