JULY 26, 1941
HYDE PARK, Friday—Four of us sat on the South Portico of the White House last night having dinner; the President, our daughter, Anna, our cousin, Monroe D. Robinson, and I. Mr. Robinson had just returned from Peru and was telling the President of his impressions. He thinks Peru is one of the most interesting countries he has ever visited and cannot wait to return. Mr. Robinson has made some real friends and feels that they like him just as much as he likes them.
In the midst of his talk, my husband, in a very quiet way, said: "Have you ever happened to see an old book which has an illustration of a Peruvian Indian playing golf? They played golf in Peru years before they played it in Scotland. To all intents and purposes it was the same game except that instead of having to end up in a little tin cup, they had to hit a very small stick."
Monroe's face was a study. He had hardly expected to be told something about Peru, especially something which he felt might even be news to some of his Peruvian friends! Then my husband went on to explain that in college, he had bought the books every year for the Fly Club and Pudding Club libraries. For the Fly Club, he had concentrated on books of old travel, and among them had found this particular book, which he considered the most interesting and which furnished the basis of some of his knowledge of Peru.
What wouldn't I give to have as retentive a memory as the President has, and at the same time always to be able to reach back into my mind and pick out the particular thing applicable to the conversation of the moment. Hours afterwards I can sometimes remember something which would have been very valuable, if it had only come to me when I was actually talking.
We all reached Hyde Park this morning about 10:00 o'clock. Two ladies came to lunch with us and this afternoon I had a visitor talking to me about Camp William James in Vermont. This camp is an educational venture in living, which I think may produce some very interesting results. Already four boys from there have gone down to Mexico to work with thirty young Mexicans in the area stricken by the earthquake.
Washington is usually hotter than New York City or Hyde Park, but the first thing we were told this morning was that it had been 96 degrees here yesterday. It certainly has been warmer here than it was the last two days in Washington.