AUGUST 30, 1941
HYDE PARK, Friday—Yesterday afternoon I went in swimming with my two Texas grandchildren and Bobby Baker. Bobby is thirteen and was practicing his diving, and climbing on and off the floating mattress. Chandler, who seems quite a grown up young lady now, has learned to swim fairly well this summer, tried to copy Bobby, and climbed on and off the mattress, and had a grand time dogpaddling about.
Elliott, Jr., however, told me firmly that while he would put on his bathing suit, he doubted if he would go into the pool until his mother came on Saturday. The lure of a toy boat was too much for him, and soon he was paddling around at the shallow and with water wings on. He felt just as proud of himself as if he had suddenly learned to swim without any help at all.
Six of us went down to dinner at the Silver Swan, which is on Route 9, below Poughkeepsie. Some friends had written me to be sure to stop there, but it is so near home I have never managed to do it before. We enjoyed it very much and returned just in time to welcome our guests from the immediate neighborhood, who came to christen a new little playhouse which used to be Arnold Berge's Pewter Shop.
He has migrated now to his own barn and gave me the opportunity to turn this building into a playroom, which I hope will be useful to many people on the place through the winter months. The Valley Vagabond Players gave an excellent performance of "Johnny Doodle," which everyone enjoyed. The singing at the end was also a great success.
For refreshments of cider and doughnuts, we moved over to my cottage and then the cast stayed to talk for a little while around my fire. It was 11:00 o'clock before we settled back to our usual country quiet. I am very much interested in what the young drama students have been doing. They look up Hudson River material and use it to produce plays in the neighborhood, which gives us much of our own history in very palatable fashion. There seems to me to be much material in "Johnny Doodle," pertinent to the situations we meet today. Work, determination and firm rooted convictions, will carry you through many a seemingly hopeless struggle.
This is another beautiful "October" day. Perhaps we are reversing our months and enjoying autumn now. Nevertheless, I revel in these days and was glad to rise early this morning to see a young guest off and to take Bobby Baker over for an early morning ride.