SEPTEMBER 15, 1941
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday was a most beautiful day at Hyde Park. In the morning I went over to see our young grandson, Franklin, III, at the big house and invited him to come to the cottage to play with me for a while in the afternoon. Miss Thompson and I did some of the work which always seem to accumulate on one's desk, and a few things my husband asked me to do. Then we saw various people on the place.
The most exciting moment of the day was when the telephone rang while we were eating lunch on the porch, and I heard Franklin, Jr.'s voice. He had just landed from his destroyer after five weeks at sea. Much of the time he had been without any letters from home, and he wanted to know where his wife and baby were to be found and what had happened. I told him Ethel was down on Long Island getting some of the details of the house arranged, and I imagine he soon started to join her. He did take time to tell me that he would be in Washington to see his father and to report, on Monday, so I shall see him tomorrow.
The sun was still warm, and so we enjoyed playing ball with Franklin, III, and having a swim in the afternoon. When I explained to him, as we were driving back through the woods, that I had talked to his father on the telephone, he looked very much puzzled, and finally insisted that he talk too. I had some difficulty in explaining that I could not produce his father there and then, either in person or on the telephone.
I started back to Washington this morning because I heard that my brother, who is in the hospital here, was in a more serious condition, and so I do not want to be far away.
I read in the paper, on the way down, Mayor La Guardia's announcement of my appointment as Assistant Director of Civilian Defense. We have talked about it for some time and I am anxious to help. I hope that I can contribute something which will make easier and more fruitful, the work of the others responsible for the development of volunteer participation.
It seems to me that there is a great desire on the part of hundreds of men and women, and even children, to help in some way in the present emergency. I feel sure that this reservoir of energy can be used to advantage in every community in the country.
I look forward to working with the Mayor, for whom I have a great admiration, and to my association with Miss Eloise Davison and others whom I already know, as well as the opportunity of meeting all those in the organization.