OCTOBER 2, 1941
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—It was a great joy to me to find my friend, Miss Mayris Chaney, in New York City yesterday. She drove out to the airport with us so we could catch up on all she has been doing since she went West last spring.
Miss Thompson and I caught the 6:00 o'clock plane, but it left fifteen minutes late and was twenty minutes late in arriving here. With profuse apologies for being so tardy, I dashed breathlessly up to the President's study, where we were having dinner, only to find that he had not even noticed the delay!
There is an advantage in a household where everybody is so busy that nobody ever really waits for anyone else. Everybody is completely occupied and can always find things to do, even if there are a few minutes to wait.
The meeting called yesterday by the Coordinator of Federal Security Services, Mrs. Anna Rosenberg, was a most inspiring occasion. It brings together not only the different agencies under that bureau, but all the other government agencies working in the area. Here were government representatives on a regional level, working out the problems which affected all their different agencies. Thereby, they accomplished results, which, if they had not met together once a month, probably would have taken weeks of correspondence finally to clear up.
In the afternoon, all the state officials joined the meeting. This meant that purely state responsibilities, and the points at which the state officials touch the Federal Government officials, could also become clarified because of personal contact.
In addition, Lieutenant-Governor Poletti, of New York State, State Coordinator of Civilian Defense Activities, and Major General Irving J. Phillipson, representing the military interests of the area, were present. It seemed to me that this was as good a coordinating job as I had seen accomplished anywhere in the Government.
Edith Helm has returned to us today from her summer home in Illinois. It is always a day of rejoicing when she joins our staff again. I am very happy to have her back, because I know she is going to be of great help to me in many ways. She takes up the responsibility of social activities at once, of course, but her experience in other emergency periods will be of great value, not only here in the White House, but in the Office of Civilian Defense.