OCTOBER 20, 1941
BOSTON, Sunday—The last time I wrote this column I was on my way to Albany, N.Y., where I spent last Friday attending a luncheon given by the Civilian Defense School, which was being held under the auspices of the State Defense Council. They evidently had some very interesting sessions.
Miss Wilma Shields, who heads up our volunteer bureaus in Washington, spent practically one entire morning answering questions. I feel very much encouraged when I see the interest shown by people who belong to local defense councils in these bureaus, because I feel they will eventually be of real value to the communities.
I enjoyed my time in Albany and had a nice visit with Mrs. Lehman at the Governor's Mansion. I also saw several of the old staff there, whom I am always happy to see. In fact, the Governor's Mansion would not seem the same if the steward, Mr. Harry Whitehead, did not meet me at the door.
That night I heard Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Elmhirst speak. Mr. Elmhirst spoke on the postwar planning, which groups in England are already preparing. Mrs. Elmhirst talked on life in England today. I must say her picture was extraordinarily vivid and its implications for the future were very interesting. I think that people who have become accustomed to living on the same rations, to working side by side and facing constant danger together, are apt, in the future, to forget minor distinctions permanently.
When Mrs. Elmhirst said that, in England today, unless you have a package from America, you never ask a friend to come for a meal, because everybody has just enough for himself. It makes the changes in the way of life very real too.
The torpedoing of the Kearny still lies heavily on my mind, partly because it seems incredible that a foreign ship should make attacks of this kind. The mere fact that we have to prevent them, gives me, as it must many other women in this country, cold chills thinking that some particular person may be involved.
Saturday we drove to New London, N.H., leaving New York at 7:00 a.m., and stopping for a little while with Miss Esther Lape and Miss Elizabeth Read at Westbrook. It was a gray and rainy day, but the few patches of brilliant color stood out all the more vividly because of the atmosphere. We reached New London at 5:15 and I spoke at Colby Junior College for Girls in the evening.
My audience in the lovely old church was a very responsive and delightful group. We spent the night with Dr. and Mrs. H. Leslie Sawyer, who were very kind hosts. What a difference a long night's sleep in the country does to one's outlook on the world.