OCTOBER 31, 1941
NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday, we stayed in St. Cloud, Minn., with Mrs. Albert G. Whitney. It was a very memorable experience, for it is not often that one finds an older woman who has kept the ability to manage her own life and to do the things she enjoys doing. She still makes a pleasant homelike center, to which her children and grandchildren come with great joy.
Miss Thompson and I were very grateful for her hospitality. We spent an hour or more in the morning at work, after which I had the pleasure of seeing four young people. They came with a boy who was with the International Student Institute at Campobello last summer, and is still at the University of Minnesota.
At 2:00 o'clock, I started out, in spite of occasional snowflakes interspersed with rain, and visited eight public schools. From the primary grades up to the high school, they lined the streets outside their various schools to greet me.
At each one that I stopped at, I marvelled at their patience. They waited in the cold and damp and still seemed pleased to see me! Finally, at about 3:00 o'clock, we reached the Veterans' Hospital, for mental cases, one of the largest I have seen.
Some of the patients were gathered in the recreation room and sang and played for me. How much music can mean to these men, and how they enjoy listening to the violins, piano and the men's chorus!
I spoke to them briefly and went into one of the wards to see some of the men who could not be out. One is happy to think that these men have care and pleasant surroundings, and yet it tugs at one's heart to see old and young men, some of them seeming entirely normal, others seeming already to have left the world around them, so far as their minds are concerned. One hopes that many may be restored to health.
I was back at Mrs. Whitney's house a little while after four. We had a cup of tea, then a little more work, and a rest before dinner. After my talk and the questions which followed, we drove all the way into Minneapolis. This meant getting to the Hotel Nicolett at about 11:30, and being up this morning to catch a 5:00 o'clock plane for Chicago. I confess that I was more worried that the plane would not fly, than I was about a few hours of sleep. Once on the plane, I went off to sleep again until we reached Chicago, only waking up to talk to a newspaper woman from Milwaukee. Breakfast in the Chicago airport restaurant, and then a comfortable trip to New York City.