FEBRUARY 20, 1942
NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday, at lunch, I enjoyed very much having an opportunity to talk briefly with Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Elmhirst. They have been on a very long trip through the South, up the West Coast and back through the central part of our country. They visited agricultural groups everywhere and told the story of conditions in England among similar people.
Dr. Adolph Keller, of Geneva, Switzerland, also came to lunch and told us something of his work with the church groups in the various European countries. I always marvel at what these men accomplish in war-torn countries and how they stand up under the strain. Somehow I expect to find them different, and only find them more human. They are, perhaps, a little more aware of the needs of human beings throughout the world, less troubled about the future, more resigned to sharing whatever may come with their neighbors.
I have a feeling that, in this country, we are still largely in the stage of anxiety over a future which is certainly uncharted. Some of these people from the countries where the future is certainly more uncertain than it is here, have come to look upon it as an adventure and to accept the uncertainty, not only with stoicism, but with cheerful optimism.
After dinner, I took the night train to New York City and am spending some time today at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital with Franklin, Jr. It is grand to see him recovering. Of course, with returning health, his annoyance at being in the hospital is making him very restless. I hope he will stay in the hospital as long as is necessary, for I know the minute he is out, it will be impossible to hold him down.
I have been visiting other friends and members of my family, and am returning by the night train to Washington.
I have just received from the USO office in Savannah, Ga., an account of what they call their "Adopted Son Plan." I think the same thing might be done in other places. They found that the less aggressive among the service men, coming in from the Savannah Air Base, Fort Screven and Camp Stewart, made few personal contacts in the city. The USO staff is now recommending a boy to an individual family and for the time he is in camp nearby, that family becomes his family.
He may drop in whenever he wants without special invitation. This, of course, means that he is welcome to take potluck meals with the family, to get a bath, and to lounge around as he pleases. I think this must be a much prized type of hospitality.