MAY 22, 1942
NEW YORK, Thursday—I came to New York City from Washington yesterday in order to keep several appointments with individuals who wanted to see me in the afternoon. In the evening I attended the executive committee meeting of the International Student Service.
I shall be allowed to visit the information center of the Aircraft Warning Service this morning. Women have undertaken to do the work that is needed in all these centers throughout the country. There is just one point I should like to stress, namely, that ladies are never considered to be able to keep a secret. Yet, all over the nation, these centers exist and complete secrecy about them is maintained!
I don't know whether, as the days go by, other people are finding themselves unexpectedly brought up against their consciences in meeting new restrictions. I always do something and then realize under new regulations it is perhaps something I should not do. For instance, I must no longer take planes unless I am going to do something of value in the war effort.
In fact, I must not even take a night train unless my arrival at the other end is really essential. In all probability, I should not ask for any pullman reservations at any time! Once these things have become part of my consciousness, it will be quite easy to plan for them, but just at the start it is a case of forgetfulness more than anything else. I suddenly wake up to the fact that I am doing something I have no right to do.
Today I am attending the Barter Theatre Award Luncheon, which is an annual affair now. Mr. Robert Porterfield established this award, given to some outstanding person in the theatrical field every year. This lunch gives an opportunity for people interested in the arts to come together. Many things are said which I think need to be said, because artists need encouragement to do their best work and to feel that their contribution to the morale of the nation is appreciated by their fellow artists and by many other people in the nation.
This year we shall meet at the Stage Door Canteen of the American Theatre Wing Service. I am particularly glad of the opportunity to see this canteen, for I hear such fine things about it. It is one of the most popular places with men in the Services and I think that is because the men and women working there have given such devoted service.
I have visited the outdoor art exhibition in Washington Square. The artists offered me a painting, another delightful gesture of welcome to this part of the city.