JUNE 19, 1942
NEW YORK, Thursday —I left Washington yesterday afternoon and reached New York City in time to have a few friends dine with me. They took me to see a musical comedy called "By Jupiter," in which Ray Bolger is most amusing. Afterwards, we stopped in for a few minutes at the Stage Door Canteen. It is certainly crowded and the boys in all the services seem to have a very good time there.
I am on my way to Hyde Park this morning, where I intended to be earlier this week. It is only a short trip and I expect to be back in Washington by Friday evening.
Someone wrote me the other day about the Sharon Sanitorium in Sharon, Mass., where for over 4 years they have been trying the open air treatment for children suffering from rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic fever often causes heart disease and many children die or are crippled for life by this disease, which Dr. Paul de Kruif has so often written about. The Sharon Sanitarium does not claim to have found a cure, but hopes it is on the road to constantly improved treatment. One cannot help being interested in efforts of this kind.
The more I hear of children in Europe and in other parts of the world, the more I fear that for a generation we shall see many of the diseases brought on by privation, hunger and strain crippling children all over the world. It is difficult to see how one can do much about it at the present time, and yet I hope we shall not be forced completely to abandon what feeding we have been able to do.
How magnificent is the courage of people in all of these countries! In Carl Sandburg's column the other day, he quoted a letter smuggled out of Norway, written by a man just out after three and a half months in prison to a former cellmate. The letter reads:
"I wish you could see us today—outwardly gray, poor, stripped to the skin, so it seems. But it is only a seeming, only on the outside. Never has life behind and inside us been less grey, never has blood been more red. He's trying to kid himself, you say. Well, just consider yourself when you were here. Even though it was strenuous, you nevertheless lived, felt the pulse of life even in the grayest of gray, which you lived through the final months. You expressed this yourself the last time I talked with you. And today it is still more clear...Seen from the outside it may appear grayer than ever, marked with hunger and distress, loss and suffering. But inwardly, life presses forward irresistably."