JULY 28, 1942
NEW YORK, Monday—As we drove away from Campobello last Friday evening, I had the chance to enjoy the sunset, and the calm, beautiful water, surrounded by the rocks among which the dark green trees grow. Somehow I had a feeling of remoteness, which I rarely experience anywhere else, and it was good to have that feeling even for a few hours, when the world is in such a turmoil.
Dr. Hans Simons, of the New School for Social Research, lectured while I was at Campobello, and came down with Mrs. Craig and myself on Friday night. It was a pleasure to hear him lecture, and it was interesting to see how he stimulated the young people. We arrived half an hour late on Saturday morning in Boston, and Mrs. Craig had to hurry to catch her train for Washington.
I was met by a gentleman who had made an appointment, and he drove with me as far as the airport. There, to my complete surprise, I found a message from a son who I thought was far away, saying that if I called a certain number I could speak to him. I did, and instead of getting on the first plane, I waited until later in the morning, and had a half hour's visit with a young man whom I had not seen in some time. Surprises such as this always give me a tremendous lift.
I had gone up on the train with a mother and father on their way to see their boy, who was training somewhere on the coast of Maine, and when I flew back to New York City, I found myself sitting across the aisle from a father who told me his son was leaving college to go into a branch of the Army Air Service. He was going home to spend a few days with his family, after being absent on war work.
I can well appreciate what it means to every father and mother, wife or sweetheart, to get a glimpse of the boy they know is soon going away, or who comes back from the Service even for a few hours. Every time I see a casualty list, or hear from someone who has had to give up hope of ever again seeing some loved one, I cannot help wishing that there were a way in which one could express sympathy.
Perhaps this is why I always feel that I want to talk to or smile to, or help in some way if I can, the boys in uniform whom I see on the street or meet in my travels. It seems as though even a kindly word spoken to one of these young men is something done for one's own boy, and perhaps someone else will be on hand to speak or smile when the need is there.
We were back at Hyde Park Saturday afternoon. Everything there was going smoothly, so yesterday morning I spent the day in Albany, N. Y., with some old friends, and made the acquaintance of a new baby boy. Today we are back in New York City.