SEPTEMBER 30, 1942
LONG BEACH, Calif., Tuesday—I left Washington Sunday morning by plane, after a delay of several hours on account of the weather, and took a rather roundabout and leisurely trip to Fort Worth, Texas. We were held up at different places along the way for various reasons.
Finally, we came into Fort Worth at about 10:30 at night. To my complete surprise, Ruth, Chandler and Elliott, Jr., were waiting for me at the gate of the airport. Elliott, Jr., is six years old and I do not think he has ever been up quite so late before. Ruth said that while they were waiting for us they had eaten ice cream, popcorn and consumed many soft drinks.
It was almost a party as we drove out to the ranch. Elliott, Jr., was sound asleep before we got there. Chandler, aged eight, rested her head on the back of the seat and looked quite ready for bed.
Their house is on a hill overlooking a brook, along which many trees grow. In every direction, miles and miles of rolling prairie stretch away. If you arrive at night, shadowy forms of cattle rise up along the road as you drive in and the lights from the house send forth their welcome.
There is a quality of soft haziness in the autumn atmosphere here and a fascination in the breadth of view on every side. Ruth and Elliott have made it a comfortable and homelike home. The green lawn and flowers immediately around it speak of infinite care and attention during the summer months. Everything in the house is an expression of their personal interests.
Books, pictures, prints, beautiful Mexican saddles, carefully chosen pieces of furniture and silver (which even the children have been taught to appreciate and enjoy) make an environment which is part of the family and an expression of their growth and development. Everywhere Elliott has been, even during the war period, his heart has been in the home he left behind, and from each place he has managed to send back something.
For instance, the summer spent flying with the Army in Iceland, Greenland and New Foundland has produced little white bear rugs, which are in front of Chandler's bed and scattered through the house. There are things from Africa and from the West. In fact, wherever individual members of the family have gone, whether together or apart, their roots have been here. The homing instinct is strong in all of them.
This morning, Chandler and Elliott, Jr., showed me the new colt and rode around on their own horses. All of them exhibit the baby brother, David, as the first and prize package in which they have the greatest pride. David's major achievement is to stand in his pen and to shake the sides back and forth.