DECEMBER 21, 1942
NEW YORK, Sunday—I spent yesterday in New York City finishing up odds and ends of errands and seeing a few people, whom I must see before Christmas. This morning I am on my way to Hyde Park to make all the preparations for the Christmas parties there on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
I forgot to tell you the other day of some really excellent work, which I found being accomplished by a young woman in Washington, whom I have just lately come to know. Mrs. Laura Paine has a home and a family, but she finds the time to do a good deal for other people and still carry on her home responsibilities. She asked me if I would come down to see what she has been able to accomplish in the Quartermaster Department, so between engagements I made a hurried trip.
I found a little frame building, painted green, very simple outside but attractive inside, with a big fireplace at one end of a large room, comfortable chairs and plenty of tables. In addition, there is a small canteen and a dormitory, where officers just passing through can find a bed and a place to rest in this busy town, which has no quiet spots and no empty beds if you want to find one just for one night.
In the big office building, itself, she has created in every division, with the help of the military organization, comfortable restrooms for the girls. In one central room, she has some charming looking young women, each occupying a little partitioned off space. They are ready to talk over with confused, bewildered and disheartened girl workers, any problems created by the new atmosphere in which they find themselves.
There is a room where girls may press and sew in their off time. If they are making a dress or blouse for themselves, there is a locked closet where they can leave their work until they return the next day. There is also a library with books, newspapers and games of all kinds.
In each of these rooms I noticed that the woman in charge was neither too old nor too young. They are mature enough to understand human nature and help if help is needed, but not the type who suppress good times and high spirits when they are doing no harm.
As I looked into each room, I regarded the young woman beside me and marvelled at the executive ability, understanding and persistence which had created these facilities for government workers and transient officers. I wish we had a great many more people like her in Washington just now.