MARCH 1, 1943
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday afternoon I stopped for a few minutes at the warehouse of the Russian War Relief organization. I was much impressed by the way in which bundles come in from all over the country and are repacked and shipped out. They have been fortunate, they tell me, for the loss in shipments has been very slight. Since March is Red Cross month, they are not making appeals for money, but they are still shipping goods. I was happy to see so many medical supplies, as well as clothes, ready to go across.
Yesterday morning, I visited the new naval hospital at St. Albans, Long Island. There are so many wards that it was impossible to cover them all, but I hope I visited those which had casualities back from overseas. One boy had been in Edinburgh when we were there. Another one belonged to the first raider battalion of the Marines, and knew some of the boys who were in the Makin raid with our son.
Many of the boys are back from Casablanca and other North African ports, and so we had plenty to talk about. I only wish that I could have sat down with them and really heard the stories which they are so shy about telling. But there is only a minute or two with each boy as you go through the wards.
I was a little late for lunch at my apartment, but found my three youthful guests, all under ten, awaiting me with their mother. They were warm in their welcome and from then on my day was pure enjoyment. We had a pleasant lunch, during which we competed with each other on nursery rhymes and quiz questions, which I found that morning in a magazine during my trip to the hospital.
The youngest of my guests went home after lunch, and then the rest of us went to see "Saludos Amigos." This is really delightfully done with color and charm in every picture. I think it ought to please even artistic and fastidious South and Central Americans. There was enough of the usual Disney humor to keep us all amused. We ended the afternoon by stopping for an ice cream soda, which I remember in my childhood was the proper way to end any Saturday afternoon's entertainment.
In the evening, I went with a few friends to see, "Janie," a light and amusing comedy, well acted by a charming young actress, Miss Gwen Anderson. The play treats with no very serious subjects, and unlike "The Patriots," which we saw Thursday evening, teaches no great lesson. Nevertheless, the combination of the two evenings was a good contrast.
I enjoyed "The Patriots" just as much, but in an entirely different way that would suit a more serious mood. After last night's play, we went backstage to offer our congratulations to the actors, and then stopped for a few minutes at the American Theatre Wing's Canteen for Merchant Seamen, which Mrs. Pemberton runs. It was full and everyone seemed to be having a good time, which the Stage Door Canteens always provide.