MAY 25, 1943
WASHINGTON, Monday—I flew up to New York City yesterday afternoon to attend the meeting last night which opened the second annual Harlem Week. The committee has been working for a year in order to bring to New York City a better understanding of the problems, not only in Harlem itself, but in some of the other "Harlems" scattered around the city.
They have made some real advances, but they feel that this coming year must be directed toward bringing up the school standards in that area, and much more done for recreation and organized play for the children in the neighborhood. This will be an effort to counteract juvenile delinquency.
It was the first time I had met some of the assemblymen now serving in the New York State Legislature from that district. I was glad to find them so interested in eliminating the roots of troubles, rather than waiting to remedy results, which if tackled earlier might have been less serious.
On the way up in the plane, a very nice sailor boy who sat behind me, suddenly squatted down in the aisle beside me and said:
I have just been transferred from the ... destroyer. I was sorry to leave your son. I liked him very much as an officer."
Then, today, on the way down, a young Marine flier sent a card back to me asking:
"May I come to talk to you? I am Ambassador Phillip's nephew."
We chatted a few minutes and I wished him good luck in his future assignment. Now I must look for his uncle and tell him of my chance meeting with his nephew.
The world is a very small place, for, as I waited for the plane, which was late in starting, a very pretty young girl came up to say: "I am Florence Ketchum's niece, and I am going for my first plane trip." Florence Ketchum was one of the early workers for the New York State Democratic Committee, Women's Division. She still edits a paper in her county and is an active citizen. The niece is a lucky young lady, because her first trip was a bumpy one and she stood it like a veteran.
I have just been sent an account of a new type of service which has been inaugurated in New York City. It is a consultation clinic for human problems. The people who started it are very wise. They know that in times of stress, to have someone with whom you can talk over your troubles is a great relief. It clears the atmosphere and will keep people balanced who otherwise might do foolish things.