JUNE 1, 1943
WASHINGTON, Monday—Miss Thompson and I left Hyde Park right after lunch on Sunday and felt rather aggrieved at having to leave the country when it was so lovely. However, I had promised to be at the Women's Service Club, 451 Madison Avenue, New York City, at 5:00 o'clock, and it was a pleasant duty. Luckily, our train was exactly on time and I reached the club a little early. I was able to go through it and see how the rooms were arranged before it was time to go on the air.
It has only been open a short time and yet some sixty girls slept there last night. I was told the tea dances on Saturdays are always crowded and that there is always, even during the week, a good quota of women from the different services. They use it in their free time, or when they come to town for a few leisure hours, or pass through to other places.
I remember the house very well when Mrs. Whitelaw Reid lived there and her daughter, Jean, who is about my age, drew many of us within its hospitable portals. Now Jean is Lady Ward and is working hard in Great Britain. Her country house was occupied by Colonel Raff and his officers when I went to see them last November. You will remember that they were the first paratroops to land in North Africa.
Lady Ward also gave her London house as a distribution center for British War Relief. How little any of us know what the years will bring, either to the surroundings we happen to live in, or to us.
The alley near our apartment house is gay with paintings and I hope that today, before I leave, I shall have time to have a look at them. I cannot buy any more pictures, because my walls are already filled, unless, of course, I eliminate some I have and hang others in their places.
That, I find desperately hard to do. I grow fond of pictures, furniture and bric-a-brac just because I live with them and they bring to mind memories of things which have happened in that particular room. To get rid of such furnishings is like getting rid of an old friend, very difficult to do and something to be infinitely regretted.
Did you read Drew Middleton's article yesterday? That composite picture he painted of the boys who fought and died in Tunisia, and for whom someone will grieve on Memorial Days of the future, was, to me, a very fine piece of writing. I am sure nobody read it without being deeply touched with pride and sorrow.