JULY 24, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—There is nothing like going away for a while to get a chance to read the things you carry around with you for weeks and weeks.
On the way home I finished Louise Randall Pierson's "Roughly Speaking." There were moments when I felt weary, so much abounding energy went into her life that when her first husband moved to the Yale Club, I almost echoed his sigh of relief. I am sure that a month later, however, he missed his stimulating wife and the undisciplined children whom life will discipline, whether their parents did it or not. They probably will turn out well and do a good job in the world just because of the qualities which must have made them trying to their neighbors.
One ends the book with a warm feeling for the courage of the author. Her vitality must be extraordinary, but so is her appreciation of the America we love. On the last page she quotes a saying of her mother's: "The things which are seen are temporal; the things which are not seen are eternal. " She, herself, adds: "Whether my father's castle stood or not, one truth was self-evident. The spirit that moved him to build it, and defend it against all comers still lived on. There were still millions of Americans who believed, like him, that freedom was a fighting word; who'd rather die than live without it." There is the essence of America and I think you feel it all through her book.
On my arrival yesterday afternoon, I went to see Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who is still in the hospital and has been there ten weeks. To my great joy she looked much better and will be able to go home at the end of this week. Of course, after such a serious illness, it will be a long time before she is really strong again. She said when they told her a week ago that she would be able to go home this week, that she hardly believed she would be able to walk. She has improved so much however, in the past few days, she is now willing to believe that her health will someday return to her.
I returned to Washington this morning for a few days and it looks as though I shall be fairly busy trying to see all the people I have agreed to see, when next I have a few days in this busy city.
Wherever you go, I find there are interesting people to see with new points of view and new activities. I have come home from the West full of things which I want to tell the President about, and I shall probably find that he knows more about them than I do. In any case, I have actually seen them, and that, I know, has not been possible for him. If visual education is a help to young people, I think it is a help to many of us older people as well. I know that seeing things brings me a greater realization of what people are really doing than I could acquire from just reading about them.