NOVEMBER 15, 1943
NEW YORK, Sunday—On Friday evening I spoke for the National Geographic Society in Washington and showed the short film, which has now been released by the War Department, of pictures taken by various photographers on the Southwest Pacific trip. I hope someday to have more, but these will help to give people some idea of the type of country their boys are living, fighting and working in. I am very glad to be able to show them.
I left Washington very early Saturday morning to attend the trustees' meeting of the Rosenwald Fund in Philadelphia. These meetings last all day.
I continued on to New York City and today I am having a very pleasant and peaceful time with some young friends who are lunching with me. I try to follow a custom with my young friends, which was inaugurated when we were children, by my Grandmother Roosevelt's half-sister, Mrs. James King Gracie.
She used to invite all the first cousins in New York City to spend the day with her on Saturdays and, in turn, each of us were allowed to order our favorite dishes for the noonday meal. We planned and looked forward to those meals, week by week. Since I cannot spend every Saturday with my young acquaintances, I try to let each one choose something for the same meal, so that each one will look forward to some special thing to eat.
With rationing, this is rather a difficult problem, but it is a good thing to focus children's interest on what they can have in war time. I find they rather enjoy adding up points and trying to find something unrationed which meets their desires.
I have to confess that it takes perhaps a little more time and thought than of old. Still, even in my little apartment in New York City, where points are scarce, for we are there so rarely, I have never really found it impossible to invite what friends I wanted to a simple meal.
I think one has to be sure, however, that the friends come for the pleasure of being together and will not be critical of what they will have to eat. Now and then, I enjoy going to a restaurant in New York, but I find that it is hard to get away from the habit of my childhood and early married days, when I rarely ate outside of my own home because I could not afford it.
This afternoon, I leave for Connecticut, where I am to speak tonight for a forum group on questions which face us in the postwar period. I shall be back in New York City tomorrow to speak at the Madison Square Garden evening meeting for the Community War Fund.