DECEMBER 7, 1943
WASHINGTON, Monday—Yesterday afternoon, accompanied by my entire family, including a four-year-old, we went over to the Corcoran Gallery to see the exhibition of paintings done by the Merchant Marine Sailors of the United Nations. They were interesting, though many of them showed an entire lack of training. Nevertheless, they indicated an appreciation of color and atmosphere and must give a great deal of pleasure to those sailing the seven seas.
There were pictures of ships, fish and men of the sea; also harbors and towns all over the world. All of us enjoyed the hour spent looking these paintings over.
Afterwards, I went to the USO Service Women's Lounge, at 1911 H Street. It was crowded, but had a pleasant, homelike atmosphere. It occupies an old church, now abandoned for another site. This old building seems to adapt itself very well to its present purposes.
They have put a new floor down in what was once, I imagine, the parish hall. It is a good sized room with a balcony, where they carry on craft work. In the hall, table tennis and dancing share the ample floor space. There is a little library downstairs. Like every activity of its kind, they need more books, papers and magazines for it. A snack bar was in one corner of the large lounge room and produced a really extraordinary quantity of refreshments.
Today I am to have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Samuel Hopkins Adams, who is writing a biography of Mr. Alexander Woollcott. I did not come to know Mr. Woollcott, very well, until we were living in Washington. I have always been grateful for the opportunity. He was a delightful guest and a warm and generous friend.
"Bundles For America" writes me that yesterday they celebrated their second anniversary by holding services in churches all over the country. This organization has furnished and equipped many day rooms and recreation huts for all branches of the service. It distributes kits to our fighting men and outfits our honorably discharged veterans with civilian clothes, which is often a help to them in finding a job.
The members also reclaim used garments, which are then distributed to wives and children of servicemen. They make layettes for babies, whose mothers might find it hard to obtain all that they need at the present time.