DECEMBER 11, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday morning Miss Evelyn Haynes, of the Huckleberry Mountain Workshop, of Hendersonville, North Carolina, came to see me to tell me about the school which they run in the summer for artists. You can go there and study short story writing, radio script writing, music, poetry or painting. The surroundings seem ideal. Someday, perhaps, when the war is over, I shall put it on my list as a place to stop when we can motor again through this lovely country of ours.
A few people came to luncheon. I had appointments in the afternoon, among them Mr. Walter F. Walker, the Consul General for Liberia in New York City, who was appointed as envoy from Liberia to the UNRRA Conference. He sent me an interesting article on the history of the Liberian Republic and its relationship to the United States. I was greatly impressed by the difficulties which these men have lived through, and I must say I wonder that the country has survived at all.
It certainly has not had much help in the last few years from any of the older nations. In the early years, people in this country, largely through private organizations, gave a good deal of money and thought to starting them off. I think we need to know a little more about the past and the present of this whole experiment. Then I feel sure our interest will revive in helping them to develop their country and their people.
In the evening, the second group of soldiers came in for another party and then the mail kept me busy until fairly late. In that mail I found an interesting account of the Maumee Valley Country Day School in Maumee, Ohio, where a group of high school students have undertaken to prevent inflation. "The Squander Bug" idea has taken hold with them and they have formed an organization called the ""B.O.N.D.," which stands for "Buy Only Necessities for the Duration."
They have translated it into very practical things—sweaters only when you need one, no new party dress unless you absolutely need it, and the like. In other words, need governs your actions, not inclination. I think that is a standard which many of us think we live up to, and few of us actually achieve.
Today I had a letter from England which gives a good picture of the much more difficult situation in a little country, which has been so much longer at war. It says: "No tinsmiths, our garbage can leaks, you can't get a new one and you can't get them mended. The rubber stoppers in wash bowls and baths wear out, you can't get rubber and the new ones made of substitute material don't fit. The handle comes off a sauce pan, it can't be mended and you can't buy a new one. Ink—the next supply will be in powdered form."