JANUARY 28, 1944
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Thursday—On Tuesday noon I left New York City for Utica, N.Y. There I visited one of our military hospitals and spent some time talking to a number of boys, veterans of this war. They had written to ask me if I would come to a meeting for them and I was very glad to have the opportunity to talk to them and hear what was happening to them since their return and what their experiences had been since their discharge from the hospital. Some time I may tell you more about their impressions, but today I must hurriedly give an account of the various things which I have done in the past days.
At eleven-thirty Tuesday night I left Utica for Detroit, Mich., arriving there early Wednesday morning. I started out at once with my sister-in-law, Mrs. Dorothy Roosevelt, on a day which took us to various war plants, child-care centers, a luncheon and finally a short rest and family dinner during which I saw my nieces before going to an interracial evening meeting. I took the night train to Louisville.
Here I was shown through the school where nurses, who are going to fly on hospital planes, are trained. Their training also includes actual flights with patients in this country before they go to combat zones. They wanted very much to have me with them on one of these flights earlier in the year, but unfortunately, that was not practicable.
Tomorrow I will tell you more of all the different things which I have seen, but on this trip I have been forcibly reminded of a letter which came to me a few days ago and which some of you may enjoy as I did. A much harassed woman who has evidently felt in the past that she must more or less follow the styles of the year, wrote me a wail saying that skirts are narrower and not as comfortable, that if only there could be a slogan which said: "Be patriotic, wear your old clothes," one could wear last year's dress and get around more easily, if somewhat less stylishly.
She adds like many other worried housewives: "How can people buy bonds, pay taxes, raise children, combat the high cost of living if they must discard their old clothes while they are still good?"
I want to remind her that the most expensive dressmakers, both in Paris in the old days and in New York City today, make dresses for the individual, and sometimes they have no relation to what might be called the style as you see it in shop windows, or on pretty little youthful misses tripping down the street. During most of this journey I have worn a dress that is well made, but I think it is nearly three years old. I felt quite comfortable and as much in the fashion as an old lady like myself need ever be!