MAY 1, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Last Thursday a delightful fashion show was put on by the Stage Door Canteen in Washington, which is run under the auspices of the American Theatre Wing. They managed to place tables for several hundred people in the theatre which is usually filled with servicemen, and they served a very good cold lunch with hot coffee.
On the stage, a "Washington Wartime Wardrobe" was paraded before us. The mistress of ceremonies was Miss Arlene Francis, of radio fame, and the models for both juniors and seniors were shown by the most lovely Washington ladies of fashion. That was the only discouraging thing—you knew that you could never look as well as those who walked the stage even if you bought the identical models.
Some of the designers donated dresses which were sold at auction. We were all asked to take chances on a dress donated by Hattie Carnegie. My daughter was the lucky winner, but as she does not feel that she would be quite happy walking around in a $185 dress, she has suggested that Miss Carnegie donate the money to the Stage Door Canteen in whatever way she likes best.
We saw a dress draped and cut for a lady on the stage by Madame Louise Bruns, and I must say I admired her abandon with the scissors. I am sure that Mrs. A. G. Robinson, who is chairman of the committee putting on this benefit, went home satisfied with a very successful occasion. The best dressed ladies to appear on the stage were four members of the armed forces in their summer uniforms: Lieutenant Robin Elliott, WAC; Ensign Marjorie Hatch, USNR; Lieutenant Ferne Wait, USMCWR; and Ensign Kathryn Kumler, USCGR.
That same afternoon I went out to the discussion group at Walter Reed Hospital again, and had an opportunity to go through a few of the wards afterwards. The cheerfulness and courage of these boys is something beyond words. It makes me feel that nothing that any of us can do in the future to make sure that their lives are made worthwhile and to make this country the kind of place they want it to be must be neglected. People's memories are so short! What these boys have done is one of the things we must not be allowed to forget.
On Friday afternoon I went to the Red Cross to see more of the pictures of New Guinea and other places in the Southwest Pacific at the Art Exhibit. This time my special interest was in those done by Frederick Douglas Greenbowe. He has sent me a picture of Ragni, the well known Maori guide in New Zealand, which I am glad to have. Everything he has done is full of life, and I was glad to hear that some organization has sent materials which these boys can use, for all of them have had to work with anything they could lay their hands on.