JULY 1, 1944
HYDE PARK, Friday—I took my first bicycle ride of this season yesterday morning, through the woods to the big house, and found the mosquitoes very active and unpleasant companions. The woods looked very beautiful, however, and are a joy to go through. When my husband did so much tree cutting last year, I was in despair, and thought that the scars would never be covered over, but nature heals quickly, and now one would hardly know that any of the big trees had been cut down.
Mrs. Max Ascoli, Mrs. Trude Pratt and I went to the graduation exercises at the Wiltwyck School yesterday afternoon. I can think of no more rewarding work than teaching and caring for these little boys. They have had so little in their short lives that they bloom under affectionate care. They conducted their own exercises and gave a play depicting scenes in their school life which was extremely clever. They invited their director, Dr. Cooper, to address them, and he told them how proud they made him by their achievements.
Many of these little boys are problem children because of their former environments. Some of them will require a great deal of patience and training before their problems are worked out, but if the staff is successful it will be even more gratifying than success with a child whose life has always run smoothly.
By six-thirty I had picked up Miss Marion Dickerman and her mother, and my sister-in-law, Mrs. J. R. Roosevelt, and we went to the Methodist Church in the village for the Democratic Women's Club meeting, at which Miss Dickerman spoke. She took the Republican convention as her topic, and I thought she gave the women present some very good material with which to work.
At the dinner I had a chance to talk to many of the women who have boys in faraway places. One of them told me that her boy is a Marine and has been in the Pacific for nearly two years. These long stretches of duty, without any fixed rotation policy, give people so little to which they can look forward. I hope that before long it will be possible to tell men more definitely that at the end of certain periods of service in far distant places, they may be able to get home for a given length of time.
Now for a "second" item. Mrs. Arthur Terry asks me to please add to what I said the other day about her work. Everybody getting eye-glasses through her charity gets an examination by a competent eye man, and new lenses are provided. No money is spent on overhead, so this can be done out of what is paid for the old gold.