JULY 26, 1944
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C., Tuesday—It was so easy to fall into the routine at home again that I hated the thought of leaving for New York City on Monday, but I promised long ago to go down to North Carolina for two days with the Missionary Conference of the Methodist Church.
Lake Junaluska, where the meeting is being held, is a really lovely place and has a cooler summer climate than the Hudson River. I have been quite busy while here, and if I had had more time I could have visited many more nearby places. One thing I regretted very much not being able to do. I was asked to visit Black Mountain College. I have long been interested in this college and would have liked very much to see it, but I wanted to get home, for it is only during the summer months that I can really have any consecutive time at Hyde Park.
I think I forgot to mention to you a book which I read not long ago by Markoosha Fischer, called "My Lives in Russia." I like this book very much. It is an honest book, and depicts the changes which came about in Russia as they affected different parts of the population, in a way which to me was most interesting. Mrs. Fischer was, of course, not much affected by things which were done to groups of people with whom she had little personal contact before. But when the changes touched her own group she began to see them, as we all do, through her own personal feelings. I doubt if any of us can get away from this kind of reaction. Being objective is a matter of long training, and I am not sure that even scientists always attain it.
On the train, I read a little book written rather like a series of letters, called "Dear Shut-In." It is addressed to the people who have to bear long illnesses and perhaps even long periods of physical handicap. The author, Roscoe Gilmore Stott, quite evidently has an understanding of the problem that faces invalids. His own semi-invalid childhood and his fight against partial blindness give him keen sympathy, but I am not sure whether he has found the best way to teach his own philosophy, which has evidently been a courageous and successful one. I think perhaps the story of his own experiences, without any explanations, might prove easier for the average person to use in the way which fits each case best.
Mr. George Biddle's account of his experience in the war, as given in his new book, "Artist At War," is made very alive by his numerous drawings. His diary is interesting and entertaining, and I put it down with a sense of regret that the project for sending artists to the war fronts had come to an end, for I am sure they would have recorded some things far better than the photographers.