SEPTEMBER 2, 1944
HYDE PARK, Friday—Yesterday Dean Mildred Thompson of Vassar College lunched with us. I am afraid I chose a very bad day to invite her, because she told me her office was full of freshmen every minute. Still, I hope it was good for her to get a little rest, and we certainly enjoyed having her with us.
In the afternoon I went up to the county fair. My primary purpose was to attend the swearing in of a WAC, a very charming lady from Pawling, N.Y., whose husband kissed her good-bye after she took the oath of office. As I watched the little ceremony, I could not help thinking that it was probably a joint sacrifice.
There is one similarity in the service rendered by both men and women who enter the armed forces—they abdicate completely all personal liberty for the period of the war. I am sure this must be the most difficult thing for both men and women. An American must find it hard not to be able to say: "I am going here or there," or "I won't do this or that," or "I will do thus and so." What a complete reversal of our whole attitude in life, and yet millions of us have seemed to accept it.
Afterward we went through the grange exhibits, and I was very proud of the Chapel Corners Grange. Their booth looked charming. In fact, all of them were interesting, and showed that in spite of the war and many limitations in the way of labor and supplies, the farmers are managing to carry on and do a magnificent job.
I have often marvelled at Kansas corn, but I drove past a field in this neighborhood, the other day, where the corn stood well above my head. I have rarely seen a finer field, so that I might almost boast that Dutchess County can compete with Kansas.
We also went through the 4-H Clubs exhibit, and the future farmers are coming along. These youngsters have won many prizes; and the girls, with their homemaking products, have done as well as the boys.
I wonder how many of my readers know Kipling's story, "They." It is an eerie and sad little tale, in a way. Yet with its insistence on the value of love which transcends all separations, it carries a meaning and may be of some comfort, I feel, to many who suffer losses at the present time.
To those of us who read the stories of the people of Paris in these first days of liberation, there must come, I think, a great admiration for the indomitable human spirit. Correspondents write that the Parisian woman, despite the years of suffering, is still well-dressed. The soles of her shoes may be of wood and the tops of fabric—but the colors are attractive, and nothing can down the Parisian woman's chic.