SEPTEMBER 28, 1944
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday afternoon I had the great pleasure of a brief visit from Lily Pons and Andre Kostelanetz, her husband. I had asked them to come and tell me about the trip which they made to entertain our troops in Italy and the Near East. The heat, they said, was very intense for part of the time. They traveled at night, because travel in the sunny daytime was out of the question. Sanitary conditions, except in our camps, were non-existent, and so they ate army food, drank army water and lived as our soldiers live, and both of them told me they had never felt better in their lives.
Lily Pons said that she did all her own laundry and pressing, which any woman will appreciate is no easy thing when you travel and have to give several performances daily. They have come home, however, with the feeling that the audiences were among the best they have ever known, and they think the American soldier is a very wonderful individual!
I told them how grateful the whole nation feels for their efforts and those of the many other artists. They assured me that just being with the troops was a reward in itself, and they are anxious to go again.
Later, Mr. and Mrs. Quentin Reynolds came in for a few minutes. I was delighted to meet Mrs. Reynolds, who knows some of my children, but whom I have never met before.
In the evening we went to see "Song of Norway," which is an operetta based on the life of Edvard Grieg. It was altogether delightful and I enjoyed every minute of the evening.
I started my Christmas shopping in the morning, and though much still lies ahead of me, I could not help feeling very virtuous as I walked along, feeling quite warm and realizing how far away Christmas still is.
The Washington, D.C., chairman of the "War Bonds for Babies" drive is Mrs. Nathan Hurwitz. She has set herself the task of trying to inspire the purchase of a bond for every child in every home in the District; and she hopes that other cities and rural districts all over the country will follow suit. A very attractive certificate is sent to each child bond-holder, decorated with all the favorite characters in the Walt Disney movies. As the babies grow, these bonds will grow in value. They are really a very good investment, and someday they may serve to remind some child, who has almost forgotten, that wars have been fought to give him a peaceful world and that these bonds were once part of the price gladly paid for the preservation of freedom.