OCTOBER 23, 1944
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday I accompanied my husband on his trip around New York. It is a long time since we have done anything of this kind. In spite of the bad weather, it was an interesting experience, and I was glad that the President had this stimulating drive and could attend the rally for Senator Wagner.
The luncheon Friday for the Democratic National Committee was made really delightful by Clifton Fadiman, who presided and, in addition, made a very eloquent speech. In the afternoon, I enjoyed the exhibition at the Vanderbilt Gallery very much. There are some very interesting portraits and pieces of sculpture included. Jo Davidson has made a tremendous head of the President which faces you as you go in, and is enlarged from the small one. Both are remarkable likenesses. The whole back of the room is a photographic story of the nearly twelve years that now lie behind the Roosevelt administration. For once, statistics are not dry, since they are accompanied by very illuminating and interesting photographs.
Friday evening I saw Rose Franken's play, "Soldier's Wife." It is witty and entertaining; and though perhaps no real lesson was intended, it certainly carries one. Starting out with a remark which I have heard many, many times—"I had to learn to do things"—the story tells the tale of so many returning husbands who have not found the clinging vines they left behind, and are not quite sure that they like it.
This particular soldier's wife found herself an authoress overnight, but decided that her marriage meant more to her than all the possibilities temptingly held out to her. There may be a good many wives to whom this play will be more than an entertaining evening.
I had a very nice note from a French woman who took refuge in England when France fell. She says: "I may mention that for the past ten months I have had the good fortune of meeting and entertaining some of your boys in khaki. I think they are real, grand 'guys,' from a grand country. I have made several friends amongst them, and would like you to know that their behavior has been of the best. They have shown kind hearts toward the children over here, and lovely consideration toward the aged people. All in all, I think their presence in our midst has given us the opportunity of knowing your people and of appreciating the very nice way in which your boys have been brought up. Personally, I have nothing but praise to give on their behalf; and thanks to one of them, now somewhere in France, I have been able to ascertain that my parents are still all right after four years under the German heel."