NOVEMBER 22, 1944
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday, in a number of places throughout the country, memorial services were held at the same time that funeral services took place at Groton for the late Rev. Endicott Peabody, who founded the school and was its headmaster for so many years.
Being the head of school, whether you are training boys or girls, is a tremendously important piece of work. It is hard to evaluate how far the influence of a man or woman with strong personality may reach. In the case of Mr. Peabody, he was always a forceful person, and his influence affected not only the boys, but the parents with whom he came in contact.
As the years went on, his influence became even greater. Not every boy loved him, but I think I have never heard of a Groton student who did not respect the Rector. I am sure that throughout this nation there are many men today who owe much that they have done in life to the personal influence of Mr. Peabody. His loss, even at the age of 87, will be a shock and grief to many people.
On Sunday in Washington, a number of old friends came to luncheon, among them Bishop Atwood, who was one of Mr. Peabody's oldest friends. They knew Arizona in the early days, and of late years they had made it a practice to visit each other several times during the year. One of the sad things about growing old must be to see one's friends depart on the greatest of all adventures, and to find the world growing lonely. It is perhaps this gradual feeling of detachment, however, that makes it easier for us older people to cross the last bar with apparent ease and equanimity.
I stopped in for a few minutes Sunday afternoon at a meeting of a government girls club, held at the Women's City Club in Washington. Some of the counselors present, and some of the girls themselves, seem to feel very strongly that a central meeting place for government girls is a very great lack in Washington. Before I left I promised to talk this over again with other interested people.
On Monday, between 10 and 3, I attended the Rosenwald Fund semi-annual meeting in Chicago, and then I went to the Stevens Hotel to speak before the CIO convention. I was glad to see Sidney Hillman looking young and well, and apparently no more affected by the slings and arrows cast at him during the last campaign than any of the other prominent figures who engaged in this political battle.
I had hoped to be able to fly back for the meeting here this morning of the Committee for the Care of European Children. Unfortunately, I had to take the train, which meant that I could not arrive in time.