DECEMBER 9, 1944
NEW YORK, Friday—I began the morning yesterday with a 9:30 visitor, and then went out to do a little necessary shopping, arriving at the Sale for the Blind at 608 Fifth Avenue, which is one of the charity sales I never miss at this season.
I was interested to see the blind gentleman who makes the little angel heads which I like so much, and which at different times I believe I have given to almost all my grandchildren. The first one ever given to me hangs over my bed in this apartment, and, if I remember rightly, someone gave it to me right after the last war.
I bought my usual quota of dish towels and knitted articles, and also some of the lovely weaving, which I think the blind do better than many of us who can watch our fingers move. I am always tempted to buy some of the very fine brooms or mops which they make; but they are rather awkward to carry around the streets of New York, and yesterday my packages had to go with me as far as John Golden's office, where Miss Thompson and I were meeting him to go to lunch at Sardi's.
In the afternoon at 3 o'clock I went down to New York University to speak at their Pearl Harbor ceremonies. Chancellor Chase was also a speaker, and gave a very fine talk. When I came out, not only some of the young people who had been at the meeting, but a whole troupe of youngsters between the ages of six and ten were waiting to walk the two blocks back to my apartment with me! I could not imagine what they were doing there, until I discovered that they were on their way to Greenwich House. Once there, they told me, they did modelling, worked in the gym and played games.
Pointing to one of the little boys who was dancing ahead of me, a youngster walking at my side said: "He's building a house," and another child said: "I'm helping him." There was no question but that Greenwich House to these youngsters was a place of joy and an outlet for their creative urges. I could not help thinking how much Mrs. Mary Simkhovitch had done for many, many of the young people of this neighborhood since she had opened the doors of this well-known settlement house.
I had a few friends to tea to talk about Wiltwyck School, and finally a last visitor came in for a few minutes at 6:30. Afterward, Miss Thompson and I went out to dine and to see the new apartment of some young friends of ours who have just settled down near La Guardia Field. They are fortunate indeed, for apparently a roof over your head is as hard to find in New York City as it is in Washington or any of the other towns that have become crowded because of the war.