MARCH 23, 1946
LOS ANGELES, Friday—On the way here, we stopped off in Tucson, but it was a rather short visit, since we did not get there till just before lunch, and left early the next morning. I had lunch with my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Robinson, and then went over to the Arizona Inn, which was built by my friend Mrs. King after the last war.
She started it largely so that she could help the veterans who had come to Arizona in search of health, by letting them make the furniture for the inn. It is a fascinating place which spreads around a delightful garden, and I was grateful for glimpses of what might have been very comfortable spots to sit and read if I had had time to do so.
In the afternoon, we met a group of civic leaders at tea, and then, after the evening lecture, we met another group. It was all very interesting, but it didn't leave us very much time for sleep since, the next morning, we had to be at the airport around 8:00 a.m.
Tucson is more of a pleasure and health resort than Phoenix, but the population is increasing rapidly as more people are coming in who intend to stay there permanently and make a living. It is slightly colder and more invigorating than Phoenix and, if you like the desert and the mountains all around you, it is a very delightful place to live. Many people who have been there only a few years claim they would rather live there than any other place in the world. I saw two of my old Todhunter School pupils and they both told me that they could not imagine living anywhere else. New York might be a nice place to visit now and then, said they, but the West, with its wide open spaces, was their choice for home for the rest of their lives.
In flying in to Los Angeles, we had snow-capped mountains on either side of us and soft white billowy clouds underneath. It was really a beautiful sight. But the most impressive time to fly in to Los Angeles is at night, when all the lights are on and the city lies below you like a multi-colored heap of jewels.
That afternoon, I drove over to Pasadena to see my grandchildren. My son Johnny and my daughter-in-law Anne are still in New York but their little Haven and Nina were excellent hosts and showed me their new home with great pride. We had a very happy tea party. They talked hard, and both at once, each one trying to tell of his or her particular interest. But Haven, aged 7, must have realized that I might not completely understand Nina, because he stopped in the middle of his own recital to point out to me what Nina was saying.
Looking at these healthy, happy children, I was reminded of some excerpts I had seen from letters written by some Dutch children. Here are some of the things they said:
"I have had the last nuts five years ago and...soap. Next Sunday, we should eat the prunes, and last evening we ate the party loaf and it tastes very fine. Mother was very glad with the tea. Last winter I had not gone to school for we had no coal, no gas and no lights and almost nothing to eat." And another: "Everybody here in the Netherlands is very thankful to the United States. I hope we will have the opportunity to do something for you."
Let us hope our children keep up their interest in these children in the war-torn lands. I can think of nothing that will strengthen the ties of friendship in the world so successfully.