JULY 31, 1946
EN ROUTE TO CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, Tuesday JULY 31, 1946—I read with a great deal of interest an item which came from Mexico City not long ago. In their famed National Opera, Verdi's "Aida" was sung by an American soprano, Ellabelle Davis. She might have made her debut on the operatic stage in her own country, where she has made a name for herself on the concert stage, but racial prejudice is hard to overcome.
So perhaps she will go on from Mexico to sing other operas in other South American countries. Perhaps when Europe has been rehabilitated, she will sing there. And if she is great enough, someday some opera company in the United States may have courage enough to let her sing in an operatic performance in her own country.
We in the United States do let our prejudices spoil our enjoyment of talent. Sometimes it seems a little foolish, but perhaps it gives us more pleasure to let the rest of the world decide whether or not our citizens are great artists before we make the decision ourselves.
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After stopping overnight in Portland, Maine, I have driven on up the coast, looking for familiar landmarks as I went. Where was that nut shop or that place where, in the past, I stopped to buy jellies or jams? On the way up to Campobello Island, I used to make acquisitions which my family enjoyed, since it is not very easy on the island to get a variety of food. Gardens are late, but fish is always plentiful there.
I may be in time for the late strawberries, because they ripen slowly. They have a wonderful flavor, somewhat like the ones grown on the Ile d'Orleans, in the St. Lawrence River, near Quebec. These are famous for their delicious flavor. It used to be easy, when we had a boat, to go and come to the mainland, but a storm destroyed our boathouse and our boat last winter.
On August 1, a monument will be unveiled in the little village of Welchpool, Campobello Island, N.B., in memory of my husband, who went there so often in his boyhood and early manhood and loved not only the island itself but the waters all around it. He knew the coast of New Brunswick and of Nova Scotia and was as good a sailor man thereabouts as many of the natives. They asked me particularly to try to be in Campobello on August 1, so I am glad that, with my son Elliott and his family, I will be there. Soon afterward, we will start for home.