AUGUST 16, 1946
NEW YORK, Thursday—I am sorry to have to write a different type of column from what I have been writing but, unfortunately, while driving down from Hyde Park yesterday, I must have become drowsier than I realized and, before I knew it, I had come head on with another car in a collision and then sideswiped a second one. I was terrified to think that someone else might have been hurt.
My son's maid, whom I had in my car, was slightly injured but I hope she will be all right in a few days. And the little grandson of another maid fortunately was not hurt. The hospital tells me that the people in the other cars were not seriously hurt, either, but I know what a terrible shock this must have been for all of them. I have never had a motor accident before and had no idea that the sun, together with the fact that I had no one sitting by to talk to me, could have such a bad effect in making me so drowsy. I can only be thankful to a kind providence if no one was seriously hurt.
I myself am quite well, though for some time I shall look as though I had been in a football game without having taken any training! My eyes are black and blue. In fact, I am black and blue pretty much all over. If I tied a bandana around my head, I think I would resemble some of the Pirates of Penzance. I am told that I will feel more of a reaction in the next few days, but at present I just feel that I have much to be grateful for and that what little discomfort I have should be borne most cheerfully.
This accident, I am afraid, will prevent my doing a number of things which I had planned to do during the next few weeks, because I am quite sure no one would like to see me! However, many years ago, I read a little pamphlet entitled "The Indispensable Man," which could just as well be entitled "The Indispensable Woman," and I know that others will be found who will do a better job on the things which I had undertaken for the next few weeks.
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I am interested to find how many things the doctor can find to think about when you have had an accident! There are many things that can go wrong, but, thank heavens, none of them did with me.
However, I had to spend three and a half hours at the dentist's this morning. A great many years ago, on the steps of the station in Utica, when I was on my way to make a speech one wintry day, I fell and cracked both my front teeth, chipping bits off of them. As a result, I suppose, they were fragile, and so, in this accident, they broke off about halfway up. Now I shall have two lovely porcelain ones, which will look far better than the rather protruding large teeth which most of the Roosevelts have. However, three hours and a half is a long while to spend with the dentist under the best of circumstances, and I must go back to him tomorrow and again next week.
I was able yesterday to wait until I saw that everyone else had been taken care of. A very kind gentleman, Mr. Harold Godfrey, who was on his way to Newburgh, turned around and took me the rest of the way into New York. I shall always think of him as the Good Samaritan. His kindness and his efforts to cheer me up, by assuring me that no one was badly hurt and that the cars were not too badly damaged, were much appreciated. He was probably being more optimistic than he was justified in being. Nevertheless, it was comforting and I was deeply grateful.
Above everything else, I was grateful for being brought to my own door before I looked too badly. I think I shall be wearing a veil for some time, but there are a good many people who will feel that that is rather an advantage, since good looks have never been my strong point!