OCTOBER 1, 1946
HYDE PARK, Monday—Last Friday and Saturday were beautiful, blue-sky, early-autumn days, but yesterday, while the air was soft, the sky was gray. And during the night and this morning, rain has been falling intermittently. In fact, in the night, I was awakened by flashes of lightning and one great clap of thunder, which seemed a bit out of season.
Living opposite the Catskill Mountains as a child, I was brought up on the theory that all thunderstorms were just the result of a game of bowls played by Hendrik Hudson and his men—which isn't such a bad theory with which to start life, for you don't have any fear of nature's hidden forces when you think of them as giant balls rolling around in the mountains!
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These are the days when an open fire and a book are a joy. And incidentally, last evening, for the first time in many weeks, I enjoyed some of the phonograph records which I have been hoarding for leisure moments. Marian Anderson's voice, singing some of her most beautiful songs, seemed to float into the room and to change the mood of nearly everyone there.
There is a quality about her voice which is very moving and, after several of her records had been played, I found myself looking for something entirely different. We turned to Irving Berlin's "This Is the Army" songs, which sent us to bed in a reminiscent mood and with the thought that we were lucky not to have to send those shows around the country any more, no matter how good they were!
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I read Rose Franken's "Young Claudia" yesterday. Claudia has always been one of my favorite characters—a little brittle in spots and over-witty perhaps, since I am sure no one in real life is ever so constantly amusing, but nevertheless a real person and appealing.
In this new book, the story of the war is told, and Claudia is not quite so young, not quite so pat in all of her sayings. I like her better and I think many a young woman will relive her feelings as she reads this book. The post-war readjustment may vary a little, but probably every girl whose husband went away to war and came back will have some similar experiences to stack up against Claudia's.
Claudia's final decision that the theater world is not so much fun as real living won't get through to many a young actress, unless they have had some of the same trials and tribulations. In some ways I think the picture of the theater world is painted rather too harshly. For instance, with all his peculiarities, Claudia's producer must have had a touch of genius or he would not have been such a success—and genius does compensate for minor faults.