MARCH 13, 1947
SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday—As always, I am struck by California's beautiful flowers. Ever since we have been here, people have been giving us flowers from their gardens—the loveliest camellias, irises, daffodils. In other words, spring is already here.
A violent controversy goes on in the city of San Francisco over the removal of the old cable cars. People are passionate about it and I can understand why, for to most of us the cable cars climbing these steep hills are among the first things we think of when we call this city to mind.
To me, however, the beautiful views of the bay and the bridges are the greatest charm that living here would hold. My young friend Mrs. Hershey Martin's apartment on Telegraph Hill is like the deck of a ship. You would never have claustrophobia there. Miles and miles of space greet you as you look out of every window. There is nothing to impede your view.
The other day, we drove up into the hills near San Rafael to lunch with some young friends of mine—Mr. and Mrs. Evans Houghton. They are living in a little cottage deep among the redwoods. Their baby, as she grows up in the shadow of those immense trees, will certainly have a sense of time and space. Redwoods do not burn even in a forest fire—they simply blacken. There they stand, defiant of most of the things which wipe out our forests, and so they grow to be thousands of years old. I think they are the most awe-inspiring trees that we have in this whole country.
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Yesterday morning, I took a stroll through Chinatown and visited my old friend Suey Chong. He is now receiving goods from China, but he deprecatingly said that silks were still very expensive and therefore the goods made from them were expensive. I am afraid we were not very good customers but our welcome was nevertheless a warm one. In looking into the shops here, one sees that some goods which were impossible to get during the war, such as rattan furniture, are being produced again, so that an order can be filled in a month or six weeks.
My old friend Miss Flora Rose, who used to be head of the College of Home Economics at Cornell, came over from Berkeley to have lunch with me yesterday. She is just as full of interests as ever, and is now conducting a Red Cross course for the wives of G.I.'s studying at the University of California. They have to live in cramped quarters and she has the greatest admiration for their fortitude and cheerfulness. I am sure that no one ever did so much active work after retirement as does Miss Rose.
In the afternoon, Mrs. Thomas Dillon drove us to her lovely home in the hills back of Oakland, where we sat with her and her husband and watched the sunset over the bay. We enjoyed every minute until it was time to go to my evening lecture for the YWCA in Oakland.