APRIL 19, 1947
NEW YORK, Friday—It is horrible to look at the papers these days and see pictures of one of our own towns in Texas which look like pictures taken of some badly bombed area during the war. I hope there will be a very careful investigation to ascertain the reason for the first explosion which touched off this major catastrophe.
As always, the Red Cross has come to the fore and is rushing supplies and help of every kind. In some places there has been a feeling that we do not have to support the Red Cross as we did during the war. It is well, therefore, to be reminded that there are peacetime jobs as well as wartime ones for which the Red Cross is essential.
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I have been without a voice for the last few days and I find it particularly easy to get by on the telephone without being recognized! It is almost impossible for anyone to hear what I say, let alone know who is speaking.
I had four visitors yesterday afternoon and all I could think of was that it was fortunate that they did the talking because it certainly was difficult for me to talk to them! One of them came to tell me about a new conception he has for producing a more significant kind of moving picture. It certainly was most interesting and I found it fascinating to listen to him. But I always wonder whether the public will come up to expectations and really justify the confidence which some idealists have in the people's good taste and desire for really excellent pictures.
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Another visitor was a business man who was plunged into gloom. "We are headed for the worst depression in history," said he. "Inflation will get worse. Strikes will continue. Look at the telephone strike. In the end, we will have deflation and everybody will have to go back to earning a living from scratch."
I have heard these things before. But my first reaction to the telephone strike is that, on the whole, we manage to get on very well without the telephone working full time. While I suppose we will go back to our old dependence on it, since it is a great convenience, still it has been proved that we can, if necessary, curtail many of the conveniences which we now consider essential.
I always ask these prophets of evil what they would advise us to do, but so far I have met with no success whatsoever. They simply have no suggestions. They want to dig a little hole for themselves, crawl into it, and pull the dirt in after them. It is lucky that there are not too many of them and that we still have a few people who have faith in themselves and in their country. I am a great believer in hard work, and I shall not be surprised if we find ourselves facing a period when hard work will be glorified in much the same way as was done in the pioneer days!