OCTOBER 13, 1947
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I know I should have read Mrs. George C. Marshall's book, "Together," when it came out last year, but I am always behind these days in reading anything which might be called "reading for pleasure." If Mrs. Marshall had not kindly sent me this book herself a few days ago, I might not even have read it now! As it is, I have enjoyed several midnight hours propped up in bed, smiling and sometimes even laughing aloud—and at other times, finding it hard not to weep with a courageous woman who has lived her life so fully and contributed so much to her husband's ability to serve his country.
I have long had a great admiration for General George Catlett Marshall but, not having known him well personally, it was a reflection of my husband's admiration and confidence. Anyone reading this book, however, gets the real feeling of two very lovable people, with qualities of heart and mind and character which made it possible for them to meet the requirements of a situation such as no former Chief of Staff and his wife had ever met. How fortunate it is that Mrs. Marshall has a sense of humor. The story about the general lying flat on the ground to plant his garden, because he was too tired to stand up, is quite delightful. He was really practicing the old theory that we draw strength from Mother Earth, and I think there is more truth in that than we know.
I cannot help being sorry, however, that those exciting plans for retirement and life in the two homes that were so eagerly bought and arranged, have not yet materialized. The sad thing about being super-competent in this world is that super-competent people are so rare they are always needed.
General Marshall was the architect of victory in a war such as had never been fought before in the annals of our world. Now he is struggling on quite a different front, and in my heart there is a very constant prayer that he may be equally successful as the architect of peace. We had to win a war or we would not now have the chance to fight to win the peace. It is just as difficult and as wearying a task, and it is the character of our Secretary of State that may bring us through to a victory for the peoples of the world. This means no retirement, however, and a continuation of the years of unselfish service given by both of these two fine human beings. May the victory for peace come soon so that Mr. and Mrs. Marshall may successfully win and enjoy their years of retirement.
* * *
If you want a charming little story to fill a half hour, get "The Day They Gave Babies Away," by Dale Eunson. It is a story of pioneer life and of how even children, when forced to meet tragic situations, measure up to them. As you read you will smile and I think you may even wipe away a tear; but you will end up convinced that people are still generous-hearted. The same thing would happen today in any community in this country, I believe, if "The Day They Gave Babies Away" faced any little boys of ten and twelve.