JULY 15, 1948
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday morning I awoke to find a gray sky, but could not believe that it would really rain when we were having all of the Wiltwyck School boys over here for a picnic. Nevertheless, it rained all the time I was walking my dogs in the woods, and it went right on raining until about three o'clock in the afternoon when the boys were ready to go home.
They came anyway, as planned, and we improvised hurriedly, dividing them up into three groups and feeding them on three covered porches. We never tried to have the whole school together before, but even under the disadvantage of the rain it worked so well that I think I shall plan it as an annual picnic.
After lunch we had them all sit on the floor for a little while in the living room of our guest cottage and I read "Toomai, of the Elephants," from Rudyard Kipling's jungle book. The boys loved it, though their only acquaintance with elephants probably has been in the zoo.
Before they went home they did manage to have a tug-of-war, and one boy caught a fish. They ate to their hearts' content and 30 quarts of milk disappeared down throats that seemed to think one glass of milk was nothing. Afterwards, when they had played a while, they did away with a goodly number of bottles of various kinds of soda. My only concern was that I hoped the mixture of the two beverages would set well with all the youngsters.
A great many of the boys, in saying good-bye, thanked me for the pleasant time they had enjoyed. This always impresses me because sometimes it seems so hard to teach such good manners to one's own children, and here these children with such tragic backgrounds seem to acquire this type of good manners naturally.
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Today I am on my way to Westport, Conn., where Mrs. Laura Gardin Fraser has been kind enough to invite us to her studio for the presentation of the Chi Omega National Achievement Award to Mrs. Anna Huntington. I am happy that Mrs. Huntington is to be the recipient of this award and also pleased that I can attend the presentation.
From Westport, I shall have to go to New York City to attend a dinner of the international group of doctors who have been meeting to discuss infantile paralysis under the auspices of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. It is my sincere hope that we may learn something from the doctors from overseas and that they may learn something from us. Only the other day I read that there are a number of cases of polio in Germany.
Thursday I will be returning here, bringing with me another grandson, aged six and a half, who will, I am sure, add to our joy and should have a good time with all the little boys who are running around here.