JULY 24, 1948
HYDE PARK, Friday—When I looked at the picture of General Pershing's funeral, with the rain coming down, I could not help thinking how appropriate it was for the skies to weep at the passing of a great man.
I had not seen the General very often in the last few years, but once or twice during the last war, when I would visit the Walter Reed Hospital, I had the pleasure of speaking to him for a few minutes. He had great dignity, and one was always conscious of the fact that here was a man who had lived his life according to the highest standards of service as he understood them. That is perhaps one of the best examples that an American citizen can give to his country.
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I drove many miles yesterday through the New England countryside and it was very beautiful. I got up at 4:30 A.M. and it was still dark, so I saw the dawn and early morning light gradually creeping up from the East. We actually left the house at 5:30 A.M. and, in spite of a flat tire, we reached the municipal airport outside of New Bedford, Mass., at exactly the moment when my granddaughter Chandler's plane was due.
I told my son that such good calculation was almost more than one could expect of trains and that it would never happen if I drove the car! There was a little mix-up in Nantucket from where my granddaughter was leaving, so for a few minutes we thought we might be in for a long wait despite our carefully planned schedule.
On the way back we stopped in Fall River and called on the postmistress, Mrs. Louis Howe. After a few minutes' chat, we went on until we found a nice place by the water, not far from Providence, where we ate our picnic lunch among the trees.
When we reached Avon, Conn., on the chance of finding Mrs. Joseph Alsop at home, we stopped at her farm. To our joy, she was there and we were refreshed with wonderful iced tea and good talk, and finally we had a chance to look at the barns, which are a sight to rejoice any farmer's eye.
After we left, my son sighed: "That shows me how far I will have to go, and I thought I had done pretty well to get thirty cows!" Chandler and her father were particularly interested in the nursery, where the smallest calves are kept, and the sheds beyond, where the older ones are left in greater freedom.
We were home in time for a swim before dinner and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a part of the country that I love, and this year everything is wonderfully green and lush.
I felt a little guilty, however, because I knew there were so many tasks at home that needed to be done. When I got back, though, I found that without my "invaluable" assistance, a bushel basket of currants had been made into juice and jelly, and the raspberries in the garden had been picked. We had the latter for dessert at dinnertime. This proves that—provided you are fortunate—if you run out on your duties, somebody else does them for you.