DECEMBER 21, 1948
HYDE PARK, Monday—When a storm such as we had on Sunday hits New York City it becomes an entirely different place. My son, Elliott, and I went down to the city in the late afternoon, and, as we got off the train at 125th Street, it seemed as if few taxicabs and buses were braving the weather. People were standing around hopelessly looking for transportation.
A kind policeman got us a taxi and we made our way to the lot on 124th Street and Amsterdam Avenue where our Christmas trees are being sold. Elliott thought the storm had made it such a slow day there would be discouragement among the men who were selling them and it would give them a lift to have us drop by. He was right in thinking they would have a slow day. In a storm such as that, New York City people stay at home.
We found when we proceeded to the lot on Second Avenue and 35th Street that they had made some sales, however, but still business was slow.
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Then we attended for a brief half hour a dinner of the Jewish Philanthropic League of Brooklyn, which was kind enough to give me an award for my interest in various phases of welfare work, particularly child welfare since that is the main field in which they do their work. This organization has a nursery, it gives scholarships to students who cannot afford to finish school, and it helps families in trouble when illness or disability comes to make life more difficult.
As the women told of their work I felt they were doing a very personal service, which is always the most effective and useful in this field. I was very pleased to be honored with their award, and I had an opportunity to tell them a little about some of the work I had seen being done for young people by the ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation Through Training) in Paris on a non-sectarian basis.
I told them also of some of the very excellent work I saw in a Jewish displaced persons' camp near Stuttgart, Germany, where they not only run a school for the youngsters but train many of the older people in new skills that will be useful when they settle, as most of them hope to do, in the new state of Israel.
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After our brief stay at this dinner we were lucky enough to catch a taxi and reach the station in time to get the 9:45 train back to Poughkeepsie. The train was only 10 minutes late and we were home by midnight or shortly after.
At home here the storm has made everything beautiful. All the evergreen trees are covered with snow and there is ice enough on the brook to make it all look like a white blanket.
I am busy getting Christmas things prepared and I am only sorry that I will have to go to New York City at all before Christmas, now that we have this real Christmas weather. I even feel that I would like to forget that I ever was in Paris and that we ever wrote a Universal Bill of Human Rights. But I mustn't be self-indulgent, so tomorrow or the following day in this column I shall try to answer a number of questions that have come to me on this subject.