MAY 24, 1949
NEW YORK, Monday—Saturday evening in Rhinebeck Village, I spoke at the annual dinner of the Dutchess County Council of the Boy Scouts. At the gathering were the leaders of scout troops and the women who were interested in the Cubs—all of them deeply concerned about the value of scouting and how it could help to prepare the children of today to take their place in the world more successfully.
I was surprised at the size of the crowd, considering it was just a county affair, and we filled the old Beekman Arms hotel to overflowing. Everyone likes to go to this old hotel, which proudly flaunts it age by advertising on the village street that it is the oldest hotel in the country. I will say that is has been modernized in the last few years, but it has kept its charm.
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It was a joy to have Kathleen McLaughlin with us for Saturday and Sunday. She is back after four years in Germany for the New York Times and feels that the worst years are over over there, but much depends on the ability of the German leaders in the coming reconstruction period.
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The Hyde Park Historical Association placed its first historical marker in Hyde Park Sunday afternoon. The inscription was written by Claude Bowers and placed on what was once the house belonging to Colonel and Mrs. Archibald Rogers. It is now the home of the Roosevelt School.
Since in the annals of my husband's childhood it is written that he used to have lessons in this house with the Rogers children, the Historical Association wished to place their first marker here.
I had not been in the house since it had been turned into a school. I remembered it very well in the old days when we were all children and it was often the center for young people's parties. Dances during the Christmas holidays; coasting and skating, with tea or supper at this hospitable home; and, when we were even smaller, dancing classes all through the autumn weeks, which drew children all the way from Hudson on the north and Fishkill in the south, were only some of the activities we enjoyed. Those were not the days of automobiles. We took a train down from Tivoli, where I lived with my grandmother, had our lessons and our supper and then were driven to the station and took a train home, arriving at what for us was a very late hour after another drive of five miles by horse and cart.
I was usually shy and frightened because I lived an entirely lonely life, with few children of my own age nearby. I had no ear for music and therefore danced extremely badly! My father sang well, loved music and had a real sense of rhythm. My mother played the piano and danced well. Something was certainly left out of me—at least at that early age—and what little appreciation of music I since have acquired has been acquired with toil and effort and was certainly not a gift of the gods!
Senator Estes Kefauver flew up from Washington to speak at this small meeting, which brought together the members of the Historical Association, the children of the school and their parents. Afterward I took the Senator over to see our old house and the library, but it was a hurried visit and he had to be on his way back to Washington.