JULY 27, 1949
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I must acknowledge in my column the numerous telegrams and letters that have come to me in the last few days. I am a little overwhelmed by the amount of mail that confronts us as a result of Cardinal Spellman's letter.
It is too early as yet to do more than thank those who have written or telegraphed, but at some point, soon I will try to give a brief analysis of what these letters say. I am appreciative, of course, of those who tell me of their support, and I want them to know it means a great deal to me to understand how they feel on the questions involved in this difference of opinion.
I am glad to hear also from those who for one reason or another disagree with me. I like to weigh very carefully all points of view. So far the percentage of disagreements, however, has been very small, but I feel sure that the usual pattern will establish itself shortly. Anyone accustomed to hearing from the public knows that those who disagree usually write in far greater numbers than those who agree. In this case, however, the reverse seems to be true.
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When you hear of one thing being done for shut-ins and write about it, somebody is sure to write about something else that is equally as good or along the same lines.
I mentioned some time ago a project of taking films to shut-ins, which I heard of in St. Louis. Now there comes to me from Columbus, Ohio, the story of another project that is extremely interesting. It is sponsored by the Pilot Club of Columbus, and other individuals and civic-minded organizations have helped in the fund raising. They call it "Projected Books."
This undertaking involves the projection on the ceiling of the pages of a book so that the patient lying flat on his back may read. The machine required to do this is easily managed with a foot or a hand or even with the chin. These machines are not sold to individuals but are made available to hospitals or organizations that will agree to circulate them among a group of shut-ins.
Think what it would mean if you could not sit up or were not able to hold a book in your hands to be able to lie on your back and read a book merely by touching a little button when you wished to turn the pages. This is another idea that seems well worth being developed in many communities.
Since I wrote about the St. Louis program, I have heard from several places where other people already have had this experiment going or were contemplating organizing something of this kind.
All these ideas to make life more interesting to people who are not able to leave home deserve our support and encouragement.