SEPTEMBER 19, 1949
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Wednesday afternoon I spoke at the Patterson Club, near Bridgeport, Connecticut. This club belongs to the employees of the General Electric Company, who have made it one of the most attractive places I have seen. It has a wonderful golf course and a charming garden around the house, much of which the members have done themselves with their own labor. I spoke for the women's organization, the Wilson Club, which takes its name from Charles Wilson, president of the company, and he was there to attend the meeting and introduce me.
In the course of conversation Mr. Wilson told me he had spent some years in Bridgeport working in the plant, and always liked to come back. That afternoon he had been much interested in looking at all the new General Electric improvements to their various products, and he reminded me that he used to try and persuade my husband to use an electric blanket, but that my husband always fought shy of the idea. I am sure my husband wasn't very certain at that time about the safety of these "new gadgets," as he called them, but Mr. Wilson now assures me they are completely safe and the most wonderful thing for people who like to sleep with a great deal of fresh air, even in winter.
I shall try one on my sleeping porch and perhaps I shall even be able to brave the winter months. Last year I reached a point where I could not keep warm, but I had no electric blanket. Mr. Wilson also looked at me in surprise when I told him that I have no electric dishwasher, and I foresee that before long I shall have to become as modern in my kitchen as I am in my laundry.
It was an interesting and alert group of women at the club. They seemed to be alive to the problems of the United Nations and anxious to know more about the work of the Human Rights Commission. After dinner with them I motored on to Westbrook, Connecticut, and stayed the night with Miss Esther Lape. Next morning I left for Newport, Rhode Island, where I spoke at luncheon to the Navy Line Women's Club at the Navy station. These women are the wives of men who have stayed on in the Navy to take an extensive course of study, covering two years' work in 10 months. This means they have little time for entertainment. The Women's Club has therefore tried to provide interest and entertainment for the wives, who come from all over the United States and might easily find themselves rather lost with busy husbands in a new community.
The interest again seemed very great in the United Nations and I probably could have spoken longer. But I had to make a ferry which would get me back to Miss Lape in time for dinner, as Governor and Mrs. Chester Bowles were to be there. We had a very pleasant evening and I was interested to find that one of Governor Bowles' main concerns in his state is over education. They need a building program in the state—but apparently this is not a unique problem, for right here in Dutchess County our elementary and grade schools are already much overcrowded even though we did some building during my husband's administrations in Washington.
Back at Hyde Park on Friday to find the usual accumulation of mail. Having met with my advisers for the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, I am beginning to realize that there is also plenty of work awaiting me there tomorrow.