JANUARY 24, 1950
PORTLAND, Ore., Monday—Meeting a great-grandson is a very pleasant experience. To find him smiling and cheerful at 7 p.m. is indicative of a very healthy young man, I think, at the age of five and a half months.
When he is flat on his back and smiles at you, he is just a very sweet baby. But he is so fat that when you sit him up he has a double chin and suddenly has the comical expression of an old gentleman. I have yet to hear him cry. He allowed me with perfect good humor to feed him his breakfast, which, considering that I am a stranger, was very good manners and showed an appreciation at a very young age of family ties.
How his mother ever carries him around is difficult to understand. Just as soon as he is able to walk, I am sure he will have the energy that takes off fat and his parents will have a time trying to keep up with him.
There are still some traces of snow around the house here and in spite of the marvelous West Coast weather, which has made the last few days I spend in California and in Oregon most unusual, we were not able to get into the Portland airport. It was still covered with ice from the bad storm that blew in from the Pacific. My granddaughter, Sistie, loves the snow, but there are few other people who share her enthusiasm for it.
We left the airport in Los Angeles at 8 A.M. on Sunday, about half an hour late because of the fog. When we reached San Francisco we were still over a nice soft blanket of "white wool." The huge clouds rose in mounds here and there but nowhere could we find a break and see the ground below.
We circled and circled and planes stacked up over the bank of fog and clouds until they finally told us that there were 10 or 12 planes waiting to land. I saw one plane fly by on one side and a little later as we dipped into the fog I saw a black shadow pass below us.
It is always a marvel to me under these circumstances how the planes are kept circling without interfering with one another. The threat was held over us that we might have to return to Salinas as our gas was getting low, which would have meant a 75-mile drive into San Francisco.
Fortunately, we did get down and to cheer us up for our delay the stewardess mentioned casually that the Constellations were still "sitting up there" because they were too big to come in. Even they came in, in time, but the fog was so thick and so low I marvelled again at the skill with which we actually made the landing.
Once on the ground I had to talk to the press and the usual photographs were taken. I was amused to find that one of the photographers was a man who was with me in Honolulu in the summer of 1943.
We had a cup of tea, we stood about, and we talked with some friends who had been waiting for hours just to say hello. Finally, we were put on a plane for Salem, Oregon, and told that we could motor from there to Portland and still be in time for my evening engagement.
Of course, we were not in time, but we did land all right in Salem. After changing our clothes at my granddaughter's, we reached the dinner that was given before the lecture only an hour and a half late. A very patient audience waited until 9 o'clock for the lecture to begin.
Such are the vicissitudes of winter travel.