MAY 29, 1950
NEW YORK, Sunday—I feel like Ulysses home from his journies! Saturday night, when I dined at the Colony restaurant with my old friend, Major Henry S. Hooker, it was hard to believe that since the previous Saturday midnight I had been to Los Angeles and back, had spent 24 hours in Washington, D.C., two nights in Boston and was back in New York City. A wedding, meetings at the State Department and with the President, a wonderful dinner of 1,400 people under the auspices of the Massachusetts Catholics, Protestants and Jews in Boston, where Eddie Cantor, Frank Leahy, Notre Dame coach, and I all received awards and spoke; delightful visits with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. John Cutter, and with my friends Mr. and Mrs. John Sargent, my granddaughter Sara Delano Roosevelt at Milton Academy, and my grandson, William Donner Roosevelt at St. Marks school, and a full day at Brandeis University—all lie behind me!
Two of the visits had a unique interest. On Friday last I was asked to lunch at the Window Shop in Cambridge, Mass. This enterprise was started by a few refugees and some Americans who wished to help them, and at first was hardly more than a little hole in the wall. Now they have an historic house, built in 1811 and known to nearly every American child as the Village Blacksmith's Shop, immortalized in the Longfellow poem. They run a restaurant serving delicious food, a bake shop where you can also order a picnic lunch or food for a formal dinner or wedding reception. They sell cakes made by people who come from many different parts of the world and salads whose recipes were brought over from foreign lands. If you are like me, in fact, having once gone there you will surely begin to wonder what foods would survive being sent you by mail.
Then you discover their gift and fashion shop, where the workmanship will fascinate you. They have embroideries such as are learned in other lands. Artists hand-block some of the materials used. They have blouses, frocks, coats, skirts, hand-knit sweaters and painted scarfs done by a Russian woman of 65, and hand-made toys and glass and pottery.
I shall never be at a loss where to take one of my grandchildren for a delightful meal if I find myself in Cambridge and have a way to get to the Window Shop at 56 Brattle Street. So many happy faces greeted me there—women who had been in concentration camps or had spent long years waiting to find themselves able to begin life again in a new country, and now actually at work helping their husbands or their children to start again. You are glad you live in an America which can be a land of hope.
Finally, I want to say a word about Brandeis University, where I spent Saturday from 9:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. They have only two classes now at Brandeis, but they are building a fine faculty. And, as I looked at the faces of some 250 students, I thought how fortunate it was that in this country we can have a university sponsored by the Jewish community that next year will draw its student body from at least 29 states. Brandeis asks no questions about the race or religion of applicants for entrance, but only what their academic standing is. The student body comprises Jews, Catholics and Protestants. More alert and intelligent faces I have never seen. It was a thrilling day, and I am grateful to be on the board of Brandeis. I hope this institution will offer an example of democracy which may be copied throughout the United States.