JULY 29, 1950
WESTBROOK, Conn., Friday—I was fortunate in Nantucket in having really beautiful weather. Tuesday, my one full day there, was a busy one. Mr. Morgenthau took me from where we were staying, at the end of the island, to the main street of Nantucket. We parked the car and walked down to look at the houses which photographers and painters have made so familiar to us. It is a charming place. I particularly enjoyed the short time spent with a summer theatre group which is playing its first season there.
They are trying rather an original idea on stage settings, making their settings moveable, and seating the audience wherever the play is not going on. They can seat only about one hundred people, so it is really an intimate performance, but the actors are all competent people, having been on the stage for ten or twelve years. I wish I could have seen a real performance.
We visited the Whaling Museum, where many of the exhibits were familiar, but I saw for the first time the models of "the camels" which were used up to 1854 to float the loaded ships over the bar. It was an ingenious device, but finally condemned because it was too expensive, and it became easier and less expensive to load in New Bedford, taking their produce over there in boats that could cross the bar of Nantucket Harbor.
I always marvel at the skill of the sailors in the carving which they did during the long voyages in those days. My husband showed me in the old house in Fair Haven, Massachusetts, where his mother's grandfather had lived, examples of much of the work exhibited in the various whaling museums. It is often hard to realize that such delicate carving could by done by men whose hands must have been accustomed to such rough work, for the sailing ships of those days required not only skill but strength and endurance from the sailors on the long trips which often took them practically around the world. It enabled them, however to devote many hours to these minute and exquisite carvings.
We spent a delightful evening with Mr. and Mrs. Lytle Hull. They have planned their house so as to take in all the beauty of the sunsets over the water.
On Wednesday I went to Martha's Vineyard. Mrs. Joseph Lash and her small son, Jonathan, showed me the beauties of the island. We had a delightful lunch outside with Dr. and Mrs. David M. Levy. I sat on their porch for a little while with Katherine Cornell, Miss Macy and several other interesting and charming women.
The rivalry between these two islands seems fairly vigorous, so I will only say that I found both of them delightful. I enjoyed my two days immensely, and was particularly glad to find Mr. Morgenthau so much better than when I last saw him before my trip to Europe.
Even on islands like these which give you a "far away from the world feeling," you find that no one is quite free from the weight of world affairs. In spite of General Douglas MacArthur's reassuring words, I doubt if any one is very happy over our daily bulletins from Korea.