AUGUST 16, 1950
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—On Sunday I went over to assist at a ceremony which the Fraternal Order of Eagles observe. They hold an annual ceremony on the Sunday nearest to the date of the signing of the Social Security bill, in the grounds of the memorial to my husband.
I had not known before that this organization had been particularly active in backing the Social Security bill or that my husband had presented them with the pen with which he signed the bill when it became a law.
After the first ceremony out on the lawn we went to the rose garden and they laid a wreath on the grave. I then returned to my guests who were keeping an eye on all the children in the swimming pool—our usual Sunday afternoon occupation!
We had the pleasure of seeing once more Mr. and Mrs. Roberto Fontaina of Uruguay who are shortly returning to their own country. I shall miss my contact with Mr. Fontaina in the United Nations for he was always a delightful colleague with whom to work. We all enjoyed having him here with his wife and little boy for a final picnic. I hope they will often return as visitors as he tells me he is giving up official life.
If, on these summer days, you want a book which will entertain your children of various ages and one which you will enjoy too, read "Noah and His Ark" by George Holt. I think the drawings will amuse you as much as the story itself. The animals are a joy though they do not always behave as you might expect.
When I was up at Tanglewood I was given another book which I enjoyed very much—"An Eye for Music" by the artist Martha Burnham Humphrey. Both the drawings and text are by her. It is a story of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. One of the drawings I like best is that of Dr. Serge Koussevitsky rehearsing. The author has certainly paid Dr. Koussevitsky a delightful tribute at the end: "By thy art, thou callest forth concourses of sweet sound to succor those whose life's aim is to comfort and to cure: and so do we, humble disciples of the healing art, acclaim thee as master of us all." Much of the book, of course, contains sketches of people who have played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Now that I am successfully through my one performance of reading with the orchestra I can say that I wish I were a part of this book or some future book, but I quite realize I am too much of an amateur to claim a place among the artists whom Mrs. Humphrey sketches with her pencil and in her words.
Dr. Koussevitzky was so kind to me that I really enjoyed every minute of my day in Tanglewood. I had been terrified beforehand but he guided me so well and was so patient when I made mistakes that I got through the whole performance with a heart full of gratitude to both the leader of the orchestra and the orchestra itself. They must have been worn and weary because they first consented to rehearse and record and then had an evening performance which they played magnificently.