FEBRUARY 20, 1951
NEW YORK, Monday—I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday a very charming young Australian woman whom Lady Gowrie had asked me to see. While Lord Gowrie was Governor General of Australia, Lady Gowrie encouraged some young, talented artists to study abroad. She even raised money to make this possible, and she has always been very much pleased when these students are successful.
This young painter, Mrs. Sylvia Patricelli, met an American boy during the war and they are now married and living in Hartford, Connecticut. Mrs. Patricelli is hoping to hold soon her first exhibition of paintings in this country. She brought me some photographs of portraits and one portrait of a neighbor. All are interesting, so I look forward to seeing her exhibition in the near future.
Senator Wayne Morse, President Dodds of Princeton University, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Marx Leva, appeared on our television show Sunday afternoon and I was so glad that it was an interesting discussion, for we had a number of paraplegics from Birmingham Hospital, South California, in the audience.
These veterans are touring the country playing basketball games from their wheel chairs to prove that though you use a wheel chair there is a great deal you can do. Incidentally, if you can play basketball, you can hold down a job that requires sitting at a desk or a bench for a certain number of hours a day. So this trip may encourage some employers to hire paraplegics. These men have shown real courage and determination to lead useful lives and I hope they are getting some fun out of this tour.
Later I was visited by Dr. Elizabeth Meyer Spreckles, a social welfare worker in Germany. She brought up several points in connection with the occupation of Germany that seemed to me well worth considering.
One is that the shortage of housing in Germany is so great that it has caused very bitter feeling among German families who have to get along in a single room while they see their houses occupied by one American soldier's family. I wonder if it would not be possible to help Germany provide some employment for its two million idle workmen by building houses that could be used now by our soldiers and when they left, could be taken over by those needing new homes.
The second question was about the type of American movies shown in Germany. For the most part these are either crime stories or exaggerated luxury pictures. She says that after five months here it is evident that these movies do not present a true picture of American life but, nevertheless, that is the picture presented nightly to people in various parts of the world.