JUNE 8, 1951
HARTFORD, Conn., Thursday—We drove up from New York City to Hyde Park on Monday night and for part of the way we went through the blackest of thunderstorms and rain, which made it difficult to see the road ahead. Fala and Tamas were delighted to see me and Tamas followed me every minute, as though sensing that I was to leave again immediately.
Tuesday morning was gray but there was no rain, so the dogs and I had a wonderful walk in the woods. I was interested to find many more of my little red or orange lizards crawling in certain sections of the woods. Last year there were so few that I am delighted to find them back again in fair numbers this year. They seem completely defenseless and noise seems to have no effect upon them. However, if the dogs' paws brush them, they wriggle away with the greatest speed.
The Countess de Mezaubran drove up with Major Henry Hooker and myself and told me that the French exhibition of goods, in which she is interested, has been very successful in the three places where it has been shown.
The sale of French goods in this country is important to them. Like all European countries, France needs American dollars, and this exhibition, though chiefly luxuries are made in France, may mean quite a return of trade.
Tuesday evening the Countess told an interesting story of a woman who served as mayor of a small place in Brittany during World War II. She had a great many young people under her direction and was responsible for saving many young American and English airmen who had bailed out along the coast and could be picked up only at night.
When one hears of the activities of people, particularly young people during the period of German occupation in France, admiration for the French people as a whole grows by leaps and bounds. What a strain these people underwent and what courage they showed because discovery meant not death but torture at the hands of the German occupying forces.
I took my three grandchildren with my French guest over to see the house and the library on Tuesday morning and in the afternoon when the sky cleared we had a swim, my first of the season. The water was cold but it was wonderful and I felt the summer had really begun. A few friends came to dinner and it was a delight to have had two nights at home.
We went back to New York City on Wednesday morning and I inspected a portrait of my husband done by Bay Emmet Rand. I hadn't seen it at the time she painted it. Her portraits of men are so good that, of course, I liked it and I cannot help wondering where it will find a permanent home.
Wednesday afternoon I took a train to Saybrook, Conn., to spend the night with my friend, Miss Esther Lape, who agreed to drive me to Hartford Thursday morning. There my plans are to attend a luncheon given by Mrs. Beatrice Auerbach before opening an exhibition of paintings done by Mrs. Sylvia Patricelli.
I think I told you some time ago that Lady Gowrie recommended to me this young Australian artist who married an American, so I am particularly glad to have been able to attend this opening of her first exhibition. Painters have much they can tell us about other lands and we in the United States are glad to listen to what they have to say.