OCTOBER 26, 1951
EN ROUTE TO PARIS, Thursday—Part of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in Paris finally got off on the "America" this afternoon, but up to the last minute everything was subject to delay even though the longshoremen's union had agreed to lift the embargo for the ship's sailing.
I really would not have minded an extra day at home. I had a large number of odds and ends that I had not accomplished. I have always shopped for Christmas all year round, but it is not often that by the end of October I must order everything so as to find it ready at Hyde Park when I return for Christmas. Somehow, one always forgets something and has to rush out again to do one last errand or round of errands.
Those of my children who could get time off in the afternoon came to the boat with us after we all had lunched together.
Late on Wednesday afternoon I went to visit my grandchildren and say a last goodbye to them. Sally looked at me and said: "Why are you going, Grandmere?" At four and a half it is almost as difficult for a child to understand the vagaries of grownups' comings and goings as it is for my two little Scotties, which viewed our bags at Hyde Park with complete misery and dejection.
There was a delightful story in the newspapers yesterday of how one of the old Henry Street Settlement boys repays the benefits he received as a child at the Settlement. He is now 51 years old, born of immigrant parents, with nine in the family.
He lived his early years in a crowded tenement on Grand Street. Now he has a good business, the Netchi Sewing Machine Sales Company, but his eyes still shine as he tells of his first summer vacation at the settlement camp in Mahopac Falls, N.Y. He gives the camp a canoe every year, sewing machines for their thrift shop, and money when it is needed.
Such gratitude does not always follow kindness, and it certainly warms the heart to read about it when it does. I am sure that everyone hopes Mr. Heimlich will go on having a good business so he can enjoy the life he has built for himself and continue, via the Henry Street Settlement, giving to others in return for what he received as a boy.
I heard a rumor the other day that the Soviet newspapermen in Paris were inquiring what might be the reaction to the appearance of Marshal Stalin at the United Nations General Assembly session. The rumors, of course, began to fly that it was a fact that the Marshal would be there. It is probably, however, only idle speculation on the part of the correspondents.
I can't help wishing it were really true, for a competition among the heads of governments as to which can make the best offer to promote peace and goodwill might be a new way out of our present impasse.
According to the newspapers, President Truman said he hoped someday the Soviet Union would see the light and realize that it could not stand alone against the rest of the world. But, of course, Russia does not stand exactly alone. Quite a large part of the population of the world stands with it. It happens, however, that this large section of the world population is not very well off and perhaps if we could start off on an entirely new basis it might be possible for them to achieve some of the ordinary comforts of life—and all of us might think less of war.