NOVEMBER 6, 1951
PARIS, Monday—Paris is full of surprises. I was sitting at lunch with Mrs. Elvira Fradkin of Montclair, N.J., who is here to represent a non-governmental organization, when a lady suddenly came over to our table and reminded me that we had met in Cuba. And as I left the Hotel Astoria where I worked all morning, a very handsome young man was getting out of a car and he said, "I met you last, Mrs. Roosevelt, during the war in the Pacific."
It always gives one a nice, warm feeling to have people remember and be willing to recall chance meetings like these so many years ago.
U.S. Marines who guard our entrance at the hotel have already become accustomed to me and greet me by name and let me go in without hauling out my pass. We are slowly beginning to feel at home.
I have almost caught up on my reading, so Miss Thompson and I went to an exhibition of French impressionists and 19th Century painters in the Orangerie. They were paintings that had been brought to Germany and have just been returned here. The crowds were very great, so we stood in line quite a while before we could get in.
Once inside, it really took patience to see the pictures. There were many young students discussing each little detail of the pictures, many artists and large numbers of Parisians who have an appreciation for art. There were even some small children being dragged about.
Luckily, being tall, I could pick out the pictures I wanted to see and then wait my chance to get close enough to enjoy them.
I hadn't been to an art exhibition for so long I was afraid I would have lost the old sense of satisfaction in recognizing a painter whom I liked. But it was just as pleasant as ever to pick out a Corot or a Manet or a Cezanne and push my way forward until I could really get into a good position to see it well.
I could not help wondering whether anywhere at home such crowds would be visiting an exhibition of this kind. Many of the people were quite evidently working people. I imagine retrieving these pictures from Germany added a zest to the exhibition, but the man in the street cares more about discussing the merits of the different artists than most of us at home do.
A young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Harrison, who are here on their honeymoon, came in for tea and I found that the bride is a granddaughter of Mrs. Emmons Blaine of Chicago whom I have always admired.
Later I drove out to see my great-grandson and dined with his parents. It was about a 25-minute drive from the Hotel Crillon. Their house is a typically French suburban place, surrounded by high walls and having a charming garden at the back. My grandson-in-law's boss acquired the house and luckily it is big enough for two families to live together until my little family finds an apartment in Paris. This seems particularly hard with the United Nations here.
What excitement General Eisenhower's visit must be creating in the papers at home. It will be hard to let him leave again without any political statement, but I do not believe that he or any of the other candidates are prepared to make any statement at this time, except, of course, for Senator Taft, whose hat has been in the ring for some time.