DECEMBER 15, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—For a very long time I haven't been able to get to the opera, what with something always turning up to prevent it. But last Thursday night I went to hear "Carmen" the night it was being televised, and I enjoyed it very much. The scenery was very different from the old sets I remember from the days of my childhood on, but it was very beautiful and made an excellent background for the singers. Afterward I wondered why I did not go to hear music more often. I have kept up going to the theatre from time to time, but even that I don't do often enough. My children tell me no one should miss going to Cinerama and to the Hans Christian Andersen movie. I can't imagine Danny Kaye in that role, but they tell me he is excellent.
It was wonderful to get to Hyde Park yesterday and to take a walk with my dogs, who promptly went rabbit hunting and got lost. The drive up the parkway was beautiful, with a blue sky and enough clouds to make it interesting.
Staying with us over the weekend is Mr. Wallace Fletcher, a Nottingham Fellow from England. These are the young men who are given scholarships in memory of my husband and come over here for a few months every year. Mr. Fletcher has been studying our methods in the employment of handicapped people, and has gone from coast to coast looking at various other matters of interest. My youngest son, who is connected with a business in which the employees are all handicapped people, said the other night that he felt it worked out better when everyone employed in a plant was handicapped. Mr. Fletcher says, however, that this is not true. By law in England, every plant must employ something like five percent of handicapped people, and he feels they work just as well in competition with the normal workman. The advantage of handicapped persons apparently is that they work with greater concentration and therefore have fewer accidents. They are also less apt to be absent or tardy, or to change their jobs. The fact that they know they are handicapped, and that their life revolves around holding a job, usually means that they are not as active in other ways.
They take more time to do things, and because they know how long it takes them to adjust to new work they are not anxious to change and try new fields.
I have been busy with Christmas preparations because I do not expect to be back here again till late on the 22nd. The next day we will have all our old friends who always come to a Christmas party before Christmas. I am sorry to say I cannot get up here in time to go to the Christmas party at the Wiltwyck School for Boys, for I know that those boys enjoy every kind thought which comes their way at holiday time. Many people have been kind in sending them gifts during the past few years, and they always appreciate particularly that Mr. and Mrs. Harry Brandt wrap each gift and put the boy's name on it. That is especially important because they so rarely have had any personal remembrance at Christmas time.