FEBRUARY 10, 1953
NEW YORK, Monday—It is really amazing how the weather varies in our great land! In Andover, Mass., we had a real snowstorm Sunday and I thought to myself, "Well, I cannot fly back this afternoon." So, I telephoned the airport twice, and each time was assured that everything was routine. When I got there I was told that 50 miles out of Boston we would find clear weather—and we did!
I enjoyed my tour of Phillips Andover school Sunday morning. I had forgotten that I would see the house in which Harriet Beecher Stowe had lived and that she was buried in the old churchyard. I had forgotten that Oliver Wendell Holmes also lived here. But when one goes into New England one is bound to touch some bits of our early history.
Phillips Andover has a big campus, with many old houses that are delightful. There is an enrollment of 730 boys, which is a big school, and I think that is one reason it is perhaps better preparation for college than the more sheltered surroundings of a small school. So much depends on the boy.
I found the city of Lawrence's International Institute has a variety of very practical objectives. They really have a small United Nations right in Lawrence, and the institute was designed to help strangers coming to live in this big mill city.
There are classes in languages and there are interpreters. Also, the school offers help in personal problems and in citizenship problems. In many ways it reminded me of the "Welcome Wagon" program with some of the commercial aspects left out.
The institute has an old house but for our meeting one of the Catholic auditoriums in town was available. I was told there were some 900 people present, which was a better audience than they had hoped for, and it was a rainy night.
The assemblage wanted to hear about the U.N. because, as some had told me, so few people knew much about the world organization. I stayed after the talk for a brief reception and I found their executive director, a Canadian woman who has lived for many years in this country but who has never given up her Canadian citizenship, was a very kind and thoughtful hostess. She knew everyone who frequented the institute, and could tell me anecdotes about practically everyone there. Such interest is valuable in an enterprise of this kind, which really depends primarily on getting people together and creating an atmosphere of friendliness.
At coffee on Sunday in the mid-morning I met some of the teachers who have my grandson in their classes. I also had a glimpse of the art gallery, which deserves more serious attention, but I hope I will have another and somewhat longer visit in the spring.
A young schoolgirl returning to Washington sat beside me on the trip out of Boston and grieved over the fact that the holidays were coming to an end and she had to go back to work. I think my grandson, Elliott Jr., had the same feeling because a very kind gentleman at the school, who drove me to the airport, had offered him a ride also, but he had to refuse in order to write a theme for Monday. That was a sign of conscientiousness, however, which I thought would please his parents.