MARCH 11, 1953
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I have a favorite niece in Detroit, Mrs. Edward Elliott, whom I visited when I was in that city last weekend. Her husband is a young architect and an interior decorator who is trying to establish his own office.
Now that her four children have reached an age when even the youngest, who is a little girl, can be in nursery school, Mrs. Elliott herself has gone back into the Cranbrook Art School to explore the different media of expression and find out what she really feels is the thing she cares most to do. Her drawings and sculptures are always a joy to me, and when she tells me the story of the family doings in pictures they remind me of Boutet de Monvel.
The group of women Democrats who invited me to Detroit got her to illuminate the scroll that they presented me. It is a delightful work of art and she worked on it every evening of the week before my arrival. Usually I turned over scrolls of this kind to the library at Hyde Park, but this one I shall have framed and keep in my cottage because I enjoy the little pictures on it so much. How she manages to work at her art every day and at the same time run her home with four children seem to me one of the wonders of the world. They all came to breakfast with me on Sunday morning, all looking spic and span. All of them have grown since I last saw them, little Eleanor most of all.
After breakfast Mr. Elliott took me to the studio he built for my sister-in-law, Mrs. Dorothy Roosevelt. You might say that the building is constructed around two grand pianos, but they don't swamp the one big room. This studio struck me as a remarkable, compact and well-arranged little house for one person, with a sense of space and wonderful acoustics. One whole side of the house is glass and looks out on a little ravine which must be enchanting in summer. Mrs. Dorothy Roosevelt and a friend of hers played some Bach for us which was beautifully and perfectly rendered.
I ended my stay in Detroit by lunching with Mr. and Mrs. Elliott; Mrs. Elliott's mother; and my other sister-in-law, Mrs. John Cutter of Boston. This day saw really quite a family reunion.
After spending a short time at the office of the American Association for the United Nations on Monday, I went out to Maplewood, N.J., to speak at the Columbia High School.
The group of young people who invited me had been inspired to study our international situation by an editorial they had read in their school paper. This was written by a pessimistic young author, who felt that life wasn't really very much worth living unless we learned how to get rid of war. His feelings are shared by other young people, so they had prepared rather carefully the questions which they wished to ask me after my talk. The time was too short really to feel that I had given them what they needed, but I hope I started them thinking along new lines.
I had a brief meeting there with the New Jersey state chairman of the AAUN and some of the Maplewood chapter members. A local lawyer is soon to hold a meeting and talk against the Covenant on Human Rights, so they wanted to know how I saw the situation at present. I have no way of knowing, of course, whether the State Department will change the positions taken up to now on these Covenants nor what their efforts are going to be in this next session, but I hope we will hear more about it very soon from Mrs. Lord.