JULY 27, 1953
BRIONI, Yugoslavia—Our trip by plane was brief and then we drove to Rijeka with the Mayor, Mr. Eda Jardas. He took us down to the port and told us this was a real seaport, not only with coastwise ships but with big ships. We continued on to Abbazia where we had lunch at the hotel Kvarner. I am afraid we gave our hosts a good deal of trouble as I suggested we eat out of doors and they had to put three umbrellas up but it was quite delightful watching the swimming, even though it made us more anxious to reach our destination so we could swim ourselves.
The mayor of Abbazia was very kind and polite and presented us with photographs of the town.
The drive down the Istrian coast and across through the mountains was lovely but somewhat longer than they told us, so it was nearly five o'clock when we reached the landing where the President's boat awaited us to bring us to the island of Brioni. We used four modes of transportation before we reached our destination, air, automobile, water, and the lovely horse!
Brioni is a lovely wooded island, a little over two miles from the mainland and a perfect summer "White House" for a busy president. There is a hotel for guests and villas to which the Marshal invites his special guests.
We were driven in an old fashioned Victoria from the landing stage to the guest villa which is right on the water with lovely views of the sea. We watched the sunset and the new moon rise and it is a wonderful peaceful place at present which makes it hard to believe that this very villa where we are staying was partly destroyed during the war and had to be rebuilt.
Mrs. Vilfan waited on the dock for us and brought us to our destination and after tea left us to our own devices. We went for a swim, had dinner under the grape arbor and then a short walk.
This morning, Friday, I am to be ready at nine thirty to go and call on the President. We will have a short talk alone and then Miss Corr and Dr. Gurewitsch will come to be introduced and we are all to go off and swim and lunch on another island with the President.
I will tell you more about this in my next column.
At the present time I am elated over having finally secured the Paris Herald Tribune from July 4th through the 11th from our Consul General in Zagreb, and the London Times which fell into our hands at lunch yesterday. I am still a few days behind on world news but I picked up little fragments of what has been going on and one fragment pleased me mightily. Mr. J.B. Matthews did not get away with his remarks about the American clergy. Those remarks were not justified and I am glad that at last some backbone is being shown as regards Senator McCarthy and his cohorts. The State Department has also given a sensible answer on getting rid of all Communist books, so much of the fear which Mr. McCarthy has created must be wearing off. I am delighted since I hate to see the American people afraid of anything.