SEPTEMBER 3, 1953
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—We went this morning to the opening of the Dutchess County Fair. My first interest was of course to visit Franklin Jr.'s Hereford cattle and his sheep. They had changed the hour for judging the cattle so they will not be judged until tonight and I do not know at what hour the sheep will be judged. Going so early we missed some of the exhibits.
I always enjoy the flower shop, particularly the flower arrangements, and I was looking forward to seeing them today and comparing what I saw with what I had learned about flower arrangements while I was in Japan. I brought home two books on the subject and watched many classes, even those in factories where girls were being taught to arrange flowers. In our hotel a lady who was taking courses arranged the flowers in the lobby each day and I watched with keen interest to see how she created such a variety of beautiful designs and used comparatively few flowers. Since the flower show was being judged and we could not go in, neither could we see the arts and crafts show nor the grange exhibits, as the judges were busy.
I did get into the 4-H Club building, however, and looked with interest on what the boys and girls were doing in dressmaking, in food preparation, in craft work of different kinds and even in flower arrangements. I saw some of their animal exhibits, too, and spent a little while watching some of the horse show entries. While we were there they were showing medium sized ponies and large size ponies. Miss Deborah Dows with her beautiful white stallion won first prize with her really beautiful little horse.
Our children went through all the booths of different kinds for entertainment and tried their hands at many things. Only two of the small boys were lost when it was time to go home. We had their names called over the loud speaker, but when they finally appeared they blandly said they hadn't heard a thing, which shows how easy it is not to hear when you do not want to.
We all went to lunch at the Vanderbilt Inn on the way home and I felt that when we walked in we must have looked like an invading army: 11 children and eight grownups. That really is quite a crowd!
Sad to say, I will not be able to go again since I go to New York early tomorrow morning and my niece with her four children and a friend, Mrs. Wagner, will be leaving here for Michigan. I shall be anxious to hear what happens to Franklin Jr.'s pet bull because he thinks he should win over anything in his class. But every owner has that feeling about his particular pet animal and I learned long ago not to count my chickens before they were hatched. This is a very valuable lesson which I hope Franklin Jr., has also learned.
The Dutchess County Fair has really grown to be a most interesting event and I think I saw cars from a good many states parked there even this morning and I am sure that before the week is out people will have stopped there from all over the country. I can't wish that there will be rain during the fair, but I wish it could rain every night because the drought is getting so bad that people's wells are drying up and I was told yesterday that in the village of Hyde Park no one was being allowed to water the lawns for there is just enough water for household use and no more.