SEPTEMBER 22, 1953
HYDE PARK, Monday—Saturday, September 19, was Community Day in the village of Hyde Park. As a family we were out bright and early because my granddaughter, Nina, Johnny and Ann's oldest daughter, was marching in the parade with the schoolchildren. It was a wonderful parade, a high school band and the band from the village of Tivoli some 25 miles away kept them all moving, automobiles with prominent citizens, all the fire department, every business in town with a vehicle of some kind and the park service, not to be outdone, with a very attractive float covered with green and with a bust of my husband, all swept by us as we stood watching on the main road. At one o'clock we were back again in front of the Town Hall, this time to watch the children in a bicycle parade.
There were any number of children on tricycles, so there had to be two types of prizes, three for the older children who rode bicycles and three for the younger children who rode tricycles. All the bicycles were to be decorated, which really meant much work on the part of the older members of the community, and the winning of the prize depended largely on the ingenuity of the parents who could think up some way of presenting their child and bicycle in a unique manner.
One of the tricycles had two large paper bunnies cut out from painted brown paper fastened on either side of the wheels and handle bars and each bunny had a nice little piece of white cotton for a tail. The little rider rose out of the center of the bunny's back and he was so young that he was entirely oblivious to what he was supposed to do or in fact what anybody else was supposed to do. He kept riding around in his own little circle and I saw innumerable people rescue him and try to put him in the line where he would follow some one of the others.
I don't know who finally won in the tricycle races but a little boy whose bicycle had been transformed into an exhibition stand for fruits and vegetables and who was himself like Carmen Miranda with a little hat on his head set on one side in which fruits were held at rather a precarious angle, won first prize for the bicycles. The boy had been made up with rouge and blacking around his eyes and he really looked like a good imitation of a sophisticated chorus girl.
I thought our own Sally looked very sweet with her bicycle all decked out with red, white and blue crepe paper and little whirl-around pin wheels on either handle. She was wearing a little Austrian peasant girl's dress with an apron which I brought her from Vienna and little wreaths of flowers in her hair.
Finally at four o'clock, I, myself, went to speak at the Town Hall, so we felt that as a family we had been very active in Community Day!
I was most grateful this morning to receive from Clara and Hardy Steeholn 10 copies of their book, "The House at Hyde Park," which contains a complete text of my mother-in-law, Sara Delano Roosevelt's household book. I had forgotten to get extra copies for the children and suddenly was faced with the fact that my children wanted them and some of my friends were anxious to have them and the book is out of print so it was luck that the authors had some extra copies.