DECEMBER 8, 1953
NEW YORK, Monday—On Friday I took an early morning train to Philadelphia to speak to a group of women at the American Friends Meeting House. Their subject was "How Can Women Help to Make the UN Program Better Known and More Effective?" As this is one of the things which concerns me most at present, I was very glad to have this opportunity to talk to the Friends who, when they have a real "concern," usually do something about it.
My time in Philadelphia was not overlong but I felt that the meeting was well worthwhile. They conduct it in typical Quaker fashion. The speaker is introduced and then everyone is asked to observe a moment of silence and the speakers are told when they are ready they can get up and speak out of that silence.
I found it rather an interesting way to begin a speech for it gave the opportunity of gathering one's thoughts and of saying a little prayer, which I am sure every speaker says, for guidance in the speech that was to follow. When you are on your feet and ready to begin everyone seems prepared to listen.
I came back by train and a rather interesting incident occurred.
Toward the end of the journey a young man sat down beside me and told me that 10 years ago he had dinner in a diner with me. He was starting on a fishing trip then and I wished him luck and he reported he had very good luck.
As a consequence, when we passed on Friday, I leaving the dining car and he on his way in, he said he felt sure that when he returned to his seat he would find himself beside me and he did! The coat which he had left to keep his seat during his absence had kept it safely and we had a pleasant chat about his present business.
Arriving in New York, I went to the United Nations Gift Center, General Assembly Bldg., thinking that on a rainy day I would find few people there. But I was mistaken. Even in the rain they have a large number of visitors and many of them find their way to the gift shop because of its unique collection of wares from so many different countries.
I found some very inexpensive but very charming things in the shop from Israel and some interesting things which are made in some of the Scandinavian countries that I think will be acquisitions for the children's Christmas stockings. There is some beautiful glassware and of course the Indian gauze scarfs which are charming. Altogether I think anyone will find this a rather unique and delightful place to do some of his Christmas shopping.