JUNE 8, 1954
HYDE PARK, Monday—I heard two fine speeches on Saturday at the closing session of the meetings Columbia University held from Wednesday evening to Saturday morning on the subject of "the social services rendered to the people."
Before the closing address, Dr. Robert M. McIver, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Columbia, summed up the meaning and feeling of the conferees of seven different study groups. On an almost-impossible assignment he gave us his own thinking and his own philosophy, and I have asked for a full copy of his speech so that I may go over it again with care and pick out a few of the things I thought I would like to share with you.
Mr. Adlai Stevenson, who made the closing speech and which you may have heard over the radio, was delightful as always. I am glad to say that he looked very well, though he said that he still was not fully recovered from his recent operation.
As soon as this meeting was over, I drove up to Hyde Park with my uncle, Mr. David Gray. The country is beautiful and the parkway is a joy. We pulled in at a parking space and ate our sandwiches for lunch and reached Hyde Park before three in the afternoon.
When I get home on weekend visits there are always certain household chores to be done before I feel I am really home and settled. For instance, there is the linen to put away, and the magazines to change. I always send the magazines of the week before to the library in the village.
And, most enjoyable of all, there are flowers to be picked and vases to be filled. I really have an abundance of roses in my garden, and the mock-orange shrubs are just coming into bloom and are fragrant. I also have a whole row in my garden of blue flags. When mixed with some little yellow lilies which I have down in the field by the brook they make a lovely combination of color.
Are you ever surprised that your garden has not produced the colors you thought you had planted?
Sunday was an almost-stormy day. It could have been autumn instead of spring. The wind blew, and the sky was only now and then sunny, so I lit the open fire in the living room. That sounds foolish for June 6, but nevertheless it was comfortable.
On Saturday night the Democrats of the county, in larger numbers than I have ever seen, attended a ten-dollar dinner arranged by the county committee, at which my son, Franklin Jr., spoke. For this Republican county it was certainly an outstanding success, and the group was very grateful that Miss Angela Parisi came up from New York City to represent the state committee and bring greetings from the state chairman. It looks as though, with some concentrated effort, it might be possible to cut down the Republican vote in this county considerably.