SEPTEMBER 16, 1954
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—On Monday afternoon I motored up to Westbrook, Connecticut, and had my first glimpse of the havoc created in that area by the two hurricanes. I hate to see trees go down and they have gone down there in great numbers. The clearing up, however, is already going on.
I spoke at the League of Women Voter's lunch in Westbrook Tuesday. In order to get there from my hostess' country home, we went by a most roundabout way because the causeway was so damaged by the storm it could not be used. We passed the debris from a couple of houses, an entire roof in one section. Along the shore, boats were in various degrees of destruction. Everybody was looking with interest at Miss KKatharine Hepburn's house, which is built practically in the ocean. In the hurricane some years ago it was almost destroyed but she insisted on rebuilding it in exactly the same place, and she believes she has done it this time in a way that would not be destroyable. The natives round about are, therefore, watching with great interest to see if the Hepburn house does stand up under all the violence of storms.
Apparently, in this last storm Maine was harder hit than Connecticut or Massachusetts. Even Martha's Vineyard, which suffered so much under the first storm, had less trouble in the last. Let us hope we are through with these fearful storms for this year.
The Westbrook League of Women Voters were very proud of the fact that they had not only filled the largest luncheon place available, but regretfully had to turn away many requests for tickets. The project they are working on this year is a study of our freedoms in the United States, how we acquired them and how we preserve them—a very good thing to do at the present time.
One lady told me that when the League was started there she had two people at the first meeting. At the next meeting there was only one person present. She was jubilant when 200 people were gathered together last Tuesday. This is a good sign, for the women who join the League of Women Voters are better citizens of their community, and of the state.
I was glad to have a quiet evening Monday with my friend, Miss Esther Lape, and her sister, and also to meet two most interesting young people who are her neighbors, Dr. and Mrs. Edward M. Weyer. Dr. Weyer is an anthropologist who went on the most interesting expedition in Brazil lately, where he visited some of the tribes that had heretofore killed most of their white visitors. He found them friendly and pleasant and he also found the white Brazilian he was looking for, who had lived among them for years. Dr. Weyer's account of these Indian tribes, that are living as they lived in the stone age, is very exciting and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to talk with him.
I returned to New York on Tuesday afternoon and was happy to have a chat with my friend, Mr. Bill Leonard, Wednesday morning on his radio program. I talked with him about a book which Americans for Democratic Action put out, edited by Quincy Howe. This is a handbook on politics, and also contains short articles, by a number of people, on subjects which should be of interest to every voter.