NOVEMBER 6, 1954
LOS ANGELES, Friday—To sit up watching the returns on election night on TV and then catch an 8 a.m. plane to Los Angeles means a very short time spent in bed.
We changed planes in Chicago and I began to be nervous because our plane did not start on time but we arrived in Los Angeles only ten minutes late. 3:20 p.m. meant 6:20 p.m., New York time, so the day was long.
I tried to read on the plane but ended by sleeping practically the entire day, only waking long enough to eat a delicious lunch. I think United Air Lines have copied the French air lines for they offered us cocktails; needless to say that meant rather little to me but to many of my fellow travellers it seemed to mean a pleasant addition to their lunch.
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On arrival in Los Angeles I went directly to Long Beach where a very charming hostess allowed me to bathe and change and have a little rest before their buffet dinner. This was an informal and delightful party in a house situated on a hill, with a beautiful view of the many lights far below. In the daytime it must be really gorgeous. These California houses seem almost to take in the outdoors—you feel that you live outside and the world of nature is very close. Flowers are everywhere. Trees and vines apparently grow with great rapidity.
Smog, however, is what seems to be on everybody's mind. They told me all sorts of things that would have to be done. I had not realized quite how bad smog can be. People say their throats are raw, their eyes are runny and it is really a great discomfort.
Governor Knight recently called some specialists together who said it was not really dangerous to health. But others believe it may have lasting bad effects, so no one is very happy about the situation. In spite of the beauty of nature and the fact that today the sun is shining and everything looks lovely to me, my hosts last night were troubled by the whole smog situation.
Los Angeles is a city with rather poor public transportation, so there are an enormous number of cars. And while there are machines that can be placed in oil refining plants which might do away with smog, nothing small enough has yet been invented to use in motor cars. I suppose, with the need, inventors will go to work and the problem will be solved. But at present it is a very unpleasant situation, I gather, for those who live in this whole area.