DECEMBER 2, 1954
NEW YORK—By the time this appears in print Sir Winston Churchill will have passed his 80th birthday. All of our newspapers that I have seen have praised him and wished him well and marvelled at his great vitality. Still to be Prime Minister at 80, and carry it off with vigor and the lively spice of humor, is a great achievement.
He has written his own account of the many exciting years of his life and history will tell of some of his defeats. These defeats did not hurt him in the long run because he took them well. That seems to me to be one of the important lessons for the young to derive from his remarkable life.
I saw a medical research report the other day which said that if you pass a danger point which occurs somewhere between 70 and 80 you begin to grow younger and are quite apt to live to be 100. I imagine no one would care to live to be 100 unless they could enjoy the years, so we will wish for Mr. Churchill that he lives as many of them as he can enjoy with health and full possession of his amazing powers.
I think his greatest satisfaction is in the feeling that he contributes something of value to the government of his country and in the service of his sovereign, so we will hope that his activities in public life may continue even if they are somewhat curtailed.
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There is an increasing movement of New York department stores away from the metropolitan scene to areas within commuting distance of the city. Women and children cannot come into the big city easily, so the big city shops are branching out to them and giving them as good service in suburban areas, and in smaller neighboring cities, as they could get at the parent establishment.
An example of this is the new Arnold Constable store, opened last Monday in Trenton, N.J. This decentralization is, I think, an advantage to the big cities. We hardly need to have New York grow any bigger.
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I was in Baltimore, Md., Monday afternoon, attended a reception and then a dinner and came back from Washington on the night plane. As the season advances I am grateful for every trip on which I can fly since I know that with the winter days there are many times when that is going to be impossible.